Lei Lin

Assistant Professor of History, Duke Kunshan University

Lei Lin is the Assistant Professor of History at Duke Kunshan University. She specializes in pre-modern and early modern Chinese history, with a particular emphasis on the Qing Empire (1644–1911). Her research interests encompass frontiers and borderlands, inter-polity relations, material culture, and the ways in which these issues informed empire-building. Using the methodologies of transnational history and empire studies, her research extends beyond the confines of modern nation-states and examines the position of the trans-Himalayan region in global history through a framework of comparative imperialism. Her scholarship draws on sources in multiple languages, including Chinese, Manchu, Tibetan, and Nepali, collected through extensive archival research conducted in Beijing, Taipei, Lhasa, and Kathmandu. She is currently completing her first monograph, titled “The Limits of Empire: The Qing-Gurkha War and China’s Trans-Himalayan Frontier, 1788–1793.”

Lin’s research has received generous support from prestigious institutions, including the American Historical Association, the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard Asia Center, the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, the Fung Foundation, and the Henry Luce Foundation.

Lei Lin holds dual B.A. degrees in History and Economics from Renmin University of China, as well as an M.A. in Regional Studies—East Asia and a Ph.D. in Inner Asian and Altaic Studies from Harvard University.



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