The Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of History Department of History
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B.A. (University of Hong Kong); Ph D (Princeton University)
Director of CUHK-SYSU Centre for Historical Anthropology;
Wei Lun Research Professor of History, CUHK


Address: Room 110, Fung King Hey Building, CUHK, NT, Hong Kong
Phone: (852) 3943 7133

I think I am interested in social history. That means I am interested in custom, but I am not really interested in the history of customs. I am also interested in life style, but the social history I want to write is not the history of lifestyles. I guess I am interested in social structure, not the social structure created by historians, but the social structure which the people I am interested in identify with. I believe people can only surpass the limits imposed by the structure they identify with by understanding it. Yes, I think we read history to contribute to a better life.

Research Specializations and Interests

  1. The history of the lineage in south China
  2. Chinese business history
  3. The history of Hong Kong
  4. Local history in China

Research Projects

  1. I have been working on the history of various places in Shanxi province, Jiangnan and the West River, and am still continuing with business history.

Course Offered

  1. State and Society in the Pearl River Delta, 1368-1911
  2. Commerce and Society in China, 1368-2000
  3. Economy and Society in China from 1500

Selected Publications

  1. Emperor and Ancestor: State and Lineage in South China, Standford: Standford University Press 2007.
  2. China and Capitalism, A History of Business Enterprise in Modern China, Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press 2006.
  3. "La solution lignagere: la revolution rituelle du xviesiecle et 1 tat imperial chinois," Annales, Histoire, Sciences, Sociales 2006, 61:6, pp. 1291-1316.
  4. "The Yao Wars in the mid-Ming and their impact on Yao ethnicity," in Pamela Kyle Crossley, Helen Siu and Donald Sutton, eds. Empire at the Margins: Culture, Ethnicity and Frontier in Early Modern China, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006, pp. 171-189.
  5. 人類學與中國近代社會史:影響與前景,東吳歷史學報,14, 2005, 頁 21-36.
  6. "The common people in Hong Kong history: their livelihood and aspirations unitl the 1930s," in Lee Pui-tak, ed. Colonial Hong Kong and Modern China, Interaction and Reintegration, Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2005, pp. 9-37.
  7. "Between house and home, the family in south China," in Ronald G. Knapp and Kai-yin Lo, eds. House Home and Family: Living and Being Chinese, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2005.
  8. “The local official in commercial litigation in early nineteenth-century China,” University of Tokyo Journal of Law and Politics, 2004, vol. 1, pp. 144-155.
  9. 《告別華南研究》,華南研究會編:《學步與超越﹕華南研究論文集》﹐香港﹕文化創造出版社﹐2004﹐頁9-30。
  10. A Documentary History of Hong Kong, vols. 2 Society and 3 Economy, (volume 3 co-edited with Pui-tak Lee), Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 1997 and 2004.
  11. Colonialism and the Hong Kong Mentality, Hong Kong: Centre of Asian Studies, University of Hong Kong, 2003.
  12. “The original translocal society and its modern fate: historical and post-reform south China,” (with Helen Siu) Provincial China 8:1, 2003, pp. 40-59.
  13. 《祠堂與家廟: 從宋末到明中葉宗族禮儀的演變》,《歷史人類學學報》,1:2, 2003, 頁 1-20。
  14. “The Heaven and Earth Society in the nineteenth century: an interpretation,” in Kwang-ching Liu and Richard Shek, eds. Heterodoxy in Late Imperial China, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2004, pp. 365-392.