Assistant Professor, HKIHSS, China Studies, Faculty of Arts, HKU | profile link
I am a historian of China jointly at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (HKIHSS) and School of Modern Languages and Cultures (China Studies), The University of Hong Kong. Born and grew up in Chongqing, a mega city on upper Yangtse River of southwest China, I received trainings in history in three cities of three different countries: Beijing, China (B.A. and M.A. at Peking University); Ann Arbor, USA (Ph.D. at The University of Michigan); and Paris, France (Chateaubriand Scholar at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales). My research interests center on the social and religious history of late imperial and modern China in a global context, with a particular emphasis on the history of Christianity, religion and local society, women and gender, and cross-cultural studies between China and the West. My first book, God’s Little Daughters: Catholic Women in Nineteenth-Century Manchuria (The University of Washington Press, 2015), examines how the French Catholic missions disseminated the Christian message in northeast China, and how the Chinese coverts, especially women, interpreted and transformed the Catholic faith to articulate an awareness of self. I am currently finishing my second book on a multi-generational Chinese Catholic village. Relying on both French and Chinese sources, especially a fascinating personal archive of a French Catholic missionary who has lived in the village for twenty-seven years, my new book seeks to illuminate a set of issues on religious immigrants, place making and local society, identity construction, and everyday survival in a chaotic age. In recent years, I expanded my research scope to include southwest China. In my current project “Negotiating spiritual and urban space in Jiangbeicheng: local History, religion and the making of modern China”, I am examining the intricate relationship between religion and urban space by focusing on the local history and changing religious landscape of Jiangbeicheng, a river town of Chongqing, during different historical periods to the present. The changing cityscape of Jiangbeicheng provides a concrete means of understanding the role of religious competition in the historical process of building urban China. It offers a micro-historical perspective of how local experience is shaped by and fits into changing political discourses on religion, society and urban development in modern China. My most recent project “Christianity on the Move: Routes and Religious Mobility in Late Imperial and Modern China from 1750s to 1950s” synthesizes my research experiences of case studies on different regions of China and attempts to articulate my theoretical reflection on religious circulation and rationalization of space in Chinese history. This project will be my contribution to the BRINFAITH project.