Self-Intro: Vincent S. Leung

Hi, everyone. This is Vincent Leung, a PhD student in Chinese history at Harvard. I just finished my third year in the program, and hopefully after my general examination this September, I can at last proceed to writing my dissertation. My research interest is on the political and intellectual history of early China, particularly the late Warring States and the Han empire (ca. 300 BC-AD 200). More specifically, I want to study the “imperial formation” during this period, which led up to the first bureaucratic empire in the Central Plains, looking at things like the territorial expansion, monetary policy, allocation of natural resources, and not the least, its ideological state apparatuses.

Before doing my PhD, I did a masters in East Asian Studies at Harvard. And before that, I was a math/econ major at UMass Amherst. In my more quixotic days back in college, I did want to do grad work in math, but alas, soon enough I found that I was not really cut out for it. I am glad, though, that I did bump into History, esp. early Chinese history. The received materials from early China, texts or otherwise, are exciting enough, despite their relative paucity, but all the excavated texts from the past few decades are simply incredible. Tens of thousands of them are just now sitting in museums waiting for people to work on them. And I sure hope I can dig my hands into them when I go aborad sometime in the next couple of years in China.

Let’s see — what else should I put in this intro? Perhaps I should mention the fact that I am originally from Hong Kong, where I grew up. I do a little bit of Chinese calligraphy on the side, though hardly anymore these days, and also (try to) study a bit of the early (political) history of Chinese Buddhism.

Thanks Konrad for inviting me to this blog! This is actually the first blog that I’ve joined, so it should be exciting. Very much look forward to our exchanges in the coming months!


  1. Welcome Aboard! I keep reading about all these new texts and how they’ll revolutionize our understanding of early Chinese thought…. I hope you’ll be able to explain to me how, so I can pass something on to my students that more coherent.

  2. Hey Vincent! I’m really happy to have you on board, especially since I have done such a poor job of finding some good pre-modern participants on all the Frog in a Well blogs. I really look forward to reading you!

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