Interview with Shelly Chan

Portrait of Shelly Chan

Introductions: A Transnational Approach to Chinese History & Diaspora Studies

In Episode 2 of our Introductory Series, Galen Poor and Evan Wells speak with Shelly Chan, associate professor of History at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. As a specialist in modern and global China (not to mention the director of UW’s Center for East Asian Studies), Chan’s previous and current work delves deep into history of Chinese emigres across the South China Sea and beyond. From this perspective on diaspora studies, Chan gives her answer to our question “What is transnational history.” Listen in as she shares what drew her to study diaspora history and what a transnational perspective adds to historical studies.

Want to learn more about Chinese diaspora history? Check out Chan’s recent book, Diaspora’s Homeland: Modern China in the Age of Global Migration, which explores how mass migration of Chinese in the 20th century transformed China’s economy and culture while also helping to establish China as a nation-state in a global system.

Stream or download our conversation here.

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