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Lillian M. Li

Sara Lawrence Lightfoot Professor Emerita

Emeritus History


  2. Phone: (610) 328-8134
  3. Parrish Hall N-281
Lillian Li

Lillian M. Li taught courses on Chinese history and Japanese history, as well as courses on women's history, Orientalism, and the history of Beijing and Shanghai. She offered an honors seminar, State and Society in China, 1750-2000. Her history courses were also a part of the Asian Studies Program, of which she was a founding member.

She is the author of China's Silk Trade: Traditional Industry in the Modern World, 1842-1937 (1981) and Fighting Famine in North China: State, Market, and Environmental Decline, 1690s-1990s (2007), co-editor of Chinese History in Economic Perspective (1991), and co-author of Beijing: From Imperial Capital to Olympic City(2007, 2008). She has held various postdoctoral grants and appointments, including one at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship for research in China. In 2005, she was a visiting scholar at Beijing University (pictured here). Her current research interests include urban history and the use of visual materials in history. She has recently authored a visual essay on the Yuanmingyuan, "The Garden of Perfect Brightness," (III, & III) for MIT's Visualizing Cultures open courseware.