This year’s Marvin B. Sussman Prize for Best Dissertation has been awarded to Wei Luo for The Entrepreneurial Organization of Finance: The Emergence of Family Banking in Southwest China, 1900-1950. Luo’s committee included Professors Julia Adams (chair), Emily Erikson, and Philip Gorski. Wei Luo is now a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University, in the Civic Life of Cities Lab, Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society.
“I am delighted to have been recognized by the Yale department,” Ms. Luo said. “It’s a great honor. I look forward to a continuing relationship, professional and personal, with my former advisors, faculty and fellow grad students.”
Luo’s superb thesis examines family financial networks and social revolution in China’s Republican Era, analyzing the ways that urban China made its way through the linked revolutions of the 20th century. Focusing on the Southwest as the axial developmental region, and particularly Chongqing, Luo tells the story of how the major family banking houses emerged from the wreckage of the Old Regime, and either successfully navigated or failed to survive a series of revolutionary political upheavals.
The annual departmental prize was created and endowed in 1993 by Marvin Sussman (Ph.D. 1951). It is awarded to the graduate student whose dissertation, completed within the previous two academic years, is judged the most outstanding by a committee of department faculty. The recipient is also invited to return to Yale to present their work to the Sociology department and the Yale community.