Ryan Sun

Ryan Sun (he/him) a 5th PhD Candidate in the Department of History at the University of British Columbia. I completed my undergraduate at the University of Toronto specializing in History and double minoring in German and English. I also spent a summer abroad at Akita International University studying Japanese. I moved to Vancouver to pursue my MA in History at UBC. Throughout my PhD, I was fortunate enough to secure various opportunities to expand my academic and professional horizons. In May 2020, I helped organized an online workshop on Hong Kong History. In February 2022, I spent a month at the Dornsife Center for Advanced Genocide Research of the University of South California as the Breslauer, Rutman, and Anderson Research Fellow. In June 2022, I was selected to participate in the Summer Institute on the Holocaust and Jewish Civilization at Royal Holloway University. During this same time, I interned as a Digital Projects Coordinator for the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre. I’ve also worked for the City of Vancouver conducting research into their Green Rainwater Infrastructure. I am currently the Junior Editor for the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association.

Project Description:

My dissertation is tentatively titled “Interrupted Shelters of the Holocaust: Jewish refugees’ journeys to Colonial Hong Kong and Singapore (1938-1941).” It traces the movement, reception, and experiences of Austrian and German Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany and finding refuge in the British colonies of Hong Kong and Singapore. Much of the history about Jewish refugee migrations to East Asia have centered on Shanghai as the ‘port of last resort’. However, my project argues that following the movement of Jewish refugees to East Asia reveals a larger imagined geography of refuge beyond Shanghai. Hong Kong and Singapore demonstrate how British Empire and colonial actions structure the possibilities and limits of such shelters and the trajectories of Jewish refugees.