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Modern China Lecture Series featuring Yajun Mo – Touring China: A History of Travel Culture, 1912–1949

September 29, 2022 @ 4:00 pm 5:30 pm

Speaker: Yajun Mo, Boston College

When and under what circumstances did modern tourism infrastructure emerge and expand in China? How did the development of tourism shape print media and travel culture? This talk, based on Yajun Mo’s recently published book, Touring China: A History of Travel Culture, 1912-1949, explores these questions by tracing the roots of China’s domestic tourism to the first half of the twentieth century. More than simply introducing new practices and values associated with leisure mobility to the urban middle class, tourism and travel culture in the Republican period, Mo argues, enabled Chinese citizens to imagine an inherent unity to their country despite its territorial fragmentation.

Professor Mo teaches courses on modern China and women’s and gender history. Her research focus on China’s production of its national image. She is currently at work on a book manuscript entitled From Shanghai to Shangri-La: Zhuang Xueben and China’s Ethnographic Frontier. It focuses on the life and work of Shanghai photographer Zhuang Xueben, whose explorations and photography of the Sino-Tibetan frontiers in the 1930s and 1940s provide one of the broadest and most striking visual records of the region and its diverse peoples. This project won a Henry Luce Foundation/ ACLS Program in China Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship. Professor Mo’s first book, Touring China: A History of Travel Culture, 1912-1949, explores how early twentieth century Chinese sightseers described the destinations that they visited, and how their travel accounts gave Chinese readers a means to imagine their vast country. Drawing on an extensive range of sources, this book de-Westernizes the history of tourism in China. In addition to original research, Professor Mo has also been active in academic translation and has translated academic writings in both directions—from English to Chinese and from Chinese to English—forging connections with academic communities in both Anglophone and Sinophone worlds.

This talk will also be available on Zoom. To register, visit https://harvard.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-7dfmQhnR_ywX9BK2rkN-Q


September 29, 2022
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Event Category:


Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies


CGIS South Room S354

1730 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States

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