Lan Wu

Assistant Professor of History
Borderlands, ethnicity, and state formation in China; early modern empires, transnational history in East Asia; Buddhism in East Asia

Lan's research interests lie in the intersection of religion and state formation in early modern China. She is currently revising her book manuscript. This  manuscript -in-preparation, “Refuge from Empire: Religion and Qing China’s Imperial Formation in the Eighteenth Century,” focuses on the role of religion in imperial formation in Qing China (1644-1911). It approaches to Qing China from ground up and explores how marginal communities in Inner Asia availed themselves of state resources as the expanding empire took shape in the eighteenth century. Lan’s archival research trips have taken her to various libraries, archives, and monasteries in Asia and North America in recent years.

At Mount Holyoke College, Lan offers introductory courses on China and East Asia as well as specialized courses on gender and the Silk Road. She is affiliated with the Asian Studies Program.


  1. "Crafting Buddhist Art in Qing China's Contact Zones during the Eighteenth Century." Journal 18: A Journal of Eighteenth-Century Art and Culture (Nov, 2017) [Link]
  2. Review of The Mongols and the Islamic World: From Conquest to Conversion, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017, by Peter Jackson, Reading Religion: A Publication of the American Academy of Religion (Aug, 2017) [Link]
  3. Review of The Dalai Lama and the Emperor of China: A Political History of the Tibetan Institution of Reincarnation, New York: Columbia University Press, 2015, by Peter Schwieger, Journal of Asian History, (Nov, 2016): 159-162.
  4. Review of Yonghegong: Art, Religion, and Politics in Beijing’s Lama Temple, by Kevin Greenwood, Dissertation Reviews, (March, 2014) [Link]
  5. Review of The Mother of All Monasteries: Gönlung Jampa Ling and the Rise of Mega Monasteries in Northeastern Tibet, by Brenton Sullivan, Dissertation Reviews, (March, 2014)  [Link]
  6. Review of Shincho to Chibetto Bukkyo: Bosatsuo to Natta Kenryutei (Qing China and the Tibetan Buddhist World: The Qianlong Emperor who had Become a Buddhist King) [In Japanese],” by Yumiko Ishihama, The Journal of Asian Studies, 71:4 (November 2012): 1133-1135.
  7. Biography of the Second Mindrol Nominhan, Lobzang Tendzin Gyatso. The Treasury of Lives, New York, NY (Dec, 2014) [Link]