Tamara Jacka



BA (Hons) (ANU), PhD (Adelaide)

Contact details
+61 2 6125 0923
Room: 4.41
Building: Hedley Bull Building

Biographical statement

Before coming to the ANU in 2001, Tamara Jacka taught Chinese language and courses on contemporary Chinese society and politics for ten years at Murdoch University. Her main research interests are in gender relations and social change in contemporary China. She is currently completing one ARC-funded project on Changing Approaches to Gender and Development in Rural China and beginning another on Gender, Family Conflict and Suicide in Rural China. Her publication Rural Women in Urban China: Gender, Migration, and Social Change (ME Sharpe, Armonk, New York and London, 2006) won the American Anthropological Association’s Francis Hsu prize for best book in East Asian anthropology in 2007.

Research interests

Gender relations and social change in contemporary China; women in rural-urban migration; the Chinese women’s movement; approaches to gender and development; and gender, family conflict and suicide.


•’Left-behind and Vulnerable? Conceptualising Development and Older Women’s Agency in Rural China’, Asian Studies Review, vol. 38, no. 2, 2014, pp. 186-204.

•’Chinese discourses on rurality, gender and development: a feminist critique’, The Journal of Peasant Studies, vol. 40, no. 6, 2013, pp. 983-1007.

•Contemporary China Society and Social Change (co-author with Andrew Kipnis and Sally Sargeson), Cambridge University Press, New York, USA, 2013.

•’Prevalence of intimate partner violence and its impact on women’s mental health in rural western China: a study of a county in Ningxia’ (co-author with Y Gao), Beijing Da Xue Xue Bao, vol. 44, no. 3, 2012, pp. 379-386.

•’Migration, Householding and the Well-being of Left-behind Women in Rural Ningxia’, The China Journal, vol. 1, no. 67 January 2012, p. 21.

•’Introduction: conceptualizing women, gender and rural development in China’ (co-author with Sally Sargeson), in Tamara Jacka and Sally Sargeson (eds.), Women, Gender and Rural Development in China, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, 2011, pp. 1-25.

•Women, Gender and Rural Development in China (editor with Sally Sargeson), Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, 2011.

•’Women’s activism, overseas funded participatory development, and governance: A case study from China’, Women’s Studies International Forum, vol. 33, no. 2, 2010, pp. 99-112.

•’Gender, the Family, Sexuality, and Governance: Vietnam and China’, Critical Asian Studies, vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 2010, 311-322.

•’The Impact of Gender on Rural-to-Urban Migration in China’, in (ed.), Gender and Labour Migration in Asia, International Organization for Migration, Geneva, Switzerland, pp. 2009, 264-291.

•’Cultivating Citizens: Suzhi (Quality) Discourse in the PRC’, Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique, vol. 17, no. 3, 2009, pp. 523-535.

•’Negotiations of Modernization and Globalization among Rural Women in Beijing’, in Andrew Kipnis, Luigi Tomba, and Jonathan Unger (ed.), Contemporary Chinese Society and Politics, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, London & New York, 2009, pp. 293-318.

•Rural Women in Urban China: Gender, Migration, and Social Change, M.E. Sharpe, Armonk, New York and London, England, 2006.

•’Finding a Place: Negotiations of Modernization and Globalization among Rural Women in Beijing.’ Critical Asian Studies 37(1):51-74, 2005.

•On the Move: Women and Rural-to-Urban Migration in Contemporary China (ed. with Arianne Gaetano), Columbia University Press, New York, 2004.

•Women’s Work in Rural China: Change and Continuity in an Era of Reform, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1997.

Career highlights

Chair, Chinese Studies Programme, Murdoch University (1994, 1996, 1998-2000); Convenor of Graduate Studies in Gender, Sexuality and Culture at ANU, 2004-2005; Francis Hsu prize for best book in East Asian anthropology, 2007.

Contemporary China Centre

Contemporary China Centre

The Contemporary China Centre was set up in 1970 at The Australian National University as a research facility concerned with scholarly social science analysis of post-1949 China.

Updated:  23 March 2016/Responsible Officer:  Su-Ann Tan/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team