Director, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies
Michael Szonyi is a social historian of late imperial and modern China. His research focuses on the local history of southeast China, especially in the Ming dynasty, using a combination of traditional textual sources and fieldwork. He also studies the history of Chinese popular religion and overseas Chinese history. He is currently completing a book on the social history of the Ming military. He spent part of his 2013-2014 sabbatical in rural China, documenting temple festivals and recording oral history in order to understand the contemporary religious revival and its relationship to the past. His previous books include Practicing Kinship (Stanford, 2002) and Cold War Island: Quemoy on the Front Line (Cambridge, 2008). He is also the editor of the forthcoming Blackwell Companion to Chinese History. Szonyi received his B.A. from the University of Toronto and his D.Phil. from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He has also studied at National Taiwan University and Xiamen University. Prof. Szonyi taught previously at McGill University and University of Toronto, where he received tenure in 2002. Szonyi came to Harvard in 2005, and was named John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Humanities in 2007 and Professor of Chinese History in 2009. Szonyi has served as Director of Undergraduate Studies for East Asian Studies and Chair of the Committee on Regional Studies East Asia (RSEA-M.A. program). He has a joint appointment in the Department of History.
Additional Websites: Imperial History
Cambridge, MA 02138