Dr. Lisa Tran

Contact Information

Voice: 657-278-2625
Fax: 657-278-2101
Dept: 657-278-3474


Lisa Tran, Ph.D.

Professor of History


Since the publication of my book, Concubines in Court: Marriage and Monogamy in Twentieth-Century China (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), my research agenda has shifted dramatically, from women in China to ethnic Chinese in Vietnam, from nation-centered narratives to global connections, from legal history to refugee studies, and from archival research to oral history.  My current project focuses on the ethnic Chinese who left Vietnam during the refugee crisis in the late 1970s. I place the global dispersion of Chinese from Vietnam within the geopolitical context of shifting alliances in the international order and national discussions on immigration in the United States, Canada, and Australia. I am also writing a book on Asia that emphasizes the interconnections that have shaped the peoples of Asia and their relationships with the rest of the world, to be published by Cambridge University Press. Fellowships and grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Philosophical Society, Fulbright Association, and the Association for Asian Studies have funded my writing and research activities.


Ph.D., Chinese History, UCLA

M.A. Chinese History, UCLA

B.A., History, Pomona College

Research Areas

Ethnic Chinese refugees from Vietnam; migration and world history; women and the law in twentieth-century China.

Courses Regularly Taught

HIST 360: Modern Asia

HIST 400B: Concepts in World History

HIST 460A: The Chinese Diaspora

HIST 462B: History of China, 1644-1949

HIST 462C: China Since 1949

HIST 110A: World Civilizations to the 16th Century

HIST 110B: World Civilizations Since the 16th Century


“From Resident to Refugee: The Chinese Exodus from Southern Vietnam in the Late 1970s.” In Fredrik Logevall and Brian Cuddy, eds. The Vietnam War in the Pacific World, Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2022, pp. 257-70.

“From Toleration to Prosecution: Concubinage and the Law in China.” In Julia Moses, ed., Marriage, Law and Modernity: Global Histories. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018, pp. 54-70.

Concubines in Court: Marriage and Monogamy in Twentieth-Century China. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.

 “Ceremony and the Definition of Marriage under Republican Law.” In Philip C.C. Huang and Kathryn Bernhardt, eds. Research from Archival Case Records: Law, Society, and Culture in China. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2014, pp. 345-73.

“Adultery, Bigamy, and Conjugal Fidelity: The ABC’s of Monogamy in Republican China.” Twentieth-Century China 36.2 (May 2011), pp. 99-118.

“The Concubine in Republican China: Social Perception and Legal Construction.” Etudes Chinoises 28 (2009), pp. 119-50.

“Sex and Equality in Republican China: The Debate Over the Adultery Law.” Modern China: An International Quarterly of History and Social Science 35.2 (March 2009), pp. 191-223.

“From Concubine to Wife: Implications of the Wedding Ceremony Requirement in the Guomindang Civil Code” (从妾到妻:国民党民法的婚礼要求的含义). In Huang Zongzhi and You Chenjun, eds. Research from Archival Case Records: Law, Society and Culture in China (从诉讼档案出发: 中国的法律、社会与文化). Beijing: Falü chubanshe, 2009, pp. 321-50.