Tuesday, 3:30-5:00; Thursday, 9:30-10:30 and by appointment
Late Imperial China, Modern China, Modern Japan
My research focuses on the cultural and intellectual world of the nineteenth century and the transition from empire to nation in China. A book manuscript under preparation examines the unlikely restoration of imperial rule in the aftermath of the Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864). The manuscript argues that in a time when local power bases threatened to tear the empire apart, the Qing Court used the education of a series of young emperors to lure competing constituencies back into the fold of central governance. The Court linked local projects of reconstruction into a broader framework of dynastic renewal, first by promising competing scholars around the country the opportunity to serve in the emperor’s classroom and later by presenting the emperor as symbol of a modernizing nation. In doing so, they enabled decades of post-war recovery while preserving the ideal of a unitary state for later national regimes. In addition to the book manuscript, forthcoming articles explore other components of the project to remake the Qing state, focusing in particular on the attempt to create a cohort of compositionally educated nobles—both men and women—for service in the new constitutional monarchy.