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Denise Y. Ho is associate professor of twentieth-century Chinese history at Yale University.  She is an historian of modern China, with a particular focus on the social and cultural history of the Mao period (1949-1976).  She is also interested in urban history, the study of information and propaganda, and material culture.  More recently, she is examining the history of the border between Hong Kong and China—Bao’an County, or today’s Shenzhen.  

Ho teaches undergraduate courses on modern and contemporary China, the history of Shanghai, the uses of the past in modern China, and the relationship between Hong Kong and China.  Her graduate courses include the historiography of the Republican era and the People’s Republic, as well as an interdisciplinary seminar called “China at its Borders.”

She is the author of Curating Revolution: Politics on Display in Mao’s China (Cambridge, 2018) and co-editor of Material Contradictions in Mao’s China (University of Washington, 2022).  She also co-edited a special issue entitled “Transformation of Shen (zhen)-(Hong) Kong Borderlands” (Made in China Journal, 2020), and contributed to the website The Mao Era in Objects. Ho is currently writing a grassroots history of the Hong Kong-China frontier entitled Cross-Border Relations.  

Professor Ho’s articles and reviews appear in leading journals in history and China studies, including The American Historical Review, China Quarterly, Modern China, and The P.R.C. History Review. Book chapters are included in Afterlives of Chinese Communism, The China Questions, The Oxford Handbook of History and Material Culture, The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Asian History, and Red Legacies in China.  In addition to her scholarly research, Ho has been a commentator on contemporary China and Hong Kong.  

Denise Y. Ho received her B.A. in history from Yale College and an A.M. and Ph.D. in history from Harvard University.  During her graduate studies, she was the recipient of a Fulbright Grant and a visiting scholar at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.  She is a member of the fifth cohort of the Public Intellectuals Program of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.  


Yale University

Department of History

320 York Street

P.O. Box 208324

New Haven, CT 06520-8324