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Fairfield University Professor Awarded Hong Kong Book Prize

Danke Li
Danke Li Photo Credit: Contributed

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield University history professor Danke Li, of Scarsdale, N.Y., has been awarded the most prestigious prize for books in Hong Kong.

Li was awarded the 2014 Hong Kong Book Prize for her most recent work, “Women, War and Memory: 35 Chongqing Women’s Experiences During China’s War of Resistance Against Japan.”

Li’s book, published by The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press in 2013, centers on Chongqing in 1937, when it became the wartime capital of the Nationalist government and the political center of China.

Women living in the area at the time came to understand that they were living in a war zone, with air-raid sirens, crowded shelters, orphans and refugees in the streets and rising prices. Li met with more than 50 Chinese women who were Chongqing residents in wartime, and interviewed them about their experiences.

“Dr. Li’s well-researched scholarly work is a fascinating glimpse inside the human toll of wartime,” said professor James Simon, dean of the Fairfield University College of Arts and Sciences. “While it is focused on the war between China and Japan, its message is universal.”

Li said, “Conducting the research for the book was an eye-opening and humbling experience. My hope is for the book to give greater public voice to ordinary women and recognition of the extraordinary impact they have on history.”

Li has a bachelor’s degree in Chinese history, from Sichuan University in the People’s Republic of China. She also earned a master’s degree in ancient Greek and Roman history from Michigan State University, and a doctorate in modern Chinese history from the University of Michigan.

Her career at Fairfield University began in 2000, when she started as an assistant professor. She became an associate professor with tenure in 2005 and a professor in 2013.

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