HESS Christian

Assistant Professor
Chinese History
B.A., University of California, Davis
M.A., Ph.D., University of California, San Diego


My main area of specialization is modern Chinese history, with particular interests in urban history, Japanese imperialism and colonialism in China, and the regional history of Northeast China under Chinese, Japanese, and Russian regimes. My current book project examines the history of the port city of Dalian (Japanese Dairen). As one of the largest and most modern ports in Northeast Asia, Dalian was a crucial part of a contested region fought for by Russian, Japanese, and Chinese powers from 1895 to 1950. Running through my study is transnational narrative that highlights the diverse cast of political and economic powers at play in the city and the important similarities and differences in their respective projects to control it. My second project, funded by an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) International Network grant, is a theme-driven exploration of comparative urban history in East Asia. At Sophia I teach a wide range of courses on Chinese History and China and East Asia in a comparative framework.


• 'Revolutionary Real Estate: Envisioning Space in Communist Dalian' in J. Cook, J. Goldstein and S.Schmalzer ed.,Visualizing China (Rowman and Littlefield, forthcoming 2012)
• 'From Colonial Port to Socialist Metropolis: War, Imperialism, and the Making of New Dalian' Urban History volume 38, issue 3 (December 2011): 373-390.

• 'The Rise of the Chinese Communist Party: Myths and Misconceptions' in Naomi Standen, ed., Demystifying China: New Understandings of Chinese History (Rowman and Littlefield, in press, 2012)

• 'Sulian ren zai Lüshun he Dalian de huodong, 1945-1955' (Soviet activity in Lüshun and Dalian, 1945-1955), in Shen Zhihua and Douglas A. Stiffler, ed. Cuiruo de lianmeng: lengzhang yu ZhongSu guanxi yanjiu (A fragile alliance: The Cold War and Sino-Soviet Relations) (Shanghai: Shehui kexue chubanshe, 2010)

• 'The Use of History in Chinese International Relations' in Shaun Breslin, ed., Handbook of China's International Relations (London: Routledge, July 2010)
• 'Big Brother is Watching: Local Sino-Soviet Relations and the Building of New Dalian, 1945-1955' in Jeremy Brown and Paul G. Pickowicz ed. Dilemmas of Victory: The Early Years of the People's Republic of China (Harvard University Press, 2007)



Office Hours (Spring):
Tues, Fri 1:30-2:30 or by appointment
Office Hours (Autumn):
Tues, Fri 1:30-2:30 or by appointment