Lane J Harris

Lane Harris

Professor and Chair, History

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After growing up in Minnesota, Lane J. Harris attended Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he received a B.A. in History. Upon graduation, Harris was selected by the United Board for Higher Education in China to teach English at Northeast Normal University in Changchun, Jilin, China for a year. Returning to the United States, Harris attended Washington University in Saint Louis where he earned a Master's degree in East Asian Studies with a concentration in Republican era (1911-1949) Chinese history. For his Ph.D., Harris attended the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His research focused on late imperial and Republican Chinese postal history. After spending a year in Nanjing researching postal history at the Second Historical Archives of China, Harris returned to the United States and moved to Ellensburg, Washington where he taught World History. He was hired by Furman University in 2009.


  • History Department Fellowship, University of Illinois, 2007-08.
  • Social Science Research Council (SSRC), International Dissertation Field Research Fellowship, Fall 2006-Summer 2007.
  • Institute for International Research at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, Nanjing, People's Republic of China, Junior Fellow (Dissertation Research), Fall 2006.
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship from the Center for Global Studies of International Programs and Studies, University of Illinois, 2005-2006.
  • Pre-Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Department of History, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Summer 2005.
  • Named to "Incomplete List of Excellent Teachers" at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Spring 2005.
  • Named to "Incomplete List of Excellent Teachers" at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Spring 2004.
  • History Department Fellowship, University of Illinois, 2002-2003.
  • Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence, Washington University in Saint Louis, 2001-2002.


  • Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • M.A., Washington University
  • B.A., Drake University


