History, Language and Culture Basics

 A short list …


Nicola di Cosmo – Researcher on the relations of imperial China to its steppe neighbors.  Before joining the Institute for Advanced Studies, diCosmo taught at Harvard and Cambridge.  Sample work - Ancient China and Its Enemies  Ancient China and Its Enemies


John K. Fairbank – widely acclaimed as having invented the field of China studies in the US.  China – A New History is his final work, written with Merle Goldman.  Fairbank taught at Harvard his entire career, and the Fairbank Center for China Studies is named after him.  Fairbank Center mission


Jonathan Spence – Emeritus Professor of History at Yale, author of The Search for Modern China   Search for Modern China   National Endowment for the Humanities bio -    National Endowment for the Humanities bio


Yuri Pines – Professor of Chinese history at University of Jerusalem.  Much of his work is available online.  Sample work – (with Gideon Shelach)  ‘Using the Past to Serve the Present’: Comparative Perspectives on Chinese and Western Theories of the Origins of the State. In Shaul Shaked, ed., Genesis and Regeneration: Essays on Conceptions of Origins.  Jerusalem: The Israel Academy of Science and Humanities, 2005  Origins of the State  and  “The One That Pervades the All” in Ancient Chinese Political Thought: The Origins of “The Great Unity” Paradigm.  T’oung Pao LXXXVI.  and  Envisioning Eternal Empire.  Chinese Political Thought of the Warring States Period.  Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2009   Envisioning Eternal Empire


Richard Madsen - Professor of Sociology at University of California at San Diego.  Sample work - Morality and Power in a Chinese Village.     University of California Press, 1986.  This is an outstanding account of the confusion and anarchy that was the Cultural Revolution.    Co-author of Habits of the Heart, with Robert Bellah and others   Habits of the Heart    and   Confucian Conceptions of Civil Society.  Chapter 1 in Confucian Political Ethics, edited by Daniel A. Bell (2007). Confucian Conceptions of Civil Society     University web site


Victor Mair – Professor of Chinese Language and Literature at University of Pennsylvania.  He is the founder and editor of Sino-Platonic Papers, an occasional series containing original research from a variety of disciplines on Chinese history and philosophy.  University site   Sample work - Language and Ideology in Nationalist and Communist China, Sino-Platonic Papers No. 256, April, 2015  


David Pankenier -  taught intellectual history and cultural astronomy at Lehigh University.   Some of his work is available at  Academia site   Sample work -  The Cosmo-Political Background of Heaven’s Mandate.   and   ‘Astrology for an Empire: the ‘Treatise on the Celestial Offices’ in the Grand Scribe’s Records (ca. 100 BCE)’, eds. Nicholas Campion and Rolf Sinclair, Culture and Cosmos, Vol. 16 nos. 1 and 2, 2012   Culture and Cosmos


Albert Galvany -  Professor at University of the Basque Country, Spain   Sample work -  Sly Mouths and Silver Tongues: the Dynamics of Psychological Persuasion in Ancient China.  Political Rhetoric in Early China.   Extrême-Orient Extrême-Occident  34, 2012 p. 15-40.   Available at http://journals.openedition.org/extremeorient/250   and  The court as a battlefield: The art of war and the art of politics in the Han Feizi.  Bulletin of the SOAS, University of London, 2017.  Court as a Battlefield


Li Liu -  professor of Chinese archeology at Stanford. University site  With Xingcan Chen, she wrote State Formation in Early China, describing the transition from tribal societies to state and empire.  Article version of book at  State Formation in Early China


Evelyn Rawski -  retired from University of Pittsburgh,  scholar particularly of Qing dynasty history.  Sample work - Education and Popular Literacy in Ch’ing China.  University of Michigan Press, 1979  Education and Literacy


Lu Xing – professor in rhetoric and communications at DePaul University  University site  Sample work -  Rhetoric in Ancient China, Fifth to Third Century B. C. E.: A Comparison with Greek Rhetoric​. University of South Carolina Press, 1998


The complicated Chinese Family Tree.  Off the Great Wall.  New Tang Dynasty television, an entertainment and news medium founded in 2001 by Falun Gong practitioners. News most decidedly not approved by CCP.   Although clearly not an academic or professional reference, this is too much fun to not serve as a reference.  Are you related to your grandmother’s sister’s daughter?   All the Off the Great Wall videos are fun   The Complicated Chinese Family Tree


