About me

I am a historian of early modern and modern China and Hong Kong interested in interactions between peoples with different political, socioeconomic, and cultural orientations. Geographically, I look at the maritime and river world as well as frontiers and borderlands. Thematically, I examine empires and colonialism, race and ethnicity, and the impact of war on society. I am revising my dissertation into a monograph entitled “The Opium War and China’s Littoral Borderlands,” in which I will reveal a littoral world that offers a new understanding of the nature and legacy of the Opium War (1839-42). It will explain how the clashes between the Qing’s sea frontier and the British littoral frontier in wartime ushered in a new era of the Chinese junk trade, piracy, and Chinese assistance to foreigners along the coast and rivers within China and beyond. My next book project is a history of representations of the people living on China’s watery fringes from the late Qing to the early communist period. I have edited an interdisciplinary volume on the intertwined histories of Hong Kong, modern China, and the British Empire. My articles have appeared in Frontiers of History in China, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Branch, and Saksaha: A Review of Manchu Studies. I possess reading ability in Manchu, an official language of Qing-dynasty China.

I earned my PhD in Oriental Studies from the University of Oxford and am currently the Kent Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History, University of Saskatchewan. I held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute of Research, University of London and visiting positions at the University of Cambridge, the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the Center for Chinese Studies in Taiwan. For the past decade I have worked at archives and libraries in Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Britain, and North America, including the National Archives and the British Library in London, the First Historical Archives of China in Beijing, the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., and the National Central Library in Taipei.

In spring 2019 I taught the survey course “Modern China from the Qing Dynasty to the Present” as a Sessional Lecturer in the Department of History, University of Saskatchewan. I previously taught modern and contemporary China, modern Japan, and European history and civilization at the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Hong Kong.

Email: gary.luk@usask.ca

(Last update: June 12, 2019)

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