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Li, Ji

China Studies
PhD University of Michigan, USA
MA, BA Peking University, China


Born and raised in Chongqing, a major city located on the upper Yangtse River in China, I attended college in Beijing and obtained my B.A and M.A degrees in history from Peking University. My initial interest in French history and Sino-European communication subsequently led me to undertake several transnational research projects on French missionaries in China. I completed my training as a historian in the USA, earning a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, and in France, where I was a Chateaubriand Scholar at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. My transnational and cross-cultural training has equipped me with the ability to study, understand, and empathize with often-overlooked individuals in historical archives. This experience is reflected in my three books, God’s Little Daughters: Catholic Women in Nineteenth-Century Manchuria (Seattle: Washington 2015), Missions Étrangères de Paris (MEP) and China from the Seventeenth Century to the Present (ed., Brill 2021), and At the Frontier of God’s Empire: A Missionary Odyssey in Modern China (New York: Oxford 2023). 

My research fields center on the social and religious history of late imperial and modern China, with a particular focus on the history of Christianity, religion and local society, and women and gender. My research often takes a microhistorical approach, delving into the experiences of individuals and communities at the margins of society and culture. In my most recent monograph, I utilize this methodology to examine the lives of forgotten modern missionaries and ordinary Chinese individuals within the context of Chinese local society during the tumultuous twentieth century.

Through an analysis of these cross-cultural exchanges in the everyday lives of individuals, my work illustrates the inherent entanglement of the global and the local, and how these interactions shape the lived experiences of individuals and communities.  

Tel. No.




506, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus

HKU Scholars Hub


Region and Language

English, Chinese (Putonghua), French, China, Northeast Asia, France

Research Area

Social and religious history, Late imperial and modern China, History of Christianity, Religion and local society, Women and gender, Cross-cultural studies of China and the West

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