Law shapes the ways in which societies grow and operate and consequently, a thorough understanding of law is key to nearly any avenue of inquiry. As a result, the Fairbank Center has long considered legal scholarship to be a natural extension of much of the work its affiliated faculty and scholars are producing. Recently, this has manifested in the work of Dr. Maura Dykstra who was an An Wang Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center 2014-2015.


William Alford
William Alford

William Alford 安守廉

Jerome A. and Joan L. Cohen Professor of Law; Director, East Asian Legal Studies Program

William P. Alford is a scholar of Chinese law and legal history. His books include To Steal a Book is an Elegant Offense: Intellectual Property Law in Chinese Civilization (Stanford University Press 1995)

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Harvard Law School | Austin 301 | Cambridge, MA 02138
Ya wen Lei
Ya wen Lei

Ya-wen Lei 雷雅雯

Assistant Professor of Sociology

Ya-wen Lei is Assistant Professor of Sociology, having previously been a Junior Fellow at the Society of Fellows at Harvard University. Professor Lei grew up in Taipei, Taiwan, graduating from her undergraduate studies at the National Taiwan University.

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436 William James Hall | 33 Kirkland Street | Cambridge MA, 02138
Mark Wu
Mark Wu

Mark Wu 伍人英

Henry L. Stimson Professor of Law

Mark Wu is Henry L. Stimson Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where he teaches international trade and international economic law. Previously, he served as the Director for Intellectual Property in the Office of the U.S. Trade RepresentativeRead More

Harvard Law School | Griswold 302 | Cambridge | MA 02138

Research Projects

Legalizing Space Workshop (2014-2015)

This project, proposed and carried out by Dr. Maura Dykstra, now an Assistant Professor of History at the California Institute of Technology, combined the research on late imperial Chinese law being undertaken by a cohort of scholars working at Harvard together with the experience and objectives of the Legalizing Space in China group to organize a series of translation, research, and conference activities in Cambridge over the 2014-2015 academic year. These activities revolved around the question of how to situate translation of late imperial law into a larger historical, intellectual, and analytical context. In order to give priority to examining the depth and richness of the late imperial legal world, the entire year of activities focused on the 15 laws and 47 sub-statutes occupying the single huyi (戶役) or “Households and Obligations” sub-section of the hulü (戶律) or “Household Law” division of the Ming and Qing Codes.

People's Republic of China Legal Research Guide, Harvard Law School Library

This guide gathers some of the best sources for background on Chinese legal research as well as the best Chinese legal research materials available through the Harvard Law School Library. Read more on the Harvard Law School Library’s website.

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Latest News

Summer Reading List 2018

New from Harvard University Asia Center Press: Legal Lessons: Popularizing Laws in the People’s Republic of China, 1949–1989, by Jennifer Altehenger  The popularization of basic legal knowledge is an important and contested technique of state governance in China...

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Spring 2018 Courses on China

FRESHMEN SEMINAR FRSEMR 61M: The Silk Road as History, Culture, and Politics Mark Elliott Description:In 1923, Harvard’s Fogg Museum of Art sought to add to its collections by sending Langdon Warner, the University’s first professor of Asian art, on an expedition to...

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Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies