Li Ji

        LI JI 李紀

        PhD in History, The University of Michigan
        Associate Professor
        Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences
        School of Modern Languages and Cultures (China Studies), Faculty of Arts
        The University of Hong Kong


        Dr. Li Ji is an Associate Professor of History jointly appointed in the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (HKIHSS) and School of Modern Languages and Cultures (China Studies), The University of Hong Kong. She is a historian trained in three countries — China (B.A. and M.A. at Peking University), USA (Ph.D. at The University of Michigan), and France (Chateaubriand Scholar at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales). She is a visiting scholar at Cambridge University (2017) and Ricci Institute Boston College and Harvard-Yenching Institute (2024).

        Her research areas center on the social and religious history of late imperial and modern China, particularly the history of Christianity, religion and local society, women and gender, and cross-cultural studies between China and the West. She has published books and articles in both English and Chinese. She is the author of God’s Little Daughters: Catholic Women in Nineteenth-Century Manchuria (Seattle: University of Washington Press 2015), Missions Étrangères de Paris (MEP) and Chinese Society from the Seventeenth Century to the Present (Leiden: Brill 2021), and At the Frontier of God's Empire: A Missionary Odyssey in Modern China (New York: Oxford University Press 2023).

        Her current research focuses on the intricate relationship between religion, local society, and the making of modern China in a global context. Her new book project studies the life circle of an urban area in southwest China and is tentatively titled City on the North Bank: Religion and the Making of Urban China. She is also editing a manuscript collection of Half a Century in Manchuria: Family Letters by Alfred Caubrière (1876 – 1948). She has received three Research Grant Council grants, including two General Research Fund (GRF) grants and one Early Career Scheme Research Fund (ECS) grant. She is also one of the Co-PIs of the Collaborative Research Fund (CRF) project on “Infrastructures of Faith”.


        Room 119, May Hall, The University of Hong Kong
        Tel: (852) 3917-5774
        Fax: (852) 2559-6143

        Selected Publications


        God’s Little Daughters: Catholic Women in Nineteenth-Century Manchuria

        2017 God’s Little Daughters: Catholic Women in Nineteenth-Century Manchuria. Seattle: The University of Washington Press, firstly published in 2015.

        Book Manuscripts in Progress

        City on the North Bank: Religion and the Making of Urban China

        Half a Century in Manchuria: Family Letters by Alfred Caubrière (1876 – 1948) (Co-edited with Mathilde Biard)

        Journal Articles and Book Chapters

        2023 “Manuscripts from Father Caubrière: Discovering Untold Stories from Missionary Archives”, in Xin Shixue [New Historiography, Special Issue on Microhistory], Vol. 16, 225-243. Edited by Wang Di. Beijing: Social Sciences Academic Press.

        2021 “Mobility and Identity: Christianity and the Making of Local Society in Northeast China, 1840 – 1945”. The Catholic Historical Review 107, no. 2 (2021): 253-276.

        2021 “Grassroots Penman for the Empire Expansion: Church Records and Missionary Manuscripts”, in Yiwulü jiangzuo shilu [Collection of Yiwulü Series], Volume 1, edited by Wu Shixu. Shenyang: Liaohai chubanshe, 225-56.

        2019 “Filing and Research of Paris Foreign Mission’s Archives of the Vicariate Apostolic of Manchuria”, in Hong Kong Journal of Catholic Studies, Issue No. 10, 131-151.

        2019 “‘Little Flowers’: Chinese Christian Women in Northeast China”, in The Contribution of Chinese Women to the Church, edited by Piotr Adamek and Sonja Huang Mei Tin. Franz Schmitt Verlag, Siegburg, 103-118.

        2018 “Catholic Communities and Local Governance in Northeast China”, The China Review, Vol. 18, No. 4 (November 2018), 107-129.

        2018 “Resistance, Accommodation and Indigenization: Religion and Political Transformation in Modern China”, Twentieth-Century China, Vol 43, no.2, pp. 188-195.

        2016 “‘Sacred Heart’ and the Appropriation of Catholic Faith in Nineteenth-Century China,” in Song Gang, ed., Reshaping the Boundaries: The Christian Intersection of China and the West in the Modern Era. Hong Kong: The University of Hong Kong Press, pp. 76-90.

        2014 “Faith, Gender and Literacy: The Du Letters and Catholicism in Nineteenth-Century Northeast China,” Journal of Tsinghua University, 2014.02: 7-16.

        2014 “Perspectives, Sources, Theories and Methodologies: A Case Study of Nineteenth Century Catholicism in Northeast China,” in Wu Xiaoxin ed., Narratives from the Hinterland: Perspective, Methodology, and Trends on the Studies of Christianity in China. Beijing: Guangxi Normal University Press, pp. 325-339.

        2013 “Dissemination of Catholicism in Nineteenth-Century Northeast China: A Study of MEP Archives on Missions Mandchourie”, in Zhao Yifeng ed., Manuscripts, Memories, Localization, and Explanations: New Perspectives on Christianity in Northeast China and Sino-Western Cultural Exchange. Shanghai: Shanghai People’s Publishing House, pp. 107-27.

