Building for Oil: Daqing and the Formation of the Chinese Socialist State
Authors Conversations Series, Fall 2020
Speaker/Author: Hou Li, Professor in Urban Planning, College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University
Discussant: James Robson, James C. Kralik and Yunli Lou Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations; Victor and William Fung Director, Harvard University Asia Center; Chair, Regional Studies East Asia, Harvard University
Hou Li is the Associate Professor in Urban Planning, College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University. Li graduated from the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, with a Master of Design Studies in 2005 and a Doctor of Design in 2009. Before that, she received a Master of Engineering in Urban Planning and B. UP from Tongji University. In 2014-2015, Li returned to Harvard as a Coordinate Research Scholar at the Harvard-Yenching Institute. Li’s scholarship addresses issues of the history of urban planning in modern China, with particular attention to the relationship of industrialization and urbanization, the development of urban planning as a discipline as well as urban-rural relationship. From 2012 to 2013, she served as the vice director for Development and Reform Commission, Hongkou District Government, Shanghai Municipality. She has been an expert member of the Shanghai Municipal Planning Commission since 2012 and a member of the China Woman Planners’ Society. Li is the author of Richard Paulick and the Importing of Modern Urban Planning in China (2014) and Building for Oil: Daqing and the Formation of the Chinese Socialist State (Harvard 2018).
James Robson is the James C. Kralik and Yunli Lou Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and the William Fung Director of the Harvard University Asia Center. He is also the Chair of the Regional Studies East Asia M.A. program. Robson received his Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from Stanford University in 2002, after spending many years researching in China, Taiwan, and Japan. He specializes in the history of medieval Chinese Buddhism and Daoism and is particularly interested in issues of sacred geography, local religious history, and Chan/Zen Buddhism. He has been engaged in a long-term collaborative research project with the École Française d’Extrême-Orient studying local religious statuary from Hunan province. He is the author of Power of Place: The Religious Landscape of the Southern Sacred Peak [Nanyue 南嶽] in Medieval China (Harvard, 2009), which was awarded the Stanislas Julien Prize for 2010 by the French Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres and the 2010 Toshihide Numata Book Prize in Buddhism. Robson is also the author of "Signs of Power: Talismanic Writings in Chinese Buddhism" (History of Religions 48:2), "Faith in Museums: On the Confluence of Museums and Religious Sites in Asia" (PMLA, 2010), and "A Tang Dynasty Chan Mummy [roushen] and a Modern Case of Furta Sacra? Investigating the Contested Bones of Shitou Xiqian." His current research includes a long-term project on the history of the confluence of Buddhist monasteries and mental hospitals in East Asia.