Arranged marriages and love during the Qing Dynasty in China will be the focus of the next Modern China Lecture at Cal State San Bernardino.

“Building the Marital Bond in Qing Dynasty China (1644-1911)” will be presented by Weijing Lu, an associate professor from UC San Diego, at noon May 17 in CSUSB’s John M. Pfau Library, room PL-4005.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Parking at CSUSB is $6.

It is typically thought that love and arranged marriage are incompatible. Personal writings of men and women from the Qing Dynasty, however, show the assertion is deeply flawed.

Lu’s talk will examine the following aspects of married life during the Qing Dynasty:

  • What was the role that love played in arranged marriage?
  • How did husband and wife express their feelings in private and public?
  • How did they forge relationship between them? How was that process shaped by gender values, cultural norms, and social and economic conditions under which they lived?
  • How was love critiqued in moral discourses on marriage and represented in literary traditions?

Centered on these questions, the presentation will explore the rich sources married couples left behind about their own lives, including biographies, poems and memories, to discuss the ideas and practices of marriage and the process of building the marital bond in the context of the patriarchal family system.

Weijing Lu is an associate professor of history at the University of California, San Diego. She is the author of “True to Her Word: The Faithful Maiden Cult in Late Imperial China” (Stanford 2008, winner of Berkshire Conference of Women Historians 2008 First Book Prize) and guest editor of a special issue on China for the Journal of the History of Sexuality (May 2013). Her research focuses on late imperial gender, social and cultural history. She is currently completing a book, “Marriage and Intimacy in Qing Dynasty China.”

The Modern China Lecture Series was initiated to promote awareness of important issues related to China for those on the CSUSB campus and in the community. In the series of more than 40 lectures, workshops, film screenings and roundtable forums since January 2014, China scholars from UC San Diego, UC Riverside, the Claremont Colleges, UCLA, USC, UC Irvine and other institutions have visited the CSUSB campus to share their expertise and opinions.

Speakers in the series have included specialists in history, economics, political science, philosophy, finance, security studies, literature, anthropology and other fields.

For more information on the May 17 event or the Modern China Lecture Series, contact Jeremy Murray, associate professor of history, at

For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Strategic Communication at (909) 537-5007 and visit