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Department of International History
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street

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in Sardinia House (SAR)

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Dr Ronald C. Po

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: History of China; Maritime Studies; History of Cartography; Frontier Studies; Global History
Room: SAR.2.18
Tel: +44 (0)20 7107 5378

While the main focus of my teaching and research has been the history of late imperial China, I am drawn to the realm of maritime and global studies. I am particularly interested in the ways in which the maritime world has been mapped, conceptualized, and imagined. I agree with John F. Kennedy, “We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.”

I have published refereed articles on Chinese history and maritime studies in the United States, England, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and South Korea. Before joining the LSE, I was Postdoctoral Fellow at McGill University (2013-16) and Visiting Lecturer at the University of Chicago (2013). I was also previously an Erasmus Scholar at Cambridge (2011-12) and a Baden-Württemberg Fellow at Kyoto University (2012).

I was educated at Universität Heidelberg, receiving my D.Phil. in History, and at Hong Kong Baptist University, earning my M.Phil. and BA degrees.

Read more about Dr Ronald C. Po in our Meet our Historians: Introducing... feature.

Dr Ronald C. Po teaches the following courses:

At undergraduate level:

HY235: Modernity and the State in East Asia: China, Japan and Korea since 1840 (taught jointly with other members of the Department)

At masters level:

HY472: China and the External World. 1711-1839

Articles & Chapters


  • “A Port City in Northeast China: Dengzhou in the Long Eighteenth Century,” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (accepted to be published in early 2017)
  • "Tea, Porcelain, and Silk Export," in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Asian History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016-17).











  • “Qingji xifang guwen zai Hua de siying: Yi Mashi zhi zaimu shengya zuoli 清季西方顧問在華的肆應: 以馬士之在幕生涯作例 (Western muliao in Late Qing: Hosea Ballou Morse Encountered with Li Hongzhang's mufu),” Zhongzheng lishi xuekan 中正歷史學刊, vol. 11 (December, 2008), pp. 23-48.

Book Reviews & Review Articles


  • “Another Frontier: Review Article on the Taiwan shushi boshi lishi xueshu wenku [funü / xingbie] (The collection of master and doctoral theses in Taiwan [women / gender]) edited by Hou Jie,” Nan Nü: Men, Women and Gender in China.



  • “Haiyangshi shijiao xia de Zhongwai guanxishi 海洋史視角下的中外關係史 (The history of Sino-foreign relations from a maritime historical perspective),” Hanxue yanjiu 漢學研究 (Chinese Studies), vol. 30 no. 1 (March, 2012), pp. 351-357.
  • “Book Review: Old Worlds, New Worlds: European Cultural Encounters, c. 1000-1750edited by Lisa Bailey, Lindsay Diggelmann, and Kim M. Phillips,” Journal of the Oxford University History Society, Issue 8 (Hilary, 2012).


  • “Shijie shi shiye xia de Zhongguo tiyushi - Xu Guoqi de Olympic Dreams: China and Sports, 1895-2008 世界史視野下的中國體育史 - 徐國琦的 Olympic Dreams: China and Sports, 1895-2008 (Global History and the History of Sport: Review on Xu's Olympic),” Hanxue yanjiu tongxun 漢學研究通訊 (Newsletter for Research in Chinese Studies), vol. 30, no. 2 (May, 2011), pp. 59-60.


  • “Keji, yiliao de renwen guanhuai: Keji, yiliao yu shehui xueshu yantaohui lunwenji 科技, 醫療的人文關懷: 科技, 醫療與社會學術研討會論文集(Book Review: Keji, yiliao yu shehui xueshu yantaohui lunwenji),” Hong Kong Journal of Social Sciences, no. 38 (Spring/Summer, 2010), pp. 147-152.
  • “Book Review: Leprosy in China: A History,” Twenty-First Century, vol. 119 (June, 2010), pp. 152-155.


  • Co-author with Hoi-ling LUI, “Book reviews of Zhonghua wenhua de chuancheng yu chuangxin: Jinian Mou Fuli jiaoshou lunwenji (中華文化的傳承與創新: 紀念牟復禮教授論文集) and The Scholars Mind: Essays in Honor of Frederick W. Mote,” History Education Forum, vol. 5 (May, 2009), pp. 126-131.

Conference Reports


  • “Report on International Symposium: Globalization, Identity, and Regional Integration in East Asia, 1861-2011,” Asian Studies Newsletter (The Association for Asian Studies), vol. 56 no. 2 (May, 2011), p. 24.


  • “Report on Annual Conference of the Cluster of Excellence: Asia and Europe in a Global Context, Heidelberg University,” Asian Studies Newsletter (The Association for Asian Studies), vol. 55 no. 4 (December, 2010), pp. 12-14.

Other Contributions


  • “The Great Qing and the Third Frontier in the Eighteenth Century,” Asian Studies Newsletter (The Association for Asian Studies), vol. 56, no. 3 (October, 2011), p. 22.


  • “The East Asian Mediterranean?: The ‘Braudelian Framework’ and Maritime History in East Asia,” Asian Studies Newsletter (The Association for Asian Studies), vol. 56, no. 2 (May, 2011), p. 20.


Dr Ronald C. Po Awarded the LSE Santander Travel Research Fund

Dr Ronald C. Po was awarded the LSE Santander Travel Research Fund in December 2016 to visit universities in Hong Kong and South Korea, from late June to July 2017, where he will give talks and seminars. He will also conduct archival research to develop his new project, entitled “A Global History of Camphor: From an Oleoresin to a Commodity", and attend two international conferences, namely the AAS-in-Asia Conference (in Seoul) and the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) in Chingmai. Both highly regarded in the field of Asian studies.


Dr Ronald C. Po interviewed by the Heidelberg University

Read an interview conducted by the Heidelberg University in 2013.






Dr Ronald C. Po