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Elizabeth E. Weber

  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Chinese

PhD, University of California, Los Angeles

402 Lattimore Hall
(585) 275-4251

Office Hours: Monday 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., and by appointment


Elizabeth Weber's research has focused on the nineteenth-century trade in Chinese labor to the Americas (the so-called "coolie trade") and the numerous layers of meaning that the violences concomitant to that trade created in popular discourse in late Qing China. She has studied the nascent "coolie trade vocabularies" and shifting worldviews that emerged in Sinitic-script news and official reportage in immediate response to the trade (and more generally to Qing China's changing geopolitical position), as well as analyzed the later redeployment of fictionalized "coolie" suffering in nationalist writings of the early twentieth century.

She holds an MA in East Asian Studies from Yale University (2008) and completed a PhD in Asian Languages and Cultures at UCLA (2015) with research support from a Fulbright-IIE fellowship (2012-2013). Prior to starting her position at the University of Rochester, she taught courses in Mandarin Chinese and modern Chinese literature at Pepperdine University in California.

Research Overview

Research Interests

  • Migration
  • race
  • labor
  • Asian American Studies
  • modern and late Qing Chinese literature
  • late Qing nationalism
  • late Qing history
  • international trade routes in the Age of Empire

Courses Offered (subject to change)

  • CHIN 101:  Elementary Chinese I
  • CHIN 102:  Elementary Chinese II
  • CHIN 113:  Introduction to Classical Chinese I
  • CHIN 116:  Introduction to Classical Chinese II
  • CHIN 214:  Dream of the Red Chamber
  • CHIN 216:  Writing Discontent: Political Turmoil, Social Critique and Civic Responsibility in Late Qing Literature
  • CHIN 217:  Writing Volatility and Processing Change: Literatures of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong in the 20th Century
  • CHIN 219:  Monsters, Ghosts, Fairies, & Gods: Encountering the Strange in Classical Literature
  • CHIN 221:  : Laborers, Sojourners, Immigrants: Chinese Journeys to the Americas in the 19th and 20th Centuries
  • CHIN 222:  Gender, Sexuality, and Desire in 20th c. Chinese Literature
  • CHIN 223:  Memory, Meaning, and Forging New Futures in Post-Mao Chinese Literature
  • CLTR 200:  Topics in Critical Thinking: Literary Representation of Labor and the Laborer

Selected Publications