I am a social and cultural historian of modern China and of China's participation in the modern world. I am particuarly interested in the history of China's role in the global regimes established to address problems of human displacement and forced migration. My recent research has centred on the history of refugee movements into and out of China and the refugee experience of ethnic Chinese populations in Southeast Asia.
My most recent book is China and the Overseas Chinese (London and New York: Routledge, 2012). As the title suggests, this book looks at a group of persons in the People's Republic who are known formally and collectively as "domestic overseas Chinese." The "domestic overseas Chinese" are made up of family members of emigrants, emigrants and their descendants who "returned" to China after 1949, and students who went to China after 1949 in order to pursue higher education. The book examines the construction of state policies toward domestic overseas Chinese and looks at their varied and often tumultuous, sometimes tragic experiences during the 1950s and 1960s, up to and including the Cultural Revolution. I recently embarked on a new SSHRC-funded research grant (2016-21) on China's participation in international efforts to resolve the problem of forced migration and refugees from the founding of the League of Nations and the International Labour Organization in 1919 to the present.
Members of the Indonesian Studies Society of Hong Kong, including Mr. Zhang Maorong (centre), translator of the original English-language version of the book, and Mr. Eddie Lembong (right), Chairman of the NABIL Foundation (Jakarta)
The author with Mr. Eddie Lembong, Chairman of the NABIL Foundation (Jakarta). The NABIL Foundation sponsored the publication of 中国人民共和国的归侨
Author signing book copies
Members of the Audience (below)
They are among the more than 200 Chinese scholars and students presently studying international relations in the U.S.
In attempting to "capture the feel" of the movement, and succeed mainly in drenching the story in a kind of soppy emotionalism whose images and language seem better suited to a soap opera. Maudlin expressions like "that magical night," "people shed their reticence like unwanted clothing" and the "shining new era of tolerance" permeate the text.
’s triumph is to illuminate an important historical period with the intricacies of the human psyche under siege. The novel paints a delicate portrait of the lives and personalities of seven individuals over a 20-year period from the so-called "hard" years of the early 1960s, through the Cultural Revolution and up to the early 1980s.
More Taishanese live abroad than in itself: there are 1.1 million Chinese worldwide who trace their ancestry to Taishan, but only 960,000 people in the county itself.
In her introduction, translator remarks that the Chinese western resembles the American western in significant respects and that, indeed, Chinese western writers have sought inspiration from American writers like James Fenimore Cooper, Willa Cather and Owen Wister. One obvious source of inspiration is the idea that the vast frontier offers freedom from official restrictions and the chance to flout authority.
A survey of main developments in world history from the early 20th century to the 1990s. Topics include international relations, the emergence and impact of major political ideologies, and the dynamics of social and economic change in the developed and developing world. Specific subjects include the imperialist world order at the beginning of the century; the First World War and its impact; the emergence of communism, fascism and National Socialism; the Second World War; the struggles for national self-assertion in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America; the Cold War and its impact on the Third World; the collapse of the Soviet empire, and the end of the Cold War. The course consists of two hours of lectures and one discussion group per week. Evaluations are based on written work, examinations and participation in class discussion.
This course explores changes in institutions and ideas in China from the late imperial period (circa 1600) to the present. Approaches are thematic, by periods, and by problems. This course is open to all students; no previous background in Chinese history is required or expected. Equivalency: ASIA 380.