Associate Professor


BA Barnard College, Columbia University; MIA, MA, MPhil, PhD Columbia University

Office: 10.45, Run Run Shaw Tower

Elizabeth LaCouture is interested in a broad range of topics related to the history of women, gender and sexuality in China and East Asia. Her research combines the local histories of Chinese places with the transregional migrations of Chinese and global commodities to illuminate the individual experiences of everyday life beyond the totalizing narratives of the nation-state. Methodologically she expands traditional understandings of “the archive” to include non-written texts, such as visual and material culture and architecture.

Before joining HKU, Dr. LaCouture taught history and East Asian studies at Colby College in the Unites States and was a research fellow in the Academy of Korean Studies funded Korean Family in Comparative Perspective research group at the University of Illinois. Her research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Fulbright-Hays US Department of Education.


Dr. LaCouture is completing her first book titled At Home in the World: Family, House and Home in Tianjin, China, 1860-1960 (under contract with Columbia University Press) which explores how the modern house and home became central to individual gender and class identities in twentieth-century Tianjin, China. Building on this research, she is also working on two comparative projects: First, she is writing an article that examines family social science and family planning policies in Cold War Taiwan and South Korea, and second, she is collaborating with other historians of gender and sexuality on a roundtable forum on comparative histories of domesticity.

Dr. LaCouture’s second research project will examine beauty and cosmetics in the Sinophone world.




“Translating Domesticity in Chinese History and Historiography”, The American Historical Review, Volume 124, Issue 4, October 2019

with Annelise Heinz, “Introduction to Roundtable on Unsettling Domesticities: New Histories of Home in Global Contexts,” The American Historical Review, Volume 124, Issue 4, October 2019

“Inventing the ‘Foreignized’ Chinese Carpet in Treaty-port Tianjin, China”, Journal of Design History, February 2017

“Tianjin’s Western-Style Chinese Villa”, China Heritage Quarterly No. 21, March 2010


Dwelling in the World. Family, House, and Home in Tianjin, China, 1860-1960.

Columbia University Press

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