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Lisa Rose Mar
Department of History & Asian American Studies Program

Associate Professor
Ph.D., Toronto, 2002
Immigration, Asian American, U.S. & Canada, 20th century

2115 Francis Scott Key
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
phone: 301-405-0542
fax: 301-314-9399

Office: 2123 Key Hall

Dr. Lisa Rose Mar is an Associate Professor of History and Asian American Studies. Dr. Mar teaches about immigrants and Asian Americans, in the past and present. Her research interests are in immigration, politics, and culture. She often employs transpacific and transnational perspectives that bring together the United States, China, and Canada.

Research Interests

Dr. Mar is the author of the book, Brokering Belonging: Chinese in Canada's Exclusion Era, 1885-1945 (Oxford University Press, 2010). Brokering Belonging traces several generations of Chinese "brokers," ethnic leaders who acted as intermediaries between the Chinese and Anglo worlds of Canada. Before World War II, most Chinese could not vote and many were illegal immigrants, so brokers played informal but necessary roles as representatives to the larger society. Dr. Mar's study of Chinatown leaders shows how politics helped establish North America's first major group of illegal immigrants. Drawing on new Chinese language evidence, her dramatic account of political power struggles over representing Chinese Canadians offers a transnational immigrant view of history, centered in a Pacific World that joins Canada, the United States, China, and the British Empire.

Dr. Mar is currently working on two book projects related to Chinese immigrants: a study of Second World War experiences, and a history of Chinese American religious life. Dr. Mar has published articles relating to transpacific Chinese migration history, domestic violence in immigrant contexts, comparative U.S.-Canadian history, and immigrant family life. She is also involved in a digital initiative to document Maryland's immigrant history. She has held several prestigious fellowships, among them an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship and The Queen's Fellowship of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Teaching Interests

As the University of Maryland's first faculty member hired in Asian American Studies, Dr. Mar regularly teaches courses in U.S. immigration and ethnicity, and in Asian American Studies. She mentors graduate students in the United States, Canada, and China fields.

Dr. Mar is one of three core faculty members for the Asian American Studies Minor. She is also an affiliate faculty member in American Studies.

Selected Publications

Brokering Belonging: Chinese in Canada's Exclusion Era, 1885-1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010)

"Beyond Being Others: Chinese Canadians as National History," BC Studies (Winter/Spring 2007/2008): 13–34.

"Asian Canada: An ‘Alternate Asian America'?" in Brian Niiya, Henry Yu, and Franklin Odo, Eds., Asian Pacific American History Collective Website, published on-line with support from the Ford Foundation at, Spring, 2005.

"The Tale of Lin Tee: Madness, Family Violence and Lindsay's Anti-Chinese Riot of 1919" in Franca Iacovetta, Frances Swyripa and Marlene Epp , Eds., Sisters or Strangers?: Immigrant Women, Minority Women and the Racialized Other, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004, 108-129.

"Remember Us: A Search for Chinese Roots in Canada," published in Chinese America: History and Perspectives 1993 . San Francisco, California: Chinese Historical Society of America, 1993, 1-24.

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Current Projects:

Chinese American Religious Life Book Project
Chinese Immigrants in the Second World War Book Project
Chinese-Language Edition of Brokering Belonging
Maryland Immigrant Digital Archive Initiative

Department of History, 2115 Francis Scott Key Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 USA
phone: 301.405.4265, fax: 301.314.9399
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