I grew up near the old steel city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After graduating from University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor in International Relations and History, I worked as a trade union organiser before undertaking my doctorate in history at University of Bristol.
Upon completion in 2010, I became a postdoctoral fellow on the Levelhulm-funded ‘China’s War with Japan’ project in the History Faculty at Oxford. I have taught at Birkbeck College, University of London and Bristol University before joining the department in September 2013.
My main research interest is in the history of state-building in China and Taiwan, particularly under the Chinese Nationalist (Guomindang) government. My doctoral research focuses on how the problem of mobilising a disaffected island population against an invasion by the People’s Liberation Army help shape the way party leaders conceived of authority and the means to reproduce it during the early Cold War period. I am currently revising my manuscript ‘Total mobilisation: party, state, and citizen on Taiwan, 1945-1955’.
My current project focuses on the problem of rehabilitation and reconstruction of China after the Japanese surrender. The first part of this research examines the transnational influences, such as the American Social Security Act and the Beveridge Report, in shaping some of China’s reconstruction plans.