The Liberal Art University in Hong Kong
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MAO, Sheng

Tel.: (852) 2616-8341
Fax.: (852) 2467-7478

Academic & Professional Qualifications

Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Department of History, 2017
M.A. in Chinese History, University of Pennsylvania, Department of History, 2013
M.A. in Mass Communication, Communication University of China, 2004
B.A. in Journalism, Communication University of China, 2001

Areas of Interest

Border and Frontier Studies
Transnational History
History of PRC
Chinese Humor


  • Books
  • Articles
  • Research
  • Book Reviews
  • Conference Presentations


English-to-Chinese translation of the book China and Japan: Facing History by Ezra Vogel (Harvard University Press, 2019), The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press, 2019.


More Than One Way: Issues and Approaches in East Asian Studies 歷史不止一種寫法:十篇書評裏的歷史學景觀, 香港中文大學出版社,2020年。



"More than a Famine: Mass Exodus of 1962 in Northwest Xinjiang," The China Review, Vol. 18, No. 2 (May 2018), pp. 155–183. (peer reviewed)

"Unafraid of the Ghost: Mao Zedong's Victim Mentality and the Two Taiwan Strait Crises in the 1950s" (co-authored with Yang Kuisong), The China Review, Vol. 16, No. 1 (February 2016), pp. 1–34.(peer reviewed)



My research investigates China's interactions with the outside world since the late nineteenth century. My focus is Xinjiang, a vast Muslim borderland between China and Central Asia. Described as China's "restive region," Xinjiang became a Soviet satellite state in the 1930s. When the Chinese Communist victory over the Nationalists was imminent, the Soviet Union backed the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in taking over this region, with the Soviets maintaining only their influence. After the Sino-Soviet split in the late 1950s, Beijing tried in multiple ways to integrate this frontier zone with China proper.

Revised on the basis of my dissertation, my book manuscript "From Soviet Frontier to Chinese Frontier: Northwestern Xinjiang in PRC China, 1949–1963" examines how the rise and demise of the Sino-Soviet alliance impacted ethnic peoples in Northwestern Xinjiang (Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture), and how the CCP transferred fragile suzerainty of Ili into full sovereignty. Using Chinese and Russian archives recently made available, I show how the CCP attempted to eradicate Soviet influence, demarcate borderlands, purge transitional people with Soviet ties, and build up border defense. By placing Xinjiang, an ethnically distinct borderland, at the forefront of 20th-century Chinese history, I intend to understand what frontiers mean to the making of the political entity called "China."


Book Reviews:




Review of China's War Reporters: The Legacy of Resistance against Japan by Parks M. Coble (Harvard University Press, 2015), The China Review, Vol. 18, No. 1 (February 2018), pp. 169–171 .

評Zwia Lipkin, Useless to the State: "Social Problems" and Social Engineering in Nationalist Nanjing, 19271937 (Harvard University press, 2006), 〈於國無用:民國南京的觀瞻所繫〉,《上海書評》(上海),2018年1月23日。



Review of Hewei Zhongguo: Jiangyu, minzu, wenhua yu lishi (What Is China?: Territory, Ethnicity, Culture, and History) by Ge Zhaoguang, The China Review, Vol. 15, No. 1 (April 2015), pp. 248–250.

Review of Zhixue de menjing yu qufa: Wanqing minguo yanjiu de shiliao yu shixue (Methodologies of Historical Writing: Sources and Historiography on late Qing and Republican China) by Sang Bing, The China Review, Vol. 14, No. 2 (October 2014), pp. 280–283.


Conference Presentations:


〈從敵情到學術:英文學界之北韓史研究〉,中央研究院近代史研究所主辦「東亞冷戰史的重構」國際學術研討會,2018年11月19–20日 。

"The Death of A Xiangsheng Performer: How Did Actors from the Old Society Become People's Artists in the Early 1950s?," presented at the 44th Annual Conference on Chinese Oral and Performing Literature, San Diego, California, March 21, 2013.

"Straddling Two Boats: Soviet Aliens as Transnational People in Xinjiang (1949–1963)," presented at the 22nd Annual Columbia Graduate Student Conference of East Asia, Columbia University, February 15–16, 2013.

"Public Grief and Popular Opinion in the People's Republic of China in 1953," presented at the 53th annual conference of the American Association for Chinese Studies, University of Pennsylvania, October 14–16, 2011.

"Dissonant Voices under Domination: Dissent Responses to the Chinese Communist Propaganda about the Sino-Soviet Friendship," presented at the 2nd Annual Graduate Student Conference in East Asian Studies, Princeton University, June 4–5, 2008.