Joel Wing-Lun is a PhD candidate in History and East Asian Languages specializing in the social history of late imperial China and its southwest frontier. His dissertation research investigates the repercussions of Chinese imperial expansion on the “Miao Frontier” from the 16th to the 20th century. Using fieldwork and documents uncovered in local villages, he examines how local communities negotiated imperial policy and became agents of imperial expansion themselves.
Joel graduated with a BA (Hons) in Chinese Studies from the University of Sydney, receiving the University Medal for his thesis on the historian and intellectual Wang Hui. He has studied anthropology at Peking University and at Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, and will be a visiting student in 2020-21 at the Center for China in the World at the Australian National University, Canberra.