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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 use my research skills to address problems involving 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-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’s territory. I primarily study the historical roots of contemporary problems, and particularly the problems concerning the making, shifting, and lifting of boundaries and borders in Chinese society.


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

Honors & Awards

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


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
Yellow Peril Redux: America’s Cultural Responses to the Economic Rise of Japan and China (co-PI: Mathew Brown). CEAPS Title VI Award, 2018-2020
2012-2013 ACLS Fellowship, Research in Humanities in China Program (funded by NEH)
2009-2010 Law and Society in China, Focal Point Initiative Grant, UIUC Graduate College (Collaboration with Law faculty)
2006-2007 UIUC Research Board Grant


EALC 550/398 Law and Society in Chinese History
EALC 398 Yellow Peril Redux: From Coolies to Communism, Trade Wars and Coronavirus
EALC/GWS361 Gender and Women in East Asia
CHIN 409 Chinese Readings in Social Sciences: legal history
EALC 550 Gender and Women in Chinese History
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

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the expert's scholarly documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

Research Output

Remote Homeland, Recovered Borderland: Manchus, Manchoukuo, and Manchuria, 1907–1985

Shao, D., Aug 2011, University of Hawai'i Press. 448 p. (The World of East Asia)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

  • Chinese by Definition: Nationality Law, Jus Sanguinis, and State Succession, 1909-1980

    Shao, D., Nov 2009, In : Twentieth-Century China. 35, 1, p. 4-28

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Manchuria in Modern East Asia, 1600s–1949

    Shao, D., Oct 2017, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Asian History. Ludden, D. (ed.). Oxford University Press

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

  • Borders and Borderlands

    Shao, D., 2008, The Palgrave Dictionary of Transnational History. Iriye, A. & Saunier, P-Y. (eds.). Palgrave Macmillan, p. 99a-102b

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary