I’m a writer, historian, and pro-democracy activist based in Washington, D.C., where I’m pursuing my Ph.D. in History at Georgetown University. My dissertation project, tentatively entitled “Exodus,” is an international history of how the Vietnamese boat people from 1975 to 2000 — and the three Indochina Wars more generally — influenced Hong Kong; it also examines how the U.N. and Western powers responded to the refugee crisis. My articles have appeared in Time magazine, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Hong Kong Free Press, and Dissent.
Overall, I specialize in Global Asia and have broad interests in Chinese territorial and maritime frontiers, modern Vietnam, in addition to 20th-century American and British foreign policy. I graduated with an M.A. in September 2017 and a B.A. in May 2016 from New York University. My master’s thesis, “Pearl of the Orient Reconstructed,” traces how Hong Kongers, as a non-self-governing people, were stripped of their right of self-determination against the backdrop of Cold War great power politics. My senior honors thesis, “Music Below the Lion Rock,” chronicles how the evolution of transnational Cantopop over four decades reflected social and political transformation in postwar Hong Kong.
I was a visiting scholar in 2017–18 at the University of Toronto’s Richard Charles Lee Canada-Hong Kong Library, the most extensive overseas collection of research materials on Hong Kong. Prior to that, I’ve interned at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and sat on the editorial board of the Historian, America’s oldest undergraduate history journal. I’ve given talks at, among other places, Brown, Columbia, Rutgers, Bristol, Freedom House, and the Formosan Association for Public Affairs.
Beyond academia, I’m serving as chief researcher for Demosisto, the Hong Kong-based youth political group that advocates self-determination. I’ve worked for two successful Legislative Council election campaigns: Nathan Law’s in 2016 and Au Nok-Hin’s in 2018. Moreover, I’m one of the lead architects of “Decoding Hong Kong’s History,” which has been featured by the Financial Times and the Hong Kong Free Press. Since launching in February 2017, this public history project has crowdfunded over HK$300,000 to collect, digitize, and analyze declassified files from archives around the world.
Beginning with the historic July 1 march in 2003, I’ve actively participated in protests for greater autonomy in Hong Kong against Beijing’s encroachments, which continued after I moved across the Pacific a decade later. As a college student in the fall of 2014, I co-organized multiple solidarity rallies in New York and Washington to support the Umbrella Movement back home. I’ve also made occasional appearances in the news media and academic publications, including B.B.C., C.N.N., Al Jazeera America, Radio Free Asia, the South China Morning Post, the Harvard Political Review, and the McGill International Review.