Integrated Search Menu

Lei Duan

Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4302

I am trained as a historian of China and Asia. ​Before coming to ASU, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I also held faculty appointment in the History Department, and taught one undergraduate course on modern East Asia. ​I received my Ph.D. in History from Syracuse University in 2017. 


Ph.D., History, Syracuse University

M.A., History, University of Massachusetts Amherst

B.A., World History, Nankai University




Research Interests: 

I am currently working on a book entitled Arming and Disarming: The Culture and Politics of Guns in Modern China, which is under contract with University of Michigan Press. A revised and expanded version of my dissertation, this book examines private gun ownership and its sociocultural and political implications in modern China from 1900 to the 1950s, a period when China underwent political upheaval and foreign invasion. Building on my interests in the interplay between social violence and state authority, I have begun research on my second project, tentatively entitled, “Popular Power and the New Frontier: Constructing Socialist China’s Borderlands,” which aims to provide a framework for thinking about ethnic integration and border security. This project explores the situational and dynamic ways in which Chinese Communists suppressed and integrated armed individuals and groups in Tibet and Xinjiang from the 1950s to the 1970s, while offering perspectives on the roots of present-day China’s ethnic unrest.​


Book Project

Arming and Disarming: The Culture and Politics ofGuns in Modern China(Under contract with University of Michigan Press).​

Peer-Reviewed Articles

“Between Social Control and Popular Power: The Circulation of Private Guns and Control Policies during the mid to late Qing, 1781-1911.” American Journal of Chinese Studies, 25 (November 2017): 121-40.​

“Contested Memories of the Past: The Politics of History Textbooks in Taiwan.” ASIANetwork Exchange. (Accepted).​

“‘Political Power Grows out of the Barrel of a Gun:’ The Communist Policies on Armed Masses in Wartime China,” Frontiers of History in China. (Accepted). ​

 “The Prism of Violence: The Social and Cultural Life of Gun in Modern China.” in Jonathan Metzi, eds. What guns mean: the symbolic lives of firearms(forthcoming, Palgrave Communications).

Book Reviews

Review of Geoff Wade ed., Asian Expansion: The Historical Experiences of Polity Expansion in Asia (London: Routledge, 2017), East Asia Integration Studies 10:2 (2018).

Review of Ellen Widmer, Fiction’sFamily: Zhan Xi, Zhan Kai, and the Business of Women in Late-Qing China(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2016), American Journal of Chinese Studies26:2 (2018).​

Review of Tessa Morris-Suzuki, To the Diamond Mountains: A Hundred-Year Journey through China and Korea (Lanham: Rowman& Littlefield Publishers, 2010), East Asia Integration Studies9:1 (2016).​

Review of Ultich Theobold, War Finance and Logistics in Late Imperial China: A Study of the Second Jinchuan Campaign (1771-1776)(Leiden: Brill, 2013), Asian Highlands Perspectives40 (2015).​

Review of Pamela K. Crossley, The Wobbling Pivot: China since 1800, An Interpretive History(Malden: Blackwell-Wiley, 2010), American Journal of Chinese Studies 22:1 (2015).​

Review of Robert G. Sutter, U.S.-Chinese Relations: Perilous Past, Pragmatic Present(Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2013), East Asia Integration Studies7:39 (2014).​

Review of Kenneth M. Swope, The Military Collapse of China’s Ming Dynasty 1618-44(London and New York: Routledge, 2014), China Review International 22:1 (2014).

Review of Jodi L. Weinstein, Empireand Identity in Guizhou: Local Resistance to QingExpansion(Settle and London: University of Washington Press, 2014), China Review International20:1 (2013).

Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
REL 111Introduction to Asia
HST 111Introduction to Asia
HST 303Studies in Asian History
HST 388Japan
HST 494Special Topics
Summer 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 303Studies in Asian History
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 303Studies in Asian History
HST 384Modern China: 1700 to Present
HST 496South,SE & East Asia Glbl Mtrx
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 111Introduction to Asia
REL 111Introduction to Asia
HST 303Studies in Asian History
HST 388Japan