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Personal profile

Research Interests

legal history,  nationality law, cultures of law, gender studies, gender and law, medical history of ethics and law, borderland studies, ethnic groups in China, U.S.-East Asia relationship, Sino-Japanese relationship

Professional Information

As a historian, I primarily study the historical roots of contemporary problems, and particularly problems concerning the making, shifting, and lifting of boundaries and borders in Chinese society. I pay special attention to peoples and places on the margins, intending to enrich our understanding of China as a historical concept and to bridge the gap between Asia-based and Europe/U.S.-based studies on common problems about social boundaries and legal borders. I have endeavored to cross the historical marks that conventionally distinguish “modern” from “pre-modern” and to traverse the existing national borders that define China.


PhD, History Department, University of California Santa Barbara
LLM, College of Law, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Honors & Awards

2012-2016 Conrad Humanities Scholar Award
2013-2014 CAS Resident Associate
2011-2012 IPRH Fellowship, UIUC
2009-2010 Beckman Fellowship, Center for Advanced Studies, UIUC
2003-2004 An-Wang postdoctoral fellowship, Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, Harvard University



IPRH Research Cluster 2019-2020
2012-2015 Andrew Mellon New Directions Fellowship
INTERSECT collaborative grant 2012-2014: Cultures of Law in Global Contexts
INTERSECT-Cultures of Law 2014-2016
CEAPS Title VI Award, 2018-2020. Yellow Peril Redux: America’s Cultural Responses to the Economic Rise of Japan and China (co-PI: Mathew Brown).
2012-2013 ACLS Fellowship, Research in Humanities in China Program (funded by NEH)
Focal Point Initiative Grant, 2009-2010 Law and Society in China, UIUC Graduate College (Collaboration with Law faculty)
2006-2007 UIUC Research Board Grant


EALC 550/398 Cultures of Law in China
EALC 398 Yellow Peril Redux: From Coolies to Cars, Trade Wars and Coronavirus
EALC/GWS361 Gender and Women in East Asia
CHIN 409 Chinese Readings in Social Sciences: Cultures of Law
EALC 550 Gender and Women in China
EALC/HIST120 East Asian Civilization
EALC 550 History of China's Borderlands
EALC 398 Sino-Japanese Relationship

Office Address

East Asian Languages and Cultures
2090A Foreign Language Building
707 South Mathews
Urbana, Illinois 61801

Work in Progress

Book Projects:
"Bloodline and Borderline: Jus Sanguinis, Chinese Nationality Law, and State Succession, 1909-1997"
“State’s Rules and Doctors’ Roles: Chinese Female Obstetricians in the Early PRC”

Collaborative Research Projects:
“Cross-cultural Understanding of Power Harassment: Title VII and Title IX, Awareness and Actions”, with co-PIs: Colleen Murphy (Law and WGGP) and Nicole Allen (Psychology)

“Yellow Peril Redux: American Cultural Responses to Economic Rise of Japan and China,”
with Mathew Brown (UIS, Business Management)

Course Development Projects:
Yellow Peril Redux: From Coolies to Cars, Trade Wars, and Coronavirus
Gender and Women in East Asia


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