Chen, Zhongping

Associate Professor


Phone number: (250) 721-7404
Department: History

Research description:

-Socioeconomic history of late imperial China
-Sociopolitical history of Republican China
-Urban history of China
-History of the Lower Yangzi Region
-History of the global Chinese diaspora
Expertise Profile
Chinese historian Zhongping Chen studies the history of China and the global Chinese diaspora--the migration and networks of the Chinese around the world.

Dr. Chen mainly studies how, in the mid-19th century, China switched from being one of world's most advanced societies to a semi-colony, and then in the 20th century, China transformed itself from one of the world's poorest countries to a new global superpower. "Modern Chinese history can provide us with historical lessons about the sustainable development of a nation, a civilization and the world as a whole," says Dr. Chen. In this field, his representative publication is Modern China's Network Revolution: Chambers of Commerce and Sociopolitical Change in the Early Twentieth Century (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2011).

His research on the global Chinese diaspora demonstrates the scattering and suffering of Chinese migrants, especially those before the mid-20th century, but it also explores their success in achieving transnational and cross-cultural movements and in building worldwide networks.

He's led a group of local scholars and their community partners to build a website about Victoria's Chinatown. The site provides information about the historical origin, community, and changing geography of Victoria's Chinatown to preserve the experiences of Chinese Canadians living in Victoria since the late 18th century. Victoria's Chinatown, which is the oldest in Canada, can teach us about the past and present of Chinese Canadian lives.

It's important for Canadians to learn Chinese history and the Chinese diaspora because China is Canada's neighbour across the Pacific, and because the Chinese are one of the largest immigrant groups in Canada, says Dr. Chen. In his classes, he teaches students Chinese and Western ways of understanding, including Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism.

Related Links
-Faces of UVic Research:
-Victoria's Chinatown: A Gateway to the Past and Present of Chinese Canadians:

International research:

Dr. Chen been involved in the following research activities:

International activities:

-Member, The Association for Asian Studies -Member, The Chinese Historians Associations of the United States

Countries lived or worked in:

China and the United States



Community projects

Dr. Chen has begun to do research on Chinese artifacts in the museums of a dozen of towns and cities in British Columbia, a project funded by the Ministry of International Trade, the province of British Columbia.

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