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2012-2013 China Seminar Series

Beijing: Imperial Legacy and National Identity in the Global City - Lillian Li

Event Date and Location

Thursday, February 21, 12:00-1:30pm - Urban Center Room 220


Drawing on themes and visual materials from her co-authored book, Beijing: From Imperial Capital to Olympic City, Lillian M. Li will discuss how the long history of Beijing as an imperial capital has served as an enduring foundation for its present government, but also as an obstacle to rational growth and urban planning. During the present Olympic era, the city has sought to present itself as a global city while increasingly using imperial monuments to promote Chinese national pride.

Lillian M. Li is Senior Research Scholar and Professor Emerita of History at Swarthmore College, from which she recently retired. Most of her research has focused on China’s socio-economic history. Since the completion of her major work Fighting Famine in North China: State, Market, and Environmental Decline, 1690s-1990s (Stanford, 2007), she has turned toward urban history with the publication of Beijing From Imperial Capital to Olympic City (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007, 2008, co-authored with Alison J. Dray-Novey and Haili Kong) and other projects.

Professor Li and her husband have recently moved to Portland (as part-year residents), and she is looking forward to getting involved in the academic community in Portland.