Leacock, Rm 619
Department of History 855 Sherbrooke West
I teach a wide range of courses dealing with Chinese and East Asian History, both traditional and modern. In my classes students actively work with primary documents, but also gain familiarity with the rich historiographical traditions surrounding each topic. As such they will discover how Chinese traditions influence modern society, and how modern developments color our views of the Chinese past. In my own research I am especially captivated by how ideas and ideals—as they are laid down in a vast repository of texts—interact with historical reality. In my first book I studied how the Huainanzi, a text offered to the Chinese emperor by the king of Huainan in 139 B.C., not only sealed the fate of its sponsor, but also led the centralizing empire to monopolize notions of good and evil. In a current project I analyze how during the Han dynasty period (206 B.C.E.-220 C.E.) people reconciled the various inherited values surrounding the family with the changed reality of the Chinese empire.
Early Chinese Intellectual History.