About me

Receiving my doctorate from the University of Oxford, I am the Elizabeth and Cecil Kent Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History, University of Saskatchewan. In 2016-17, I was the Economic History Society Tawney Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London; an affiliated researcher in Chinese studies and a Wolfson College research associate at the University of Cambridge; and a visiting scholar at the Center for Chinese Studies in Taiwan. I am a historian of early modern and modern China, with particular attention to the maritime and river world, empires and colonialism, frontiers and borderlands, and race and ethnicity. Growing up in Hong Kong and possessing a reading knowledge of Manchu, an official language of Qing-dynasty China, I have also published work in Hong Kong studies and Manchu studies.

I am completing my research monograph entitled “Invisibles across the Shores: The Opium War and the Transition of Late Imperial China’s Littorals,” which offers a new interpretation of the first Opium War (1839-42) by revealing the missing links between the Qing-British military clashes and the society of China’s littorals—the liminal areas straddling the shorelines overshadowed by the emphasis on the postwar “treaty ports” and the rural-urban divide. Through exploring the cross-shore ventures (junk trade, piracy, convoying, opium smuggling, and provisioning) of the Chinese people in the overlapping and interstitial spaces between the Qing and British empires, the book explains both the immediate and long-term impact of the Opium War on China’s coastal and river regions at local, regional, empirewide, and transnational levels.

Email: gary.luk@usask.ca

(Last update: April 24, 2018)