John Wong

Emeritus Professor John Wong

  • Post Nominals: FAHA
  • Fellow Type: Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 2012
  • Section(s): History, Asian Studies


Born in China (1946), educated in Hong Kong (1956-68) and Oxford (1968-74), and having taught in Australia since 1974 but visiting China and England several times a year (as well as other places) for archival research and fieldwork, Professor Wong interacts with people high and low. He is deeply aware of the gulf between East and West, and therefore determined to work towards a meeting of the twain by focusing his research on imperialism and nationalism, publishing in both languages. His work on imperialism is showcased in his Deadly Dreams, a horizontal analysis of imperialism by means the Arrow War (1856-60), which will be complemented by a vertical examination up to the present in an expanded Chinese edition. His work on nationalism will climax in his biography of Sun Yatsen (1866-1925), the Chinese national hero who is playing a pivotal role in unifying Chinese across the Taiwan Strait and beyond. Professor Wong popularises his original research by regular media interviews in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. As a practical step towards bridging East and West, he is at present exploring the prospects of the rule of law developing in China, with suitable doses of the traditional Chinese rule of virtue.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.