Soochow Redux: The Many Lives of Soochow Law School
Professor Alison Conner
Date: June 12, 2019 (Wednesday)
Time: 1:30pm – 2:30pm
Venue: A723, 7/F, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
Abstract： Soochow Law School, which was founded by Americans in Shanghai in 1915, was one of the most famous Chinese law schools during the 1930s and 1940s. Known as The Comparative Law School of China, it trained many of the country’s best lawyers, law drafters and academics before it was closed during the 1952-53 “reorganization” of higher education. But Soochow graduates in Taipei worked to reestablish their school and the university in Taipei, and, in 1954, they succeeded in gaining approval for the Soochow University College of Law. This presentation will discuss Soochow’s history in Taiwan: how did a renowned Shanghai institution become the first private university and one of the earliest law schools in Taiwan? How do Soochow people view their history in Shanghai (and is it really their history)? More recently, as people in China have rediscovered the histories of universities closed or restructured in 1952, they have also tried to restore a part of their school’s history—or possibly claim another institution’s past. Has Soochow also been refounded in China?
About the speaker: Alison Conner is Professor of Law and a Carlsmith Ball Faculty Scholar at the William S Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai`i/Mānoa. She earned her PhD in Chinese history at Cornell University and her JD at Harvard Law School. Her research interests include comparative law, Chinese legal history, and the depiction of law in Chinese film, which she first became interested in when she taught at the University of Hong Kong in the 1980s and 1990s. Recent articles include “Courtroom Drama, Chinese Style,” 17 Journal of Comparative Law 437 (2017); “Law and Justice in Evening Rain,” 47 Hong Kong Law Journal 615 (2017); and “Shanghai Calling: Law and Happiness in Another China,” 18 Journal of Comparative Law (2018). She has also written about Soochow Law School in Shanghai.
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