Paul A. Cohen

Center Associate, Professor of History Emeritus, Wellesley College


Paul A. Cohen (柯文) retired from Wellesley College in 2000 after teaching Chinese history for 35 years. He has been affiliated with the Fairbank Center since 1965, and he continues to research and write in the field of Chinese history, focusing mainly on the period from the nineteenth century to the present. His recent publications include History and Popular Memory: The Power of Story in Moments of Crisis (Columbia University Press, 2014), which contains chapters on Serbia, Palestine/Israel, China, France, the USSR, and England. In working on this book, Professor Cohen says, “I made two discoveries: first, a book that doesn’t focus mainly on China takes a lot less time to write, and, second, there was a whole world out there that I knew next to nothing about. It was like going to college again in my retirement.”