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You Lan

Ph.D. Candidate


Born and raised in China, I first came to the United States as a graduate student to study international relations. Living in the US made me increasingly interested in US history so I pursued an MA in history. Now I have combined my academic interests with my personal experience as an Asian woman in the US and study the trans-Pacific history of Asian Americans.

Research Interests

Women, Gender and Sexuality 

The Chinese Diaspora

US in the World

Research Description

My dissertation research focuses on the Chinese diaspora in the United States during the first half of the twentieth century. I study the transnational construction of modern gender norms in the Chinese diaspora by examining sources located in archives on both sides of the Pacific.  I aspire to write histories that connect East Asian and Asian American studies and reimagine diasporic studies with a keen eye on transnational queerness.


M.A. History - Rutgers University

B.A. International Studies - University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China


Nelle M. Signor Graduate Scholarship in International Relations - Summer 2023

University of Illinois Graduate College Dissertation Travel Grant - Spring 2024

China-U.S. Scholars Program (CUSP) Research Travel Grant, Institute of International Education - Summer 2024

The Huntington Library Short-Term Fellowship - Winter 2025 (Accepted)