Associate Professor

Tel.: 2616 8347
Fax.: (852) 2467-7478
Email: leizhang3@LN.edu.hk 

Academic & Professional Qualifications

2017: Ph. D. History
Syracuse University, Syracuse, U. S. A

2010: M. A., History
Syracuse University, Syracuse, U. S. A

2008: M. A., Historical Geography
Peking University, Beijing, China

2005: B. S., Geography
Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China


Areas of Interest

Urban History; Environmental History, Historical Geography; Modern China



Associate Director, Centre for Environmental History and Development, Lingnan University, 8/2019-





  • Selected Publications
  • Conference Presentations



[A] Book

1. Water Lords: Water Carriers in Beijing, 16441937, Leiden and Boston: Brill (forthcoming)

2. Visualizing China through Geography: George B. Cressey and China. Beijing: Academy Press, 2014. [In Chinese]


[B] Edited Book

The Interviews of Scholars in Republican Beijing, Beijing: The Commercial Press, 2020. [In Chinese]


[C] Selected Articles

[In English]
1. Lei Zhang, “Red or Expert: Reforming Geographers in China, 1949–1953,” Annals of the American Association of Geographers (E-pub ahead of print, July 2023), 1-17.

2. Lei Zhang, “Urbanizing Camels: Camels in Beijing, 1900–1937,” Journal of Urban History, 48:4 (July 2022), 913–927.

3. Lei Zhang, “Careering and Academic Mobility: George B. Cressey’s China, 1923–1963,” Journal of Historical Geography, 76 (April 2022), 14–22.

4. Lei Zhang, “Foreign Wells: Japanese Well-Drilling in Beijing, 1900–1910,” Technology and Culture, 61: 2 (April 2020), 416–436.

5. Lei Zhang, “Foreign Ink: Student Mobility, Overseas Training and Chinese Geography, 1912–1952,” Journal of Historical Geography, 68 (April 2020), 44–54. 

6. Lei Zhang, “A City with Two Water: Drinking Water in Beijing, 1644–1900,” Water History, 9:4 (Oct. 2017), 479–494.

[In Chinese]
1. Zhang, Lei, “战中之战:抗戰時期豐縣西北鄉紳的抉擇 (The Alternatives of Local Elites in Northwest Feng County, 1938–1945),” 二十一世紀 (Twentieth-First Century,Hong Kong) 192, (August 2022):62–78.

2. Zhang, Lei, “丁文江留學考 (The Overseas Training of V. K. Ting, 1902–1911),” 近代史研究 (Modern Chinese History Studies, Beijing) 44, no.1 (2022):154–159.

3. Zhang, Lei, “南胡北黃:民國地理學的分野 (Divisions among Geographers in China, 1936–1952),” 中央研究院近代史研究所集刊 (Bulletin of Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica, Taipei) 106, (2019): 87–114.

4. Zhang, Lei, “再造徐霞客:民國科學地理學 (Reconstructing Xu Xiake: The Scientific Geography in China, 1912–1949),” 地理學報 (Acta Geographica Sinca, Beijing) 72, no.9 (2017): 1695–1701.


[D] Book Reviews

1. Book Review: China in one Village by Liang Hong, The Metropole: The Official Blog of the Urban History Association, July 2021.

2. Book Review: Hou Renzhi’s Overseas Manuscripts and Notes, Acta Geographica Sinica 地理學報76, no.3 (2021):765.

3. Book Review: The Interviews of Scholars in Republican Beijing, Guangming Daily, 光明日報 January 21, 2021, p. 11.



1. Principal Investigator, Night-soil Lords: Manure Collector and Urban Waste Disposal in Beijing, 1900–1950, Early Career Scheme, Research Grants Council, Hong Kong, 1/2019–12/2021.

2. Principal Investigator, Water Carriers in Occupied Beijing, 1937–1945, Sumitomo Foundation, Japan, 4/2018–3/2019.

3. Research Grant, D. Kim Foundation for the History of Science and Technology in East Asia, U. S., 2013-2014.

4. Research Grant, Konosuke Matsushita Memorial Foundation, Japan, 2012-2013.

5. Grant-in-Aid, Rockefeller Archive Center, NY, 2012-2013.

6. Research Grant, Princeton University Library, NJ, 2011-2012.



1. RGC Competitive Grants Award, Research & KT Excellence Awards, Lingnan University, 2019

2. Short-term Fellowship, Huntington Library, 2016-2017

3. Short-term Fellowship, Houghton Library, Harvard University, 2016-2017




2023: “Foreign Wells in Beijing, 1900-1910”, Centre for Studies of Song History, Hebei University, Baoding, May 19.

2022: “The Occupied Politics of a Walled Village in North China, 1938-1945”, Confucius Institute, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, November 19.

2020: “Urbanizing Camels: Camels in Beijing, 1900-1937”, Department of History, Minzu University of China, Beijing, October 17.

2019: “The Returning Students of Geography in China, 1912-1952”, Department of Geography, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, Nov. 14.

2015: “Drinking Water in Beijing, 1644-1900”, East Asia Program, Maxwell School,
Syracuse University, (Nov. 11)

2015: “Visualizing China through Geology: Chamberlin and His Expedition to China, 1909,” Invited by Asian Studies program and Library, Beloit College, Beloit, WI, (March 25)

2012: “Visualizing China through Geography: George B. Cressey and His China, 1923-1963,” Department of Geography Colloquium, Syracuse University, (March 9)



2021: “Toilet Revolution: The Politics of Excrement in Beijing, 1928-1937”, The Sixth Biennial Conference of East Asian Environmental History (EAEH 2021), Kyoto University, Japan, (September 4-5, Virtual Event)

2021: “The Returning Students of Geography in China, 1912-1952”, The Biennial Conference of Chinese Historical Geography, Fudan University, Shanghai (July 17-18)

2021: “National Port, Local Town: The Railroad of Longhai in Haizhou, 1925-1938”, Symposium: New Perspectives on the Railway and Urban History, Department of History, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong (April 27)

2019: “Urbanizing Camel: Peking Camels, 1800-1937”, The Fifth Biennial Conference of East Asian Environmental History (EAEH 2019), National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, (October 24-27)

2018: “Drinking Water in Beijing, 1644-1900”, The Biennial Conference of Chinese Historical Geography, Renmin University, Beijing (August 11-12)

2015: “Foreign Wells: Japanese well drilling in Beijing, 1900-1910”, International Graduate Historical Studies Conference, Central Michigan University, MI, (March 27)

2012: “Rediscovering another space in Beijing: Water distribution territories, 1900-1950”, Placing East Asia: A Graduate Student Conference on Urbanism and the Production of Space, Institute of East Asian Studies, UC Berkeley, CA, (March 2)     

2011: “Water Carriers in Beijing, 1900-1938”, Brown Bag Talk, Firestone Library, Princeton University, NJ, (May 20)

2010: “Dynasty and Cult: The God of the Grand Canal in China, 1368-1911”, The Fourteenth Annual New Frontiers Graduate History Conference, York University, Toronto, Canada, (February 19)