        2013 “God’s Little Daughters: Christian Virgins and Catholic Communities of Women in Northeast China,” The Chinese Historical Review 20.1: 16–33.

        2012 “Measuring Catholic Faith in Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century China,” in Owen White and J. P. Daughton eds., In God’s Empire: French Missionaries and the Modern World. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 173-94.

        2000 “Women in Revolutionary France: Reform of Inheritance Laws and Public Participation” in Beida shixue (Clio at Beida) volume 7, pp. 58-81.

        Book Reviews

        Ecclesiastical Colony: China’s Catholic Church and the French Religious Protectorate, by Ernest P. Young (London: Oxford University Press, 2013), Frontiers of History in China, 2016, 11(4): 641-644.

        Qingdai de huangquan yu shijia (Imperial power and famous lineages in the Qing dynasty) by Huimin Lai (Beijing: Peking University Press, 2010), Frontiers of History in China, 2011, 6 (4): 615-7.

        Xiangzu yu guojia: duoyuan shiye zhong de Min-Tai chuantong shehui (Community lineage and the state: traditional society of Fujian and Taiwan through multiple perspectives) by Zhenman Zheng (Beijing: Sanlian shudian, 2009). Frontiers of History in China, 2011, 6(3): 481-3.

        Research Projects

        Christianity on the Move: Routes and Religious Mobility in Late Imperial and Modern China from 1750s to 1950s. PI, General Research Fund (GRF), 2021 – 2023.

        Infrastructures of Faith: Religious Mobilities on the Belt and Road (BRINFAITH). CO-PI, Collaborative Research Fund (CRF), 2019 – 2022.

        Negotiating Spiritual and Urban Space in Jiangbeicheng: Local History, Religion and the Making of Modern China. PI, Early Career Scheme Research Fund (ECS), 2018 – 2020.

        Making Religion, Making Local Society: A Social History of a Catholic Village in Northeast China. PI, General Research Fund (GRF), 2014 – 2017.

        Rethinking indigenization and Christianity in China: Alfred Marie Caubrière (1876 – 1948) and his private writings in early twentieth-century Manchuria. PI, Sin Wai-Kin Junior Fellowship, 2017 – 2019.


        Courses Offered

        SINO 1003

        Greater China: A Multi-disciplinary Introduction

        SINO 2001

        China in the World: from Sinology to China Studies

        SINO 2002

        China in the World: Critical Paradigms

        SINO 2004

        Research Skills for China Studies

        SINO 2013

        Women and Gender in Chinese History

        SINO 3001

        China Studies Research Project (Capstone)

        HIST 2151

        God, Guns, Sex: Religion, Revolution, and Gender in Late Imperial and Modern China

        HIST 2143

        Love and Loyalty: Women and Gender in Chinese History

        HIST 2114

        China and the Wider World since 1600

        Student Supervision in HKU

        Current Graduate Students and their projects

        • Chen Sixing, PhD student, “Vernacular Modernity: Cantonese Literature and Protestant Missionaries in Late Qing China” (primary supervisor, 2018 – present)
        • Semira Ali Bezabh, PhD student, “Made in Ethiopia: Chinese Investment in the Manufacturing Sector” (co-supervisor, 2018 – present)
        • Monica Chang, PhD student, “Ending an Empire: Ethnoracial Violence, Nationalism, and Otherization in the 1911 Revolution” (co-supervisor, 2019 – present)
        • Martin Tse, PhD student, “Imperial Centre, Ethnic Periphery: An ethnographic and textual study of the Daoist ordination rituals among the Lanten Yao in Laos” (co-supervisor, 2021 – present)

        Past Graduate Students and their projects

        • Ignatius Suglo, PhD 2022. “(De)constructing Africa: Knowledge Production and Circulation of Africa in Modern China” (primary supervisor, 2018 – 2022)
        • Zhou Chengyi, PhD 2022. “Know Her Name: History, Identity, and Onomastics of Manchu Women in the Qing Dynasty” (co-supervisor, 2018 – 2022)
        • Du Shichen, MPhil 2022. “Showcasing Manchuness, Looking for Authenticity: The Multifaceted Manchu Identity in Manchu Ethnic Tourism” (co-supervisor, 2020 – 2022)
        • Andrea Chen, PhD 2021. “The Ordos Bronze Crosses as Performative Aseemblages: Understanding the Materialization of Silk Road Material Cultures” (co-supervisor, 2019 – 2021)
        • Qiu Zichan, MPhil 2021. “Chinese Religion in Malaysia: Buddhifying Rituals and Reforming Customs in Sungai Chua New Village” (co-supervisor, 2018 – 2021)
        • Anna Iskra, PhD 2020. “Healing the National Through Self-Discovery: The Chinese New Age Milieu and the Politics of Emotion” (co-supervisor, 2019 – 2020)
        • Yu Haizhou, MPhil 2017. “Effectiveness-Risk Calculation Matters: Understanding University Students' Online Rights Activism in China” (co-supervisor, 2016 – 2017)