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Ohio's Troops

Created by Spencer J. Barker. This video is a digital project completed as part of Professor Lilia Fernandez's History 4015: Research in Modern U.S. History course at Ohio State University in the spring of 2015. 

Polyandry and Wife Sale in Qing Dynasty China

In China during the Qing dynasty (1644-1912), polyandry and wife sale were widespread survival strategies practiced by the rural poor in conditions of overpopulation, shrinking farm sizes, and worsening sex ratios. Polyandry involved bringing in an outside, single male to help support a family in exchange for sharing the wife; wife sale involved the transfer of a woman from one husband to another, to become the latter's wife, in exchange for cash payment. These two practices represented opposite ends of a spectrum of strategies to mobilize the sexual and reproductive labor of women in order to supplement household incomes and maintain subsistence. If we take into account lived experience among the poor, no clear distinction can be drawn between marriage and the traffic in women in Qing China; similarly, the normative distinction between marriage and sex work that was basic to law and elite ideology cannot be sustained.

Post-Truth Moments in History

The Oxford English Dictionary has named “post-truth” the word of 2016. Post-truth is defined as, "relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief." Our panel of Ohio State University professors looks at different historical contexts/cases where generally accepted “truths” were somehow rendered unimportant, whether deliberately or unintentionally, thereby providing historical context for our more recent “post-truth” moments.

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