Designing Empire from the Inside Out: House and Home in Republican-era (1911- 1949) Tianjin, China

Elizabeth Lacouture, Assistant Professor in East Asian History at Colby College and Korean Family in Comparative Perspective Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Examining the local and global politics of designing house, home and furnishings in early twentieth-century Tianjin, China, a treaty-port city with nine foreign concessions, this paper argues that through consuming the world at home, Chinese people also produced new meanings of what it meant to be a modern, urban, elite Chinese women or man at the time. Moreover, while historians of North America and Europe, have argued that in consuming empire at home women reinforced the racial, national and gendered imperial imperatives of empire, the case of China and Tianjin suggests that the consumption of empire from within could also be subversive.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013 | 12:00 pm — 1:15 pm
Building 200 - Room 307, Main Quad

History Department
Center for East Asian Studies
The Clayman Institute
Feminist Studies Program