Victor Fong

Victor Fong's picture
Postdoctoral Associate in East Asian Studies and Lecturer in History
Areas of interest : 
Subjecthood and Citizenship; Ethnicity and Identity; Law and Frontiers in Medieval and Late Imperial China; Missionaries in Imperial China; Hong Kong Legal History

My research interests primarily lie in law and the flow of people and ideas between China and the world. I co-authored my first monograph, The Spread and Restrictions of Catholicism under the Judicial Perspective in Ming and Qing China 天道廷審: 明清司法視野下天主教的傳播與限制 (2021), to discuss how the imperial Chinese law regulated as well as negotiated with European missionaries and Catholicism during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912) periods. My doctoral project examines the early Tang (618-755) conceptions and institutions of subjecthood to explore how the Tang law and administration asserted control over a large multi-ethnic population with immigrants from the Türk highlands, Sogdiana, Persia, as well as present-day Japan, and Korea.

In exploring the premodern world, I am also interested in how ancient history is represented and used in our times. My several publications discuss the significance of Tang history in the ‘China Dream’, and how literary Chinese teaching may also play a role in that political notion. I participated in a Hong Kong TV talk show to promote history to the general public, too.

I earned my BA and MPhil degrees from Hong Kong Baptist University and my Ph.D. from the Australian National University. I am always grateful for the scholarships I received from Hong Kong, the Australian Government, and Japan Foundation.


EAST 403, HIST 310

Law and Order in East Asia to 1800

Law is not only a practical instrument but has also shaped East Asian civilization. In implementing the governance blueprints of rulers and thinkers, law formulated the operations of East Asian empires and kingdoms, as well as their people’s life in nearly all aspects. This course introduces students to the law and legal systems in premodern East Asia. Starting with early legal theories, it explores the traditional East Asian ideas of ‘justice’ and how the law attempted to achieve them under imperial rule and major religious beliefs. By careful and critical reading of premodern codes and court cases, we also seek to trace the life experiences of commoners under such laws and systems. We try to understand the conflicts and tensions among the people through their frustrations in disputes, their pains in different kinds of violence, and other issues.

Term: Spring 2024
Day/Time: W 1:30 PM - 3:20 PM