History

From its very beginnings and founding by John King Fairbank, one of the most influential China scholars and historians of China of the twentieth century, the Fairbank Center has been deeply involved with and devoted to China’s history. In fact, more than half of the Fairbank Center’s directors have been historians of China. As such, the Center has a proud legacy of groundbreaking research into all facets of China’s history. This legacy is carried on in a plethora of events the Center holds throughout the year as well as some of the Center’s annual lecture series, including its Modern China Lecture Series

Expertise

Ezra Vogel
Ezra Vogel

Ezra F. Vogel 傅高义

Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences, Emeritus, former Director of the Fairbank Center

Professor Vogel succeeded John Fairbank as second Director (1972-1977) of Harvard's East Asian Research Center (now the Fairbank Center) and second Chairman of the Council for East Asian Studies (1977-1980).

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Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies | CGIS South Building | 1730 Cambridge Street | Cambridge MA 02138
arunabh ghosh
arunabh ghosh

Arunabh Ghosh 郭旭光

Assistant Professor of History

Arunabh Ghosh is a historian of modern China, with research and teaching interests that span the social, economic, and intellectual histories of twentieth century China, transnational histories of science and statecraft, and Sino-Indian history.

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CGIS South | 1730 Cambridge Street | Cambridge MA 02138
William Kirby
William Kirby

William C. Kirby 柯偉林

T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies; Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration; Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor; Director of the Harvard China Fund; former Director of the Fairbank Center

William C. Kirby is Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies at Harvard University. He is a University Distinguished Service Professor.

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Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies | CGIS South Building | 1730 Cambridge Street | Cambridge MA 02138
Paul Cohen
Paul Cohen

Paul A. Cohen 柯文

Professor of History Emeritus, Wellesley College

Paul Cohen 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 mainlyRead More

Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies | CGIS South Building | 1730 Cambridge Street | Cambridge MA 02138
merie goldman
merie goldman

Merle Goldman 戈德曼

Professor of History Emerita, Boston University

Merle Goldman is the author of a number of books on modern Chinese history and culture. Her last two books, China’s Intellectuals: Advise and Dissent (1981) and Sowing the Seeds of Democracy in China (1994), were selected by the NewRead More

Michael A. Szonyi
Michael A. Szonyi

Michael A. Szonyi 宋怡明

Director of the Fairbank Center; Frank Wen-Hsiung Wu Memorial Professor of Chinese History

Michael Szonyi is Director of the Fairbank Center at Harvard University and Frank Wen-Hsiung Wu Memorial Professor of Chinese History in Harvard’s Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and Department of History.

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CGIS South Building | 1730 Cambridge Street | Cambridge MA 02138
Rudolf Wagner
Rudolf Wagner

Rudolf Wagner 瓦格納

Senior Professor, University of Heidelberg

Research interests: Chinese religions and philosophical thought

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Karl Jaspers Centre | Voßstraße 2, Building 4400 | 69115 Heidelberg | Deutschland/Germany
William Alford
William Alford

William Alford 安守廉

Jerome A. and Joan L. Cohen Professor of Law; Director, East Asian Legal Studies Program

William P. Alford is a scholar of Chinese law and legal history. His books include To Steal a Book is an Elegant Offense: Intellectual Property Law in Chinese Civilization (Stanford University Press 1995)

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Harvard Law School | Austin 301 | Cambridge, MA 02138
Peter Boi
Peter Boi

Peter K. Bol 包弼德

Vice Provost for Advances in Learning; Charles H Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations

As Vice Provost, Peter K. Bol is responsible for HarvardX, the Harvard Initiative in Learning and Teaching, and research on the science of learning. Together with William Kirby, Bol teaches ChinaX (SW12x), a Harvard course that has a global enrollmentRead More

2 Divinity Avenue | Cambridge MA, 02138
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Research Projects

Harvard Yenching Library New Holdings in Manchukuo History: Needs and Opportunities, Workshop

The Harvard-Yenching Library, with support from the Fairbank Center, convened a half-day workshop on in the spring of 2016 to introduce the newly-acquired Manchukuo Collection. Consisting of over 2,000 items including books and ephemera such as diaries, music scores, photoalbums, propaganda posters, board games, scrapbooks, magazines, and tourism brochures, the Manchukuo Collection contributes to the Harvard-Yenching Library existing collection in Chinese and Japanese materials from the 20th century, providing a strong foundation to the growing field of Manchurian studies.

Modern China Lecture Series

The Center’s Modern China Lecture Series, headed by Professor Arunabh Ghosh of the History Department, explores the fascinating and ever more relevant history of the People’s Republic of China. Last year, the lecture series hosted a variety of prominent scholars of Modern China, who spoke on topics ranging from the role of women’s labor, accumulation, and the program of socialist austerity that existed in China’s collective era to a framing of Chinese consumerism during this same period.

Latest News

2018-2019: A Year in Review of China Studies at Harvard

Read and download our 2018-2019 Annual Report here.  The 2018–19 academic year was a challenging time for all of us at the Fairbank Center who devote ourselves to the study of China. The U.S.-China bilateral relationship continues to deteriorate and there are few...

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Fall 2019 Courses on China

COURSES PRIMARILY FOR UNDERGRADUATES Government GOV 1288: China’s Economic Development Nara Dillon How has China achieved high economic growth rates for 40 years?  Have the post-Mao economic reforms created a market economy, or a new form of state...

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Resources at Harvard

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Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies