Leo K. Shin

Short Curriculum Vitae

Brief biography


  • Associate Professor, University of British Columbia (2008–)
  • Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia (2001–2008)
  • Assistant Professor, Simon Fraser University (1999–2001)
  • Instructor, Simon Fraser University (1996–99)
  • Lecturer and Mellon Fellow, Columbia University (1995–96)
  • Education and Political Reporter, Hongkong Standard (1989-90)


  • Ph.D., East Asian Studies, Princeton University (1999)
  • A.B., Chemistry (cum laude), Princeton University (1989)

Research Interests

  • Imperial and modern China
  • Texts and textual transmission
  • "China" and "Chineseness"
  • Borderlands and boundaries
  • Historiography and methodology
  • Comparative early modern societies
  • Culture and society of Hong Kong

    Please see Research page for further information.

Work in Progress

Recollecting a Chinese Hero: The Lives of Yue Fei (1103–42)

The Story of the Story of Hong Kong


The Making of the Chinese State: Ethnicity and Expansion on the Ming Borderlands (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006).

Editor, Dang dai xi fang Han xue yan jiu ji cui: Zhong gu shi juan 當代西方漢學研究集萃·中古史卷 [Selected contemporary Western scholarship on Chinese studies: The Mid-Ancient Period]. Shanghai: Shanghai gu ji chu ban she 上海古籍出版社, 2012.

Articles/Book Chapters

"The Han-ness of Ming China." In The Ming World external link icon, ed. Kenneth M. Swope. Routledge (forthcoming).

"Re-Collecting Yue Fei: Yue Ke, Jintuo cui bian, and the Making of a Chinese Hero." In Representing Lives in China: Forms of Biography in the Ming–Qing Period 1368–1911 external link icon, ed. Ihor Pidhainy, Roger Des Forges, and Grace S. Fong, 229–51. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University East Asia Program, 2018.

"The 'National Question' and the Stories of Hong Kong." In Hong Kong Culture and Society in the New Millennium: Hong Kong as Method external link icon, edited by Stephen Yiu-wai Chu, 129–48. Singapore: Springer, 2017.

"Qian yan pdf icon" 前言 [Introduction]. In Dang dai xi fang Han xue yan jiu ji cui: Zhong gu shi juan 當代西方漢學研究集萃·中古史卷 [Selected contemporary Western scholarship on Chinese studies: The Mid-Ancient Period], 1–14. Shanghai: Shanghai gu ji chu ban she, 2012.

"Thinking about 'Non-Chinese' in Ming China pdf icon." In Antiquarianism and Intellectual Life in Europe and China, 1500–1800 external link icon, ed. Peter Miller and François Louis, 289–309. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2012.

"The Nation and Its Logic in Early-Twentieth-Century China pdf icon." In Journal of the Canadian Historical Association external link icon (digital edition) 18.2 (2007 [published in 2008]): 104–22.

"Ming China and Its Border with Annam pdf icon." In The Chinese State at the Borders external link icon, ed. Diana Lary, 91–104. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2007.

"The Last Campaigns of Wang Yangming pdf icon." T'oung Pao external link icon 92.1–3 (2006): 101–28.

"Chinese Urbanization pdf icon." In Encyclopedia of Social History external link icon, ed. Peter Stearns, 169–70. New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1994.


Review of The Art of Being Governed: Everyday Politics in Late Imperial China external link icon, by Michael Szonyi (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017). In The Journal of Asian Studies external link icon 78.1 (2019): 182–184.

Review of Kong miao cong si yu xiang yue external link icon 孔廟從祀與鄉約 (Confucian canonization and the community compact), by Zhong Honglin [Chu Hung-lam] 朱鴻林 (Beijing: Sanlian shudian, 2015). In Ming Studies external link icon 77 (2018): 62–65.

Review of Ming China and Vietnam: Negotiating Borders in Early Modern Asia external link icon, by Kathlene Baldanza (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016). The American Historical Review external link icon 122.4 (2017): 1196–97.

Review of The Han: China’s Diverse Majority external link icon, by Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2015). In Anthropos external link icon 111.2 (2016): 710.

Review of The Blacks of Premodern China pdf icon, by Don J. Wyatt (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009). Ming Studies external link icon 69 (2014): 60–62.

Review of The Mandate of Heaven and the Great Ming Code pdf icon, by Jiang Yonglin (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 2010). Journal of Chinese Religions external link icon 40.1 (2013): 108–110.

Review of Speaking to History: The Story of King Goujian in Twentieth-Century China pdf icon, by Paul A. Cohen. China Information external link icon 23.3 (2009): 507–508.

Review of Reconfiguring Chinese Nationalism: How the Qing Frontier and Its Indigenes Became Chinese pdf icon, by James Leibold. China Information external link icon 22.3 (2008): 500–502.

Review of Unbounded Loyalty: Frontier Crossings in Liao China pdf icon, by Naomi Standen. The International History Review external link icon 29.4 (2007): 848–50.

Review of Cultural Centrality and Political Change in Chinese History: Northeast Henan in the Fall of the Ming pdf icon, by Roger Des Forges. Canadian Journal of History external link icon 39.2 (2004): 412–14.

Review of 1421: The Year China Discovered the World, by Galvin Menzies. The Dalhousie Review external link icon 84.2 (2004): 319–21.

Review of Blood and History in China: The Donglin Factions and Its Repression pdf icon, by John W. Dardess. Pacific Affairs external link icon 76.2 (2003): 291–92.

Review of Xu Xiake (1587–1641): The Art of Travel Writing pdf icon, by Julian Ward. Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient external link icon 46.2 (2003): 247–48.

Review of The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China pdf icon, by Timothy Brook. Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient external link icon 43.2 (2000): 213–15.

Review of Beyond the Neon Lights: Everyday Shanghai in the Early Twentieth Century pdf icon, by Hanchao Lu. Canadian Journal of History external link icon 35.3 (2000): 614–16.

Review of Soulstealers: the Chinese Sorcery Scare of 1768, by Philip Kuhn. Xin shi xue 新史學 external link icon [New History] (Taipei) 3.4 (1992): 161–67.


"Can Carrie Lam heal a deeply divided Hong Kong? external link icon" Vancouver Sun, 24 April 2017.

"Hong Kongers 'At Odds Over Tactics, Not Goals' of Pro-Democracy Protests external link icon." Deutsche Welle, 26 November 2014.

"Radical Actions May Undermine Public Support for HK Protests external link icon." Deutsche Welle, 3 October 2014. .

"He Did His Best external link icon." Sing Tao Daily 星島日報 (Vancouver), 29 January 2013.

"愛國未必無罪 external link icon" [It may not be innocent to love one’s country]. Sing Tao Daily, 16 October 2012.

"「集體回憶」與「核心價值」 external link icon" ["Collective memory" and "core values"]. Sing Tao Daily, 15 May 2012.

"從胡適到柴玲 external link icon" [From Hu Shi to Chai Ling]. Sing Tao Daily, 13 March 2012.

"還要紀念辛亥嗎?external link icon" [Should we still commemorate the Xin hai revolution?]. Sing Tao Daily, 15 November 2011.

"大災過後 external link icon" [In the wake of the disasters]. Sing Tao Daily, 29 March 2011.

"再見,南丫島 external link icon" [Goodbye, Lamma Island]. Sing Tao Daily, 14 December 2010.

"課內課外話北美漢學——加拿大單國鉞教授訪談錄 pdf icon" [Discussion of Sinology in North America—a conversation with Professor Leo Shin], by Li Huiling 李會玲. Wuhan da xue xue bao external link icon 武漢大學學報(人文科學版)[Journal of Wuhan University (Humanistic Sciences)] 63.6 (2010): 659–65.

"「大歷史」與「小歷史」external link icon" ["Macro history" and "micro history"]. Sing Tao Daily, 17 August 2010.

"卑大中國研究之始 external link icon" [The beginning of China studies at UBC]. Sing Tao Daily, 23 March 2010.

"講授中國歷史的挑戰 external link icon" [The challenges of teaching Chinese history]. Sing Tao Daily, 24 November 2009.

"史學與道德 external link icon" [Historical studies and ethics]. Sing Tao Daily, 23 June 2009.

Grants and Awards

  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada) Standard Research Grant (2008–11)
  • Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange Research Grant (2007–09)
  • President's Research Grant, Simon Fraser University (1999)
  • Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship, Society of Fellows in the Humanities, Columbia University (1995–97)
  • Young Scholar's Fellowship, China Times Cultural Foundation (1994–95)
  • Dissertation Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS)/Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation (1993–94)
  • Marjory Chadwick Buchanan Senior Thesis Prize, East Asian Studies, Princeton University (1989)
    Thesis title: "Alchemy in Elizabethan England and Late Ming China"