Dr Shirley Ye

Department of History
Lecturer in Asian History

Contact details

I am a global historian with research and teaching interests in modern China.


  • PhD, Harvard University
  • MA, New York University
  • BA, University of California, Berkeley


I teach a first-year practicing history module on ‘Tiananmen 1989: Origins, Movement, and Memory’ and ‘Rise of Communism and China’s Long War, 1925-1949.’ I convene and lecture on the first-year module ‘The Making of the Contemporary World, 1800-Present.’ For the second-year I teach a second-year option on ‘China Since 1800’ and ‘China in the Twentieth-Century’ and have lead a yearlong second-year group research on ‘God’s Chinese Son: The Taiping Rebellion, 1850-1864’ for which students conduct primary source research. Additionally, I co-lecture and teach seminars on the ‘History in Theory and Practice’ module, bringing an emphasis on theoretical, global, and comparative perspectives. For the third year I supervise dissertations on a range of topics relating to modern China, particularly in a global context. I contribute seminars to the Global History MA and Global Christianity MA.

Postgraduate supervision

I would be happy to offer postgraduate supervision on any aspect of modern China. Please feel free to be in touch about your postgraduate study plans.

Previous MA thesis topics that I have co-supervised include Sino-British economic relations and a comparative study of Roman imperial cults and Japanese overseas shrines.


My research and teaching interests are in environmental history, cities, science and technology, frontier and transnational history, historiography, cultural studies, and gender. I have research experience in archives in China, Taiwan, USA, Germany, Britain, and France. My work has been supported by the British Academy, the Sino-British Fellowship Trust, Fulbright-IIE, DAAD, Fulbright-Hays DDRA, the Taiwan Fellowship MOFA, the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, and the Fairbank Center.

Other activities

I am the director of the Global China: New Approaches lecture series with Professor Hans van de Ven of Cambridge. The lecture series is funded by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange and consists of six public lectures scheduled for 2014-2015.

  • For further information about the lecture series please see:  http://globalchinalectures.wordpress.com/lecture-schedule/


  • “Business, Water, and the Global City: Germany, Europe, and China, 1820-1950.” PhD thesis, Harvard University, 2013.