Elizabeth J. Perry '69 DHL '04, the Henry Rosovsky Professor of Government at Harvard University, was recently elected vice president of the Association for Asian Studies, and is in line to automatically become president next following year.
While earning her bachelor's degree in political science, she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Gamma Mu, Little Theatre, the Herald, Canterbury Club, the Echo and Pine staff, and International Relations Club. She later earned a master's degree at the University of Washington and her doctorate, both in in poli sci, from the University of Michigan.
Perry's work has been in popular protest and grassroots politics in modern and contemporary China and she holds concurrent professorships at three Chinese universities.
A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, she sits on the editorial boards of nearly a dozen major scholarly journals.
She is the author or co-author of more than a dozen books, including “Rebels and Revolutionaries in North China, 1845-1945” (1980); “Urban Spaces in Contemporary China: The Potential for Autonomy and Community in Chinese Cities” (1995), “Chinese Society: Change, Conflict, and Resistance,” (2000), “Changing Meanings of Citizenship in Modern China,” (2002); “Patrolling the Revolution: Worker Militias, Citizenship and the Chinese State,” (2005); and “Grassroots Political Reform in Contemporary China (forthcoming).” A 1993 work, “Shanghai on Strike: the Politics of Chinese Labor,” received the John King Fairbank Prize from the American Historical Association.
The Warren Hunting Smith Library's collection of books about Asia was renamed in her honor in 2003. She received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the 2004 commencement ceremonies, and the William Smith Alumna Achievement Award in 2001.