  • “‘The Comity of Nations’: The Chinese Post Office, the Universal Postal Union, and the Abolition of ‘Alien Post Offices,’ 1843-1923.” In “Trafics postaux,” edited by Léonard Laborie and Heidi Tvorek. Special issue, Monde(s) 26 (September 2024).
  • Huang Xingtao 黄兴涛. Reshaping China: The Concept of the Chinese Nation in Modern Times 重塑中华: 近代中国“中华民族”观念研究. Translated by Lane J. Harris and Mei Chun. Leiden: Brill, 2024.
  • Ouyang Jing 欧阳静. “What is Minimalist Governance?” 简约治理是什么. Translated by Lane J. Harris and Mei Chun. Modern China 50: 2 (March 2024): 179-199.
  • Jia Genliang 贾根良. “Reflections on Economics Education in China and Suggestions for Its Reform” 中国经济学教育体制的反思与改革的总体思路. Translated by Lane J. Harris and Mei Chun. Modern China 50: 1 (January 2024): 3-32.
  • Zhao Shan 赵珊. “The Past, Present, and Future of Commercial Associations in China: Reflections on Theory and the Pathways of Practice 中国商会的过去、现在与未来: 理论反思与实践路径. Translated by Lane J. Harris and Mei Chun. Modern China 49: 4 (July 2023): 408-447.
  • Liu Ping 刘苹, Li Song 李松, and Tang Jiaman 唐嘉蔓. “Reflections on the Ideas, Paradigms, and Methodologies of China Studies: Philip C. C. Huang and Modern China” 中国研究的理念、范式及其方法论反思: 黄宗智与《近代中国》. Translated by Lane J. Harris and Mei Chun. Modern China 49: 3 (May 2023): 259-89.
  • Xiong Yuezhi, Shanghai Urban Life and Its Heterogeneous Cultural Entanglements 异质文化交织下的上海都市生活. Translated by Lane J. Harris and Mei Chun. Boston: Brill, 2022.
  • Translations of the Peking Gazette: A Reader in Nineteenth-Century Chinese History (Leiden: Brill, 2018).
  • Serving the National Interest: The Qiaopi Industry, the Chinese Post Office, and the Transnational Practices of the State, 1937-1945,” in The Qiaopi Trade and Transnational Networks in the Chinese Diaspora, edited by Gregor Benton, Liu Hong, and Zhang Huimei (New York: Routledge, 2018). 
  • "Stumbling towards Empire: The Shanghai Local Post Office, the Transnational British Community, and Informal Empire in China, 1863-1897," Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, Spring 2018.
  • Luo Zhitian, Shifts of Power: Modern Chinese Thought and Society 权势转移: 近代中国的思想与社会 [1999, reprint: 北京師範大學出版社, 2013]. Translated by Lane J. Harris and Mei Chun. Leiden: Brill, 2017.
  • Translations of the Peking Gazette Online. Brill, 2017.
  • Aina the Layman 艾衲居士, "Jie Zhitui Sets Fire to His Jealous Wife" 介之推火封妒婦 & "On Shouyang Mountain, Shuqi Became a Turncoat" 首陽山淑齊變節, translated with Mei Chun, in Idle Talk Under the Bean Arbor 豆棚閒話, edited by Robert E. Hegel, 9-22, 101-116 (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2017).
  • "What Happened to the Jianwen Emperor?: An Introduction and Translation of Chapters 2 & 29 of Illustrious Heroes, A Sequel 續英列傳." Co-authored with Mei Chun.  Renditions 86 (Autumn 2016): 74-90.
  • "Into the Frontiers: The Relay System and Ming Empire in the Borderlands, 1368-1449," Ming Studies 72 (November 2015): 3-23.
  • "The 'Arteries and Veins' of the Imperial Body: The Nature of the Relay and Post Station Systems in the Ming Dynasty, 1368-1644." Journal of Early Modern History 19: 4 (2015): 287-310.
  • "Overseas Chinese Remittance Firms, the Limits of State Sovereignty, and Transnational Capitalism in East and Southeast Asia, 1850s-1930s." Journal of Asian Studies 74: 1 (February 2015): 129-151.
  • Translated with Mei Chun: Luo Zhitian. Inheritance Within Rupture: Culture and Scholarship in Early Twentieth Century China (裂变中的传承——20世纪前期的中国文化与学术).  Leiden: Brill, 2015.
  • "Baojia," "New Life Movement," "Postal and Post Station Systems," and "Romanization of Language" in Michael Dillon, ed. Encyclopedia of Chinese History.  New York: Routledge, forthcoming.
  • "From Democracy to Bureaucracy: The Baojia in Nationalist China, 1927-1949." Frontiers of History in China 8: 4 (Winter 2013): 517-557.
  • "The 1876 Chinese Post Office Riot in Singapore." International Institute for Asian Studies Newsletter 63 (Spring 2013): 5.
  • "Defining the Nationalist Party Center: The Text and Context of Gan Naiguang's Outline of Sun Wenism." Southeast Review of Asian Studies34 (2012): 87-113
  • "Baojia," "Green Gang," and "New Life Movement" in Cheng Linsun, ed. Berkshire Encyclopedia of China. Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Publishing Group, 2008, pp. 158-60, 938-39, 1594-97.
  • "A 'Lasting Boon to All': A Note on the Postal Romanization of Place Names, 1896-1949." Twentieth-Century China 34: 1 (November 2008): 96-109.
  • "Standard Messages: Institutional Identity and Symbolism in Chinese Postal Flags, 1896-1949." Raven: A Journal of Vexillology 15 (2008): 81-106.
  • "Modern Times: The Meaning of Dates and Calendars in Modern China, 1895-1935." International Institute for Asian Studies Newsletter 49 (Summer 2008): 20.
  • "Filmography." In Poshek Fu, ed. China Forever: The Shaw Brothers and Diasporic Cinema. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2008, p. 255-56.
  • "'Recycling' the Baojia in Republican China: A Study of the Baojia under the Guomindang, 1927-1949. East Asian Studies Occasional Papers Series 6 (Spring 2002): 46-79.


  • Mokros, Emily. The Peking Gazette in Late Imperial China: State News and Political Authority. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2021. East Asian Publishing and Society 12: 1 (2022): 99-104.
  • Reinhardt, Anne. Navigating Semi-Colonialism: Shipping, Sovereignty, and Nation-Building in China, 1860-1937. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2018. Business History Review 94: 2 (Summer 2020): 461-464.
  • Szonyi, Michael. The Art of Being Governed: Everyday Politics in Late Imperial China. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017. American Review of China Studies 20: 2 (Fall 2019): 73-76.
  • Government, Imperialism and Nationalism in China: The Maritime Customs Service and Its Chinese Staff.  New York: Routledge, 2013.  China Review International 20: 3/4 (2013): 297-301.
  • David Kenley, Modern Chinese History.  Ann Arbor: Association for Asian Studies, 2012.  American Review of China Studies 15: 2 (Fall 2013): 78-80.
  • Eugenia Lean, Public Passions: The Trial of Shi Jianqiao and the Rise of Popular Sympathy in Republican China. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007. China Review International 17: 3 (2010): 343-347.
  • Madeleine Zelin, The Merchants of Zigong: Industrial Entrepreneurship in Early Modern China. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005. The Historian 69: 2 (Summer 2007): 365-366.
  • Donna Brunero, Britain's Imperial Cornerstone in China: The Chinese Maritime Customs Service, 1854-1949. New York: RoutledgeCurzon, 2006. China Review International 13: 2 (Fall 2006): 366-370.
  • Scott Simon, Tanners of Taiwan: Life Strategies and National Culture. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2005. Pacific Affairs 79: 3 (Fall 2006): 533-535.
  • Sun Lung-kee, The Chinese National Character: From Nationhood to Individuality. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe Incorporated, 2002. China Review International 10: 2 (Fall 2003): 460-464.
  • Henrietta Harrison, The Making of the Republican Citizen: Political Ceremonies and Symbols in China, 1911-1929. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. British Columbia Asian Review 13 (Fall 2001): 143-144.

