Joseph W. Esherick, President

Joseph W. Esherick is Emeritus Professor of the University of California at San Diego, retired in 2012.  His scholarship has focused on the last years of the Qing dynasty and the social and political transformation of modern China.  His dissertation and first monograph, Reform and Revolution in China: the 1911 Revolution in Hunan and Hubei explored the social background of China’s republican revolution.  His book on The Origins of the Boxer Uprising won the John K. Fairbank Prize of the American Historical Association and the Joseph R. Levenson Prize of the Association for Asian Studies.  Ancestral Leaves explored the tumultuous history of nineteenth and twentieth-century China through the lives of successive generations of one family. His new monograph, Accidental Holy Land: The Communist Revolution in Northwest China, is a study of the founding of the Yan’an-centered Shaan-Gan-Ning Communist border region.  In edited volumes, Esherick has analyzed Chinese local elites, the transformation of Chinese cities, American policy toward China during World War II, the Cultural Revolution, the transition from empire to nation in comparative perspective, and the year 1943 in China.  He received his B.A. from Harvard University, and his PhD from UC Berkeley.


Ye Wa, Secretary

Ye Wa is an archaeologist trained in both China and the US. Her research interests include archaeological site formation, methodologies and technologies in field archaeology, strategies of human reproduction in the prehistoric period, as well as mortuary practice in medieval times. She was instrumental in setting up the first international field school of archaeology in China, where many young scholars of Chinese archaeology have been trained. She has published and translated numerous articles in both English and Chinese on the subjects of settlement pattern, methodology in archaeological practice, and mortuary practice of the Tang dynasty.  Ye received her B.A. from the Northwestern University in Xi’an, and her PhD in Archaeology from UCLA.


Lily Wu, Treasurer

Lily Wu is the Chief Investment Officer for a Taiwan investment company, has over 30 years of experience managing both public and private equity investments, and has been ranked Asia’s top technology sector investment analyst by both Reuters and Institutional Investor.  She received her B.S. in engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and was a Thomas Watson Fellow at Peking University.


Rowan Flad, Board Member

Rowan K. Flad is the John E. Hudson Professor of Archaeology at Harvard University in the Department of Anthropology, where he teaches about the archaeology of ancient China, technology, economy, human-animal interactions, ritual and related topics.  He has authored two books: Ancient Central China: An Archaeological Study of Centers and Peripheries along the Yangzi River and Salt Production and Social Hierarchy in Ancient China: An archaeological investigation of specialization in China’s Three Gorges, has co-edited three other books and three archaeological project monographs, and currently is the editor of the Routledge Press Series on Chinese Archaeology and co-editor of the Cambridge Elements Series on Ancient East Asia (with Erica Brindley).  Flad received his B.A. from the University of Chicago, and his PhD from UCLA.

MChang Headshot

Michael G. Chang, Board Member

Michael G. Chang is an associate professor in George Mason University’s Department of History and Art History where he teaches courses on historiography as well as global, East Asian, and all periods of Chinese history.  He is the author of A Court on Horseback: Imperial Touring and the Construction of Qing Rule along with articles published in a variety of scholarly journals and edited volumes. Chang’s current research focuses upon the political and material cultures in and through which High Qing rule (1680-1820) was constituted, especially as revealed in practices of material exchange and network formation at the Qing court.  He received his B.A. from Princeton, and his PhD from the University of California at San Diego.

Madeleine Yue Dong, Board Member

Madeleine Y. Dong is the Vincent Y. C. Shih Professor of China Studies at the University of Washington in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies and the Department of History, where she teaches and conducts research about modern Chinese history, and is the Chair of the China Studies Program at UW since 2007.  She is the author of Republican Beijing: The City and Its Histories and the editor of Beyond Area Studies: Selected Western Scholarship on Modern Chinese History and The Collective Work of Joseph R. Levenson. She is co-editor of The Modern Girl Around the World and Everyday Modernity in Modern China. She is currently writing about the history of the PRC in the 1950s-1960s.  Dong received her B.A. from Peking University, and her PhD from the University of California at San Diego.

Denise Y. Ho, Board Member

Denise Y. Ho is an associate professor in Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where she teaches modern Chinese history.  She is the author of Curating Revolution: Politics on Display in Mao’s China, and a co-editor (with Jennifer Altehenger) of Material Contradictions in Mao’s China.  Ho is currently completing a book manuscript entitled: The Nation’s Gate: A Cross-Border History of Hong Kong and China.  She received her B.A. from Yale, and her AM and PhD in History from Harvard University.

Elizabeth Berger, Board Member

Elizabeth Berger is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Riverside, where she teaches courses on biological anthropology and bioarchaeology. Her research uses human skeletons to study human-environment interaction in the Holocene of China. She examines how different communities adapted to climate change in Northwest China, and how these different adaptations influenced human health, diet, and demography. She also has a research interest in historical bioarchaeology of China, especially how experiences of gender and ethnicity can be reconstructed from skeletons, for instance, how the practice of foot binding impacted women’s skeletons and how it changed over space and time. Berger received her BA from Columbia University and her PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Former Board Members

Jeremy Brown, board member, 2016-2021.  Professor and Department Chair of History at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.