Elizabeth LacoutureOct 14, 2021
Dwelling in the World
Family, House, and Home in Tianjin, China, 1860-1960
Columbia University Press 2021
To call the hundred years that straddle the nineteenth- and twentieth-centuries as a radical period of change for China is an understatement, moving from the Imperial period, through the Republican era, and ending in the rise of the PRC.
Dr. Elizabeth LaCouture’s Dwelling in the World: Family, House, and Home in Tianjin, China, 1860–1960, published by Columbia University Pres explores this history by looking at Tianjin: a city divided into nine foreign concessions, and perhaps, at the time, the world’s most cosmopolitan—and colonized—cities. With a focus on family and the home, Dr. Lacouture explores the interplay between these massive political changes and the lives of ordinary people.
In this interview, Dr LaCouture.and I talk about Tianjin, changing Chinese politics, and how that affected views of gender, the family, and the home. We also investigate the thorny distinction between modernization and Westernization.
Dr. Elizabeth LaCouture is the founding director of the Gender Studies Program at the University of Hong Kong, where she is an assistant professor of gender studies and history.
Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.