The entrance to the Department of History’s office in Sidney Smith Hall

Lisa Mar

Associate Professor; Richard Charles Lee Chair in Chinese Canadian Studies

Office Location:  University College, Room 150


Canadian Studies, University College


Lisa Mar specializes in modern Canadian and U.S. socio-political history, particularly immigration and ethnicity, and especially the experiences of Asian Canadians and Asian Americans. Her research focuses on Chinese Canadians and Chinese Americans, their relations with their neighbours, and relations between global and local multicultural experiences in Canada.

Mar’s first book, Brokering Belonging: Chinese in Canada’s Exclusion Era, 1885-1945 (Oxford University Press, 2010), exemplifies her blending of Canadian and Pacific World Studies by tracing how community leaders’ political struggles to represent Chinese Canadians’ concerns to Canadian institutions revealed a Canada deeply embedded in a Pacific World that joined China, the United States and the British Empire.

Brokering Belonging’s innovative re-imagining of early Chinese Canadians as influential political actors in Canada earned the Association for Asian American Studies History Book Award (2011), Honorable Mention for the Albert B. Corey Prize for best book in US-Canadian history from the American Historical Association and the Canadian Historical Association (2011) and a nomination for the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction (2010).

Mar is currently working on two book projects: an historical study of ethnic Chinese Confucianism in Canada and the United States during the 19th and 20th century, and a comparative history of Chinese in Canada and in the United States during the Second World War.

She currently teaches courses in Canadian studies and in Canadian history, with emphases on Asian Canadian studies, immigration, race, and ethnicity, Chinese Canadian studies, and global Chinese migrations and diasporas. 

Authored Publications:


Photo of Lisa Mar