Teng Li

Visiting Instructor, History

Teng LiTeng Li is a historian specializing in East Asia and global law. After receiving her Ph.D. and J.D., she held a postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University. Teng’s research interests include empire, war and revolution, and law shaped by conflicts. Her dissertation studied the legal profession in two former Japanese colonies after World War II. She is revising the project toward a book manuscript, depicting different trajectories of legal and state building processes in postcolonial Asia. She has also launched a public history project that maps the growth of courts across China through the twentieth century. Before joining academia, Teng received formal legal training in China and the United States and practiced law for three years. That experience has made her appreciate the importance of translating scholarship into knowledge that students find relevant in this world. She looks forward to bringing historical context to help students understand contemporary social, political, and economic issues in East Asia. Because of her focus on modern history and law, she is partial to Faulkner’s line about the past and welcomes any talk to pull her to “[t]he past is a foreign country” side.