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En Li

Assistant Professor of History
Office Location: 221 Meredith Hall

En Li (Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis, 2015) has been working on a book project entitled “Betting on Empire: A Socio-Cultural Study of Gambling in Late-Qing China.” This study uses the practice and licensing of lottery gambling, to investigate social, intellectual, and geo-political changes in the transitional period of nineteenth-century China and its overseas communities.

At Drake University, Li will be offering a series of survey courses and seminars on East Asia, including “Imperial China,” “Modern China,” “Modern Japan,” and “A Cultural History of Games and Gambling.” Li’s curiosity about how people lived the past inspired her approach of teaching history. Individual life is brief and limited. Reading history across eras and cultures enriches people’s life experiences. Li believes every student can obtain something meaningful from a history class to deepen their understanding of the current world.

Building on but diverging from her current research, Li’s next project continues her interests in material culture and diaspora. She hopes to explore how food and food-related prints restructured migrants’ daily lives across cultures and remade the world order. Being born and raised in Canton China, and dancing hula in Midwestern U.S. for the past decade, Li hopes to connect to her ancestors in both scholarship and life journey.

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