Ed Wickberg



  • University of Oklahoma, 1947-49, B.A. 1949
  • University of Oklahoma, 1949-50, M.A. 1950
  • University of California, Berkeley, 1950-52; 1954-55; 1956-60; Ph.D. 1961

In Memorium

On Wednesday, October 29, (2008) Prof. Edgar Wickberg, a longtime member of the Department of History at UBC, passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. Prof. Wickberg taught Modern Chinese History at UBC between 1969 and his retirement in 1992, and achieved an international reputation as a leading scholar of the global Chinese diaspora, but his lasting impact went well beyond his research on the Chinese in the Philippines and in Canada. He helped grow Chinese Canadian history as a subject of study, creating a lasting place within UBC and within Canadian higher education for students and scholars to examine the long complex history of the Chinese in Canada. He will be remember fondly by many students and colleagues for his kindness and generousity, and his eagerness to discuss every subject from Cantonese opera to AAA baseball. Many Chinese Canadian students will remember with gratitude his patience during office hours and the depth of his empathy for their personal struggles to understand their identities as Chinese in Canada.

Ed Wickberg’s engagement with the many Chinese Canadian communities of Vancouver went well beyond that of scholarship. “From China to Canada,” the collaborative book project that he helped co-author and edit, remains a foundational text for understanding Chinese Canadian history, and it revealed his deep commitment to working with a wide range of community members to construct a balanced and nuanced history that went beyond the standard histories of what “had been done” to Chinese in Canada. He believed in the importance of Chinese language sources for understanding the rich lives of Chinese Canadians, and pioneered the preservation and collection of such materials. After his retirement, Ed’s commitment to partnerships between academia and community led to his vision for the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of British Columbia, a broad-based society committed to increasing awareness of the importance of the Chinese in B.C. and Canadian history, as well as the collecting and preservation of materials relating to that history. Drawing upon the credibility and trust that he had built up over decades of devotion to understanding Chinese Canadian history, Ed was able to bring together a wide array of scholars and community members who shared his passion to found what has become a highly successful historical society.

In gratitude for his vision and his hard work as the Founding President, the CCHSBC created the Edgar Wickberg Scholarship in 2006 to honour his lifetime of passion for Chinese Canadian history by encouraging and supporting students in its study. Ed’s expressed wish was that upon his passing, donations be made to the Wickberg Scholarship fund in lieu of flowers as a way to honour his memory. Donations may be sent to:

Dr. Edgar Wickberg Scholarship
Chinese Canadian Historical Society of British Columbia (CCHSBC)
Kerrisdale Postal Station
PO Box 18032
Vancouver, BC V6M 4L3

by Henry Yu

  • Chinese history since 1600
  • Chinese overseas, especially in the Philippines and Canada
  • Philippine history


E. Wickberg; B. Xu. Cong Zhongguo dao Jianada. Shanghai: Shanghai she hui ke xue yuan chu ban she, 1988.

E. Wickberg. The Chinese in Philippine life, 1850-1898. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965.

Articles/Book Chapters

E. Wickberg, “Contemporary overseas Chinese ethnicity in the Pacific Region”, Chinese America: History and Perspectives, p. 133, 2010.
I. Lim, Wickberg, E., and Wong, L., “Chinese crossing borders: a roundtable comparing Chinese in Canada and the United States”, Chinese America: History and Perspectives, p. 213, 2007.

E. Wickberg, “The new Chinese Canadian Historical Society of British Columbia”, Chinese America: History and Perspectives, p. 215, 2007.

E. Wickberg, “Global Chinese Migrants and Performing Chineseness”, Journal of Chinese Overseas, vol. 3, pp. 177-193, 2007.

E. Wickberg, “Overseas Chinese: The state of the field”, Chinese America: History and Perspectives, p. 1, 2002.

E. Wickberg, “Sons of the Yellow Emperor: A History of the Chinese Diaspora. By Lynn Pan. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1990. xvii, 408 pp. $22.95”, The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 50, pp. 671-672, 1991.

E. Wickberg, “The Ethnic Chinese in the ASEAN States. Bibliographical Essays. Edited by Suryadinata Leo. [Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 1989. 271 pp.]”, The China Quarterly, vol. 123, pp. 565-566, 1990.

E. Wickberg, “Pluralism, Corporatism and Confucianism. Political Association and Conflict Regulation in the United States, Europe and Taiwan. By Harmon Zeigler. [Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1988. 249 pp. $29.95.]”, The China Quarterly, vol. 120, pp. 886-887, 1989.

E. Wickberg, “The structure of Chinese Rural Society:Lineage and Village in the Eastern New Territories, Hong Kong. By David Faure. [Hong Kong, Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.273 pp. HK$145.00]”, The China Quarterly, vol. 111, pp. 488-489, 1987.

E. Wickberg, “China and the Overseas Chinese in the United States, 1868–1911. By Shihshan Henry Tsai. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1983. ix, 116 pp. Tables, Illustrations, Appendixes, Glossary, Bibliographical Note, Index. $17.50”, The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 44, pp. 829-830, 1985.

E. Wickberg, “ANOTHER LOOK AT LAND AND LINEAGE IN THE NEW TERRITORIES, CA. 1900”, Journal of the Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. 21, pp. 25-42, 1981.

