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Urban China Lecture Series featuring Isabella Jackson – Shaping Modern Shanghai: Colonialism in China’s Global City

April 30 @ 8:30 am 10:00 am

Speaker:  Isabella Jackson, Assistant Professor in Chinese History, Trinity College Dublin

The Shanghai International Settlement was the site of key developments of the Republican period: economic growth, rising Chinese nationalism, and the Sino-Japanese conflict. Managed by the Shanghai Municipal Council (SMC, 1854–1943), it was beyond the control of both the Chinese and the foreign imperial governments. In this paper, Jackson defines Shanghai’s unique, hybrid form of colonial urban governance as transnational colonialism. The SMC was both colonial in its structures and subject to colonial influence, especially from the British Empire, yet autonomous in its activities and transnational in its personnel. Through a study of how this unique body functioned on the local, national, and international stages, the Council’s impact on the daily lives of the city’s residents and its contribution to the conflicts of the period are revealed. The implications go beyond Shanghai to encompass modern Chinese history more broadly and wider colonial history.

Dr. Isabella Jackson is Assistant Professor in Chinese History at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. She lectured at the Universities of Oxford and Aberdeen before moving to Dublin in 2015. Jackson is the author of Shaping Modern Shanghai: Colonialism in China’s Global City (Cambridge University Press, 2018) and co-editor, with Robert Bickers, of Treaty Ports in Modern China: Law, Land and Power (Routledge, 2016). She is Principal Investigator of an Irish Research Council Laureate Award on Chinese Childhood in the Twentieth Century.

Zoom Meeting Link: https://mit.zoom.us/j/92743598127


April 30
8:30 am – 10:00 am
Event Category:


Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies


Presented via Zoom

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