This paper outlines Toby Lincoln's next major research project. Taking a comparative approach that explores how cities in China experienced different historical trajectories of change throughout the wartime and post-war period, it explains how urban reconstruction laid the foundation for the country to become the world's largest urban society. In focusing on the war as a transformative period in the development of China's cities, instead of the Communist Revolution, it writes the country into the global history of urban change throughout the 20th century. The paper will review the extent of wartime urban destruction in different parts of China, before focusing on how the Nationalist Government was able to establish institutions to direct urban planning and reconstruction during and after the war. Throughout this period, officials at central and local government attempted to put into practice some of the latest global ideas on urban change, which were then circulating around China. At the same time urban inhabitants worked hard to rebuild their cities, often in very difficult circumstances.
Professor Toby Lincoln
Toby Lincoln is Associate Professor of Chinese Urban History at the University of Leicester. He studied for his D.Phil at the University of Oxford, and then spent a year as a postdoctoral associate at the Council on East Asian Studies, Yale University before joining Leicester in 2010. He is working on two research projects. The first is an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded early career research fellowship. The title is Postwar Urban Reconstruction in China 1938-1958. This research explains how urban reconstruction in China during and after World War II (WWII) laid the foundation for the country to become the world's largest urban society. In focusing on the war as a transformative period in the development of China's cities, instead of the Communist Revolution, it writes the country into the global history of urban change throughout the 20th century. The second is a summary of Chinese urbanization from its origins to the present, which is under contract with Cambridge University Press as part of its New Approaches to Asian History series. It explores how China's imperial urban civilization has been transformed into the world's largest urban society, focusing on the development of the urban system, changes to urban morphology, and daily life in cities. His publications include Urbanizing China in War and Peace: the Case of Wuxi County (Hawaii 2015), and co-edited with Xu Tao, The Habitable City in China: Urban History in the Twentieth Century.
- Topic: Postwar Urban Reconstruction in China, 1938-1958
- Date: 25 October Thursday
- Time: 5:30 – 7:00 pm
- Venue: HS436