Skip to content

Chinese Cities and City People During and After World War II

341 Eggers Hall

Add to: Outlook, ICal, Google Calendar

Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs 

East Asia Program


Chinese Cities and City People During and After World War II

A Talk by Kristin Stapleton, Professor, History Department, University at Buffalo, SUNY

The effects of World War II on Chinese cities were transformative. In addition to horrendous devastation, the war years were marked by significant cultural exchange, the reconfiguration of social hierarchies, and experiments in governance. All of these phenomena shaped the subsequent establishment of the new Communist regime in Chinese cities beginning in 1949. Drawing on a novel set in a wartime provincial capital, Li Jieren’s Dance of the Heavenly Devils, this talk explores the transformation of Chinese cities as a result of the war, with particular emphasis on changes in the way families worked and lived in cities. 

Kristin Stapleton is Professor of History at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. A native of Michigan, she studied at the University of Michigan, Harvard University, National Taiwan University, and Sichuan University. Earlier this year, she completed a five-year term as editor of the journal Twentieth-Century China, and she has long served on the editorial board of the journal Education About Asia. Her research interests include Chinese and comparative urban administration, the history of Chinese family life, and humor in history. She is the author of Civilizing Chengdu: Chinese Urban Reform, 1895-1937 (Harvard Asia Center 2000) and Fact in Fiction: 1920s China and Ba Jin’s Family (Stanford 2016). Her current research concerns Chinese cities during WWII and Sino-Soviet cooperation in designing and managing “socialist cities” in the 1950s. She is a fellow in the Public Intellectuals Program of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and an avid tennis player. 

Sponsored by Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, and East Asia Program

Contact Havva Karakas-Keles for more information:

Open to




Contact to request accommodations

Exterior of Maxwell in black and white when there was no Eggers building

We’re Turning 100!

To mark our centennial in the fall of 2024, the Maxwell School will hold special events and engagement opportunities to celebrate the many ways—across disciplines and borders—our community ever strives to, as the Oath says, “transmit this city not only not less, but greater, better and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.”

Throughout the year leading up to the centennial, engagement opportunities will be held for our diverse, highly accomplished community that now boasts more than 38,500 alumni across the globe.