Recent Alumni Spotlight
Teng Li (PhD 2019)
Teng Li, whose 2019 dissertation is on “Judiciary at the Crossroads: Property Laws and Courts in Post-World War II Taiwan and Manchuria, 1945–1953,” will be our second CHABRAJA POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW in PUBLIC SERVICE working at the American Bar Foundation on a project called “Mapping Chinese Courts, 1906-Present.” Teng used her research in Chinese legal history to design this project. Historians treat the appearance of courts as an important measure of modernization of societies and of state-building processes. In China, courts were products of legal reforms in the early twentieth-century but there were many different reforms in different parts of the country then. This project extracts data from gazetteers on the creation and duration of local courts, and translates the data into digital maps. The maps will visualize the growth of local courts across China. This tool will invite historians, sociologists, and legal scholars to explore the different ways that courts matter and the range of possibilities in a single country. One question she is pursuing is the relationship between modern courts and the trajectory of other legal developments in China.