Professor Qu is a Visiting Professor at the Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy at the University of Toronto. She came from the School of History and Culture of South China Normal University. She is also on the editorial board of Rural China, an International Journal of History and Social Science, whose editor is Philip C.C. Huang.
Her research interest is Social History of Modern China. In her first book, Social Stratification and Its Changes in the Rural People‘s Vision of North China, 1901-1949 (Beijing: People's Publishing House, 2010), she analyzes the stratification and changes of rural society in North China from 1901 to 1949. She thinks that before the introduction of the "class concept" into rural society, the status of community members is not based on "class," but on a whole set of endogenous hierarchical evaluation standards and differentiation systems. The dimension of this social stratification is related to economic status, but to a greater extent, it is the consequence of multiple factors shaped by the Confucian culture network which are rooted in the context of rural culture. The core materials of her research is drawn from the six-volume investigation of the North China plain conducted by the research bureau of the South Manchurian Railway Company (commonly abbreviated as Mantetsu) from 1940 to 1942. At the same time, she also personally engages in field research and collects a large number of oral materials and local archives.
Her new book "Transformation of Modern China and Changes in Rural Society" (Beijing: The Commercial Press, 2022), provides a detailed analysis of the changes in rural society under the background of China's modernization transformation from different perspectives, and conducts a long-term historical examination of rural social governance issues, proposing some innovative viewpoints.
Her current work, funded by Canada-China Scholars’ Exchange Program (2022-2023), is mainly focused on the social memory of early Chinese railway workers in Canada. Her focus is on the change and reasons for the social memory of early railway Chinese workers in Canada during the process of Canada becoming a multicultural immigrant country.