I received my Ph.D. in History from the Johns Hopkins University. My first book, Runaway Wives, Urban Crimes, and Survival Tactics in Wartime Beijing, 1937-1949, uses criminal case files to explore intimate accounts of lower-class women’s struggles with poverty, deprivation, and marital strife. By uncovering the set of everyday tactics that women devised and utilized in their personal efforts to cope with predatory policies and crushing poverty in wartime Beijing, this book reveals an urban underworld that was built on an informal economy and conducted primarily through neighborhood networks. I argue that women’s survival tactics, embedded in and reproduced by their everyday experience, opened possibilities for them to modify the male-dominated city and, more importantly, allowed women to subtly deflect, subvert, and “escape without leaving” the powerful forces such as the surveillance state, reformist discourse, and revolutionary politics during and beyond wartime Beijing.

I am currently writing a new book, Seditious Voices in Revolutionary Beijing, 1950-1953. It examines rumor-mongering in Beijing during the Korean War period, and offers a lens through which to perceive the transformation of urban informational space against the backdrop of war fever and emerging revolutionary politics in Mao’s China. In addition to my books, I also published articles and reviews in Journal of Asian Studies, Late Imperial China, Journal of Urban History, and Frontiers of History in China.

At Washington University, I teach courses on 20th-century Chinese history, city and women, crime and punishment, material culture, historical landscape, socialist culture, and the history of US-China relations. 


East Asian Languages and Cultures

Washington University in St. Louis
Campus Box 1111
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899