Conference Presentations

  • “Southseas Crossings: ‘Overseas Agents’ and the Formation of an Early Migrant Remittance Network, 1750-1870.” Intercalary Conference on Late Imperial China, hosted by Emory University, 29 February 2020.
  • “A Mutiny, a Riot, and a Rebellion: The Coolie Trade, Returned Chinese Merchants, and the Small Swords Uprising of 1853.” Annual Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, Washington, DC, 22-25 March 2018.
  • "The Peking Gazette: A Source for Nineteenth-Century Chinese History," 56th Annual Meeting of the Southeast Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, University of Mississippi, 13-15 January 2017.
  • "The Overseas Chinese State: Wartime Emergencies and the Transnational Practices of the Nationalist State," Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, Seattle, 31 March-3 April 2016.
  • "'A Godsend to the Treaty Ports': The Municipal Council Local Post Office System, 1863-1897," 64th Annual Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs, October 16-18, 2015.
  • "Serving the National Interest: The Qiaopi Industry, the Chinese Post Office, and the Transnationalization of the State, 1937-1945," at the Conference on the Qiaopi Industry in China and Overseas at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 9-10 October 2015.
  • "The Post Office and State Formation in World Historical Time," at the International Communication Association Preconference "Communications and the State: Toward a New International History," San Juan, Puerto Rico, 21 May 2015.
  • "Moving into the Frontier: The Relay System and Ming Empire in the Borderlands, 1368-1449," Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, Chicago, 26-29 March 2015.
  • "The Subao 蘇報 Case, Sir Robert Hart, and the Origins of Modern Censorship in China," International Communication Association National Conference, Seattle, 22-26 May 2014.
  • "Post Imperial: The Creation and Abolition of 'Alien Post Offices' in Treaty-Port China, 1843-1923," Southeast Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, Durham, NC, January 2014.
  • "'The Comity of Nations': The Chinese Post Office, International Law, and the Universal Postal Union, 1896-1923," ASIANetwork Conference, 12-14 April 2013.
  • "Networking Empire, Nation, and Colony: The Qiaopiju Business Firm and Its Transnational Remittance Network, 1870-1950," Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, San Diego, 21-24 March 2013.
  • "Spreading the Word: Postal Subsidies of Newspapers, Magazines, and Books." Southeast Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, 51st Annual Conference, January 13-15, 2012.
  • "Modern Mail Bodies: Uniforms and Behavioral Regulations for Chinese Postal Workers, 1896-1949." Bodies Conference, University of South Carolina, February 25-27, 2010.
  • "Interstate Commerce: The Qiaopiju, Transnational Networks, and Colonial Modernity." Mid-Atlantic Regional Association for Asian Studies 38th Annual Conference, October 31-November 1, 2009.
  • "Language, Prestige, and Power: Debates about Romanization Systems for Chinese, 1860-1940." American Association for Chinese Studies 51st Annual Conference, October 16-18, 2009.
  • "Refuse to Deliver: Postal Censorship of Foreign Media in Republican China, 1911-1937." Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast (ASPAC), June 13-15, 2008.
  • "Shanghai Identities: Picture Postcards of Republican Shanghai, 1890-1950." Nanjing-Hopkins Institute for International Research, December 26, 2006.
  • "Chinafication: The Deployment of a Discursive Stratagem in the Guomindang's Baojia Discourses, 1927-1949." Association of Asian Studies National Conference, March 4-7, 2004.
  • "Western Scopic Regimes in Action: Representing Us/Them in Picture Postcards of Shanghai, 1890-1930." Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs, October 10-12, 2003.