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Ching Kwan Lee – Hong Kong: Global China’s Restive Frontier

October 28, 2022 @ 12:00 pm 1:30 pm

Speaker: Ching Kwan Lee, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles

Was Hong Kong 2019 a “Revolution of Our Times”?

What was “revolutionary” about the anti-extradition movement? Turning its aspirational and stirring slogan into an empirical question, this talk assesses the breakthroughs and limits of the historic uprising, against an entrenched colonial hegemony co-produced by British and Chinese rules. Specifically, we shall review four salient elements of this hegemony that have long defined the boundaries of the “political” in Hong Kong – rule of law, capitalist /market rationality, prosperity and stability, and inevitability of China. To what extent, how and why had protesters and citizens shattered these colonial boundaries through collective praxis and deliberations? As a critical moment in the long struggle for decolonization, what were the lessons of 2019?

Ching Kwan Lee is a professor of sociology at UCLA. She is the author of three award-winning monographs on contemporary China’s turn to capitalism: Gender and the South China Miracle: Two Worlds of Factory Women (1998), Against the Law: Labor Protests in China’s Rustbelt and Sunbelt  (2007), and The Specter of Global China: Politics, Labor and Foreign Investment in Africa (2017). She is the founding chair of the Society for Hong Kong Studies, and her latest book on Hong Kong is Hong Kong: Global China’s Restive Frontier (2022).

Please email jviator@fas.harvard.edu for the Zoom link. You can also join the mailing list to automatically receive all Zoom invites for this series.


October 28, 2022
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Event Category:


Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies


Presented via Zoom

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