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Elizabeth Jean Perry '69

Asian Studies Expert, Henry Rosovsky Professor of Government at Harvard University

After graduation, Perry spent three months in Taiwan in intensive Chinese language study and then participated in a ten-week program in advanced Chinese at Middlebury College. She completed her masters and doctoral degrees in the ensuing eight years, briefly teaching in the political science department at the University of Arizona from 1977-1978. In 1978 she joined the faculty at the University of Washington's School of International Studies, becoming an associate professor in 1982 and a full professor four years later.

From 1979-1980, Perry spent a year in China on the National Exchange Program sponsored by the Committee for Scholarly Communication. Based at Nanjing University, she conducted research on mid-nineteenth century peasant uprisings and was given the opportunity to travel to many remote villages that are normally off-limits to foreigners.

She spent a year as visiting professor at Harvard University in 1982-83, where she taught courses on contemporary Chinese politics. In 1990 she accepted the opportunity to be visiting professor at the National Taiwan University.

When she came back to the U.S., she was hired as a professor in the department of political science at the University of California at Berkeley. She moved in 1997 to Harvard University, where she currently teaches political science. She was recently awarded tenure.

Perry is an accomplished author, having published 14 books, including Rebels and Revolutionaries in North China (1980) and Shanghai on Strike (1993). She has also been a Walter Channing Cabot fellow (1999-2000), a John Simon Guggenheim fellow (1994-1995), a Duke University Nichol Distinguished Speaker (1998), the recipient of the John K. Fairbank Prize of the American Historical Association for the best book in East Asian history (1993), and received the International Labor History Association's "Book of the Year" award (1993). From 1999-2002, she served as Director of Harvard's Fairbank Center for East Asian Research. Perry is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

She resides in Cambridge, Mass.

 

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Elizabeth Jean Perry
William Smith Class of 1969

Contribution: Asian Studies Expert, Henry Rosovsky Professor of Government at Harvard University

College Activities: Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Gamma Mu, Little Theatre, the Herald, Canterbury Club, the Echo and Pine, Secretary of the International Relations Club

Other Education: University of Washington (Political Science, M.A., 1971), University of Michigan (Political Science, Ph.D., 1978)


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