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Talk: Life in a Dovecote: Housing in Occupied Shanghai, 1937-1941
Date: 2 July 2010 

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures' Modern China Studies Programme has the pleasure of inviting you to the following talk:

Life in a Dovecote: Housing in Occupied Shanghai, 1937-1941

Susan Glosser
Associate Professor of History
Lewis and Clark College

Date: July 2, 2010 (Friday)
Time: 12.30 pm to 2.00 pm
Venue: KKLG101, K.K. Leung Building, HKU
Language: English

Throughout the War of Resistance, propagandists of all political stripes crafted an image of a unified Chinese people who placed the nation before all personal concerns. Of course, on the ground reality could look quite different. In this talk, Prof. Glosser draws on various sources to reconstruct the nitty-gritty details of housing for white-collar Chinese workers during the first stage of Japan's occupation of Shanghai (1937-1941). In these materials, we come face to face with the realities of life in occupied Shanghai. From this perspective, it is clear that most Shanghainese, and possibly the vast majority of Chinese in the rest of China, had neither the time nor the money to aid the resistance in any way.  This possibility suggests that we need to reexamine our assumptions about the war and how it was won.

About the speaker:
Susan Glosser is an Associate Professor of History and Department Chair at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She completed her Ph.D. in East Asian History at Berkeley in 1995. Her research specialty is modern China (19th and 20th centuries) and she focuses on gender, urban culture, and political culture. Her book on family reform in China in the first half of the twentieth century, "Chinese Visions of Family and State, 1915-1953" was published by University of California Press in 2003. She is currently researching the lives of women in Shanghai under Japanese occupation during World War Two.

All are welcome.

For enquiries, please contact Prof. Louise Edwards ( or Ms. Cice Chan (

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