Being a young member of UM, the Department of History has paid a glorious tribute to the 40th anniversary of UM by its remarkable academic achievements in the year of 2021. In the past year, staff of the Department have cultivated deeply in different fields and achieved a great deal including publishing monographs and papers, constructing databases, and being awarded various prestigious academic prizes.

In April, Chair Professor Mao Haijian released a new book The Thoughts of Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao during the Reform Movement of 1898, which was published by SDX joint publishing company (China). Professor Mao has been studying the Reform Movement of 1898 for more than 20 years. This book enters the “deep-water area” of the study of this significant event in modern China and shifts his gaze from reconstructing the significant events and reviewing core materials to the mental world of the reformers. Immediately after its publication, the book has drawn much attention and was selected into the list of “Top Ten Books of the Year 2021” by SDX joint publishing company.

In September, Assistant Professor Catherine S. Chan published The Macanese Diaspora in British Hong Kong: A Century of Transimperial Drifting (Amsterdam University Press, 2021). Combining Hong Kong and Macau history, immigration history, colonial empire history and urban history, this monograph makes use of various materials to examine how the Macanese living in British Hong Kong constructed their own identities in daily life and the public sphere. This book reflects the profound potential of the Macao studies inspired by new horizons and theories. In addition, Prof. Chan has published papers in journals such as the Journal of Asian History (A&HCI), exploring the history of Portuguese Macao in depth.

Chair Professor Wang Di has been studying teahouses of Chengdu for many years, seeing the big world through micro-history. In September, his significant book Teahouse: Public Life and Micro World in Chengdu, 1900-1950 was republished by Peking University Press. In October, a new book The Teahouse on the Corner, was published by People’s Literature Press (China). Based on numerous historical materials and written in a flexible and popular style, this book as a non-fictional work practices “writing history for the people”. It was selected as one of the “Top 20 Books of the Year” by People’s Literature Press, and shortlisted for the first “Blade Book Award” of New Weekly.

Professor Yang Bin, the Head of Department, is a famous scholar in the field of global history. In November, he published his monograph Cowrie Shells and Cowrie Money: A Global History in Chinese by Social Sciences Academic Press (SSAP, China). Combining monetary history, maritime history with global history, and examining a small marine animal in the history of extensive time and space, this book demonstrates the strength to construct new topics and make new arguments in the global perspective. It is honored with SSAP’s “Top Ten Best Books in 2021”, “Recommended Books in 2021” by The Beijing News and “20 History Books which Cannot be Missed in 2021” by China Reading Weekly. Also, Professor Yang’s previous book Between Winds and Clouds: The Making of Yunnan was translated in Chinese and published by Gūsa Press (Taiwan) in May. This book was listed in “20 Books Selected for 2021” by “Taiwan Humanities and Scholarship”.

In December, the Department of History has successfully completed the Digital Humanities Project “QingMaps”. Associate Professor Mario Cams who is in charge of this project, with the assistance of 12 students in the Department and the Leiden University in The Netherlands, has spent 5 years on this project. “QingMaps” is an interactive map visual tool which consists of three enormous maps produced during the Qing Dynasty. In the project, no less than 69,450 place names were indexed, in both Manchu and Chinese scripts which were transcribed from many other languages of Inner and East Asia. These three maps can be easily compared with as 23,595 place names are present on at least two of the maps, and thus provide with a convenient and powerful tool for historical research.

In 2021, Associate Professor Zhu Tianshu published an article “Affiliating to a Communal Temple via the Statue of a Deity: Firecracker Societies in Macau, 1900–1966” in Journal of Chinese Ritual, Theatre and Folklore (TSSCI & THCI, Taiwan). The paper examines the transformation of religious communities’ activities during the urbanization of Macau. Also, Professor Zhu published several other important articles on the history of Buddhist art. Assistant Professor Joshua Ehrlich published an article in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (A&HCI) which studies the intellectual exchange between Europeans and Hindu. Assistant Professor Tsang Wing Ma published an article on Journal of East-West Humanities and contributed entries to The Encyclopedia of Ancient History: Asia and Africa. Professor Wang, Professor Mao, Professor Yang, and post-doc. Wang Yu all have published articles in several significant journals such as Journal of Tsinghua University, Modern Chinese History Studies and Maritime History Studies. Dr. Wang Yu also published his annotation book of a historical source Shishi Xinlun authored by Timothy Richard.