David Keightley – was professor of Chinese history at University of California – Berkeley.  He was the preeminent American scholar of Shang dynasty oracle bones.  Sample work –  Art, Ancestors, and the Origins of Writing in China. Representations, vol. 56, Fall, 1996.   Art, Ancestors, and Writing  and Early Civilization in China: Reflections on how It Became Chinese. In Heritage of China: Contemporary Perspectives on Chinese Civilization, edited by Paul S. Ropp. University of California Press, 1990,  Available at Harvard EdX site -  How did China become Chinese?


Fernand Braudel – One of the founders of the Annales school of historical scholarship – the longue duree as a principle determinant of culture and history. Necessary for consideration of China.   Sample work - The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, volume 2.  Harper Collins, 1976    Braudel - The Mediterranean World


Walter Ong – Though not a China scholar, Ong’s work on orality in cultures informs a view of the scholar-official in China as a privileged and sometimes oppressive class – writing as a tool of oppression, rather than equality.   Sample work -  Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. London: Methuen, 1982. Available  Orality and Literacy


Johanna Drucker –  Professor in the graduate school of education at UCLA.  Also not a China scholar, but an accessible story of the development of the alphabet at Art Meets Technology:  The History and Effects of the Alphabet.  Interview at Children of the Code website, September 12, 2003  Origins of the Alphabet


David Ze – Does not seem to have written much past the cited article, but takes the orality of Ong and applies it to Chinese cultural development.  I can’t agree with Ze entirely, but his views are largely persuasive.  Sample work -  Walter Ong's Paradigm and Chinese Literacy.  Canadian Journal of Communication.  20:4 (1995)  Orality in China


Alexis deTocqueville -  Well, ok, not quite history, and only slight references to China.  But not many better referents from the past for predictions about the future.  Sample work - Democracy in America, 1835. Translated by Henry Reeve.  The Pennsylvania State University, Electronic Classics Series, Jim Manis, Ed.,  2002   Democracy in America  Sample quote - “Among the laws that rule human societies there is one that seems more precise and clearer than all the others. In order that men remain civilized or become so, the art of associating must be developed and perfected among them in the same ratio as equality of conditions increases.” …. “In democratic countries the science of association is the mother of science; the progress of all the rest depends upon the progress it has made.”


Robert Kaplan – the foreign correspondent turned academic.  Now a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security.  Sample work -  Was Democracy Just a Moment?  Atlantic Magazine, December, 1997, Was Democracy Just a Moment?   Reminder that “democracy imported in a box” is not only a bad idea, but democracy itself requires care and attention that even the US and Britain can lose sight of.  Civil society is a prerequisite to democracy as we know it.    Personal web site


Mark S. Granovetter – Professor of sociology at Stanford, noted for his work on the spread of information in social networks   University site   Sample work - "The Strength of Weak Ties," American Journal of Sociology 78 (1973)      Strength of Weak Ties  


Francis Fukuyama -  Professor of political science at Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford.  Forget the End of History argument – Fukuyama admits to an error in that regard. Sample work -   Social Capital and Civil Society.  IMF Working Paper 00/74.  IMF Institute, April, 2000, posted 2006 at  Social Capital and Civil Society   and Social Capital and Civil Society lecture prepared for IMF Conference on Second Generation Reforms, delivered at  The Institute of Public Policy, George Mason University October 1, 1999.    Social Capital and Civil Society lecture  and  America in Decay: The Sources of Political Dysfunction, Foreign Affairs September/October, 2014  Sources of American Decay  His books on the history of governance and its decay are good references.  The Origins of Political Order, 2011 and Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Present Day, 2014, both Farrar, Straus and Giroux.  Wiki - wiki on Origins of Political Order







Economics Blogs

Party News

Australian National University ANU and related

History, Language and Culture Basics

Contemporary Economics, Governance, and Law

Economics and Cultural History - Interpretation

Work on contemporary China, academics and journalists but in the popular media

Work on contemporary China, mostly in the popular media

Philosophy, Daoist and Confucian Studies

Political Reference Documents