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Invited talk: Re-routing the Hai River: Technology, Politics, and Water Environment in Tianjin, 1853-1937, Dr. Kan Li, 2024-05-15

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08 May 2024, 12:18 PM

Speaker: Dr. Kan Li, Assistant Professor, Department of China Studies, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University

Host: Dr. Juan Li

Date: 2024-05-15

Time: 1:00-2:00 pm

Room: ES354

Title: Re-routing the Hai River: Technology, Politics, and Water Environment in Tianjin, 1853-1937


This talk explores the transformation of the Hai River: initially serving as a feeder river for the Grand Canal, it became a critical maritime artery for Tianjin and northern China, primarily due to the advent of steamship technology. The talk examines the extensive river engineering endeavors pursued during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, following the establishment of Tianjin as a treaty port and the allocation of concessions to multiple European and Japanese powers along the river in 1860. From 1900 to 1937, Western stakeholders attempted to exploit current technology and treaty rights to transform the Hai River into a robust steamship shipping channel, which despite early triumphs delivering prosperity to Tianjin, ultimately encountered intractable difficulties.

Brief Bio:

Dr. Kan Li, a historian of modern China, working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of China Studies at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. Her research interests span urban history, cultural history, environmental history, and the history of science and technology. Her works explore the global dissemination of scientific knowledge and technology, and the interaction between human society and the environment.


For online audiences: please join us with Tencent Meeting (ID: 742-1426-3711)


I look forward to seeing you there!


Best Regards,


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