Christopher R. Leighton

Associate Professor of History


B.A. Harvard College, 2002
A.M. Harvard University, 2002
Ph.D. Harvard University, 2010

Christopher Leighton studies modern China, with particular focus on business, culture, urban history, and the Chinese Communist Party. His dissertation, now under revision for publication, explores the fate of businessmen in the early People’s Republic of China, and shows that, paradoxically, they became integral parts of the nascent socialist system as “red capitalists” in the 1950s, an unrecognized legacy that provided the political and cultural precedent that facilitated China’s transition back to capitalism in the 1980s.

He received his Ph.D. (2010) in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard University. He teaches introductions to Traditional China (21H.151) and Modern China (21H.152), an elective seminar on Shanghai history (21H.351/11.153), and co-teaches an introductory course on comparative revolutions (21H.001).

"Long live the Chinese Republic," c. 1915