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Luther C

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at Stanford University


History, Chinese History, East Asian History, Early Modern History, History of Migration & Diaspora


I was born in Northern California but study and research have found me living in New York, Xiamen (China), Vancouver, and Taipei. I started my B.A. in History at Fordham University, after which I transferred to UC Berkeley. After living in China for a year, I did a M.A. in Chinese history at the University of British Columbia in Canada. Now, I am a 2nd year PhD student in History at Stanford University. My current interests include the history of Chinese migration, the role of transnational connections in the making of the modern world, and the use of legal case files to reveal surprising things about the lives of ordinary and not-so-ordinary people in the past.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Original Research Paper

I have advised lots of undergraduate students in conducting their own historical research projects culminating in a final research paper. We would start with identifying a contested topic based around your interests, after which we would dive into the existing scholarship in search of ways to make a new contribution. Then, we would map out and discuss primary sources in the languages you are able to read. Finally, we would work together to hone a persuasive argument about what those primary sources can tell us about the past. This project would develop the research and academic writing skills that are the bread and butter of learning in the humanities at the university level.

Creative Engagements with History

Feel like learning how historical research can be use to produce something other than a traditional academic paper? Want to display your research in a different format: short fiction, poetry, a screen- or stage play, creative non-fiction, a museum exhibition, an annotated translation, or a graphic novel? We would work to identify a historical topic, and immerse ourselves in the primary sources from the time, as well as the writings of professional historians. Then, we will study and discuss a few model works in your chosen project genre. Finally, we would work together to plan, draft, and critique your own creative work.

Family History

Interested in knowing how you and your family fit into the broader patterns of historical change? We will work on collecting stories, genealogical information, and documents from your own family history, which we will subject to the same rigorous historical analysis we would apply to any primary source. Once we have identified key turning points and gaps in the record, we will turn to outside secondary and primary sources to help contextualize and enliven your family's past. Finally, I will guide you in assembling these materials into a final product, which could take a narrative or more creative form.

Languages I know

Mandarin Chinese, Classical Chinese, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese (intermediate)

Teaching experience

I have taught as a TA for 4 semesters at the University of British Columbia and 2 quarters at Stanford. I have experience advising students in a variety of research-based projects in Chinese and world history.



University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley)
BA Bachelor of Arts (2015)
University of British Columbia
MA Master of Arts (2018)
History (China)
Stanford University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate

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