The issue of death loomed large in Chinese cities in the modern era. Despite its intrinsic importance in any society and its particular importance in the historical experience of Chinese cities, however, death is basically absent from the field of Chinese urban history. Based on a study of Shanghai between 1865 and 1965, Christian Henriot explores what death meant and represented in China during a period of immense social change. The central question the talk will address is: In view of known Chinese practices about death, how did death practices adapt to a modern, urbanized environment, and how did the interactions of social organizations and state authorities manage them? It will unveil facets of urban society in a tumultuous era that radically redefined the relationship of the Chinese with death.
Free and open to the public.