Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Hong Kong
Liping Wang earned a Ph.D. degree in Sociology from the University of Chicago. Her dissertation, Ethnicizing the Frontier: Imperial Transformation and Ethnic Confrontations in China-Inner Mongolia, 1890s-1930s, was finished in 2013. It examines forms and causes of Mongol-Han confrontation in Inner Mongolia during the Chinese imperial transition. In it she questions general theories of empire to nation transition in an historical examination of the Chinese case. Her alternative approach focuses on the maintenance and dissolution of the relations that sustained crosscutting identities on the frontier. She is now turning her dissertation into a book manuscript. In addition to that, she has been working on transnational movement of knowledge in modern academic disciplines, the indigenization of that knowledge, and, most especially on the creation of a knowledge regime dealing with ethnicity in Republican China (1912- 1949). She is now embarking on a project that compares patterns of luxury trade binding various frontiers to the Chinese imperial center in the 17th century. Her future research includes a comparative study of how elites mediated minority politics under the Qing and how they do so in contemporary China. These studies uncover path dependence that links contemporary Chinese society to its imperial legacies and the dramatic transformations it underwent throughout the long twentieth century. Her research has been published in The American Journal of Sociology (forthcoming), Comparative Studies in Society and History, and The Annals: The American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. Before joining the Harper Fellows, she taught Foundations in Social Theory at Haverford College (2013-14).