E. Wickberg, “Chinese and Canadian Influences on Chinese Politics in Vancouver, 1900-1947”, BC Studies, vol. 45, p. 37, 1980.

E. Wickberg, “Some Problems in Chinese Organizational Development in Canada, 1923-1937”, Canadian Ethnic Studies/Etudes Ethniques au Canada, vol. 11, pp. 88-98, 1979.

A. Volkoff and Wickberg, E., “New Directions in Chinese Historiography: Reappraising the Taiping: Notes and Comment”, Pacific Affairs, vol. 52, pp. 479-490, 1979.

E. Wickberg, “The Taiwan Peasant Movement, 1923-1932: Chinese Rural Radicalism Under Japanese Development Programs”, Pacific Affairs, vol. 48, pp. 558-582, 1975.

E. Wickberg, “Spain in the Philippines: From Conquest to Revolution. By Nicholas P. Cushner S. J. IPC Monograph No. I, Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University, ix. 272 pp. Illustrations, Notes, Bibliography, Glossary, Index, n.p.l”, The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 32, pp. 755-756, 1973.

E. Wickberg, “Early Chinese Revolutionaries. Radical Intellectuals in Shanghai and Chekiang, 1902–1911. By Mary Backus Rankin. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971. 235 pp. Translations of Names of Organizations and Publications, Notes, Bibliography, Glossary, I”, The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 31, pp. 189-191, 1971.

E. Wickberg, “Japanese Land Policies in Taiwan, 1895-1945”, Agricultural History, vol. 43, pp. 369-378, 1969.

E. Wickberg, “Strangers at the Gate. Social Disorder in South China, 1839–1861. By Frederic Wakeman Jr. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1966. 276 pp. Maps, Figures, Tables, Appendices, Notes, Bibliography, Glossary, Index. $6.00”, The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 26, pp. 702-704, 1967.

E. Wickberg, “Early Chinese Economic Influence in the Philippines, 1850-1898”, Pacific Affairs, vol. 35, pp. 275-285, 1962.

E. Wickberg, “Early Chinese economic influences in the Philippines, 1850-1898”, Pacific affairs, vol. 35, pp. 275-285, 1962.

E. Wickberg, “The Jesuits in the Philippines, 1581–1768. By H. de la Costa, S.J. Cambridge: Harvard Press, 1961. xiii, 702, Plates, Maps, Tables, Bibliography, Index. $12.50”, The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 21, pp. 93-94, 1961.

E. Wickberg, “Malolos: The Crisis of the Republic. By Teodoro A. Agoncillo. Quezon City: University of the Philippines, 1960, xvi, 831, Appendices, Notes, Bibliography, Index”, The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 21, pp. 92-93, 1961.

E. Wickberg, “The Hispanization of the Philippines: Spanish Aims and Filipino Responses, 1565-1700 . John Leddy Phelan”, American Anthropologist, vol. 61, pp. 909-910, 1959.

E. B. Wickberg, “A Second Look at America. By General Emilio Aguinaldo and Vicente Albano Pacis. New York: Robert Speller, 1957. 258. Illustrations, Index. $5.00.American Colonial Careerist. Half a Century of Official Life and Personal Experience in the Philippines and Pu”, The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 17, pp. 634-636, 1958.

E. B. Wickberg, “Calendar of Philippine Documents in the Ayer Collection of the Newberry Library. Ed. Paul S. Lietz. Chicago: Newberry Library, 1956. xvi, 259. Index. $6.00”, The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 16, pp. 481-482, 1957.

E. B. Wickberg, “Spanish Records in the Philippine National Archives”, The Hispanic American Historical Review, vol. 35, pp. 77-89, 1955.


E. Wickberg, “Prosperity without Progress: Manila Hemp and Material Life in the Colonial Philippines”, The Business History Review, vol. 59. pp. 708-709, 1985.

E. Wickberg, “Gold Mountain: The Chinese in the New World”, The American Historical Review, vol. 89. pp. 886-886, 1984.

H. Con, Wickberg, E., and Canada, M., “De la Chine au Canada: histoire des communautés chinoises au Canada”. Multiculturalisme Canada, 1984.

H. Con and Wickberg, E., “From China to Canada: a history of the Chinese communities in Canada”. Published by McClelland and Stewart Ltd. in association with the Multiculturalism Directorate, Department of the Secretary of State, and the Canadian Government Publishing Centre, Supply and Services Canada, 1982.

E. Wickberg and Hayes, J., “The Hong Kong Region, 1850-1911: Institutions and Leadership in Town and Countryside”, The American Historical Review, vol. 83. pp. 1073-1074, 1978.

E. Wickberg, “Chinese Migration and Settlement in Australia”, The American Historical Review, vol. 82. pp. 1056-1057, 1977.

E. Wickberg, “The Chinese Peasant Economy: Agricultural Development in Hopei and Shantung, 1890-1949”, The American Historical Review, vol. 76. pp. 821-822, 1971.


E. Wickberg, “Chinese in Philippine economy and society, 1850-1898”. 1961.

  • Fulbright Scholarship to Philippines, 1952-53
  • Foreign Area Fellowship for Graduate Study, 1956-67
  • Senior Fellow, Center for Chinese Studies, University of California, 1958-59
  • SSRC dissertation fellowship, 1959-60