201 Weaver Building
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 863-0131
I am a historian of early modern Vietnam and China, with interests in book history, diplomatic and cultural exchange, and environmental history. My first monograph, Ming China and Vietnam: Negotiating Borders in Early Modern Asia (Cambridge, 2016), emphasized mutuality and negotiation in Sino-Vietnamese relations during the Ming and Mạc dynasties. My work on book history has been published in Journal of Asian Studies and Journal of Vietnamese Studies. My article “Publishing, Book Culture, and Reading Practices in Vietnam: The View from Thắng Nghiêm and Phổ Nhân Temples,” (2018) uses newly available online databases of Vietnamese historical texts to explore the connections between the pre-twentieth century publishing industries of Vietnam and China. I argue that economies of scale in Chinese publishing pushed Vietnamese publishers to focus on “bestsellers” like dictionaries and manuals. A second article, “Books Without Borders: Phạm Thận Duật and the Culture of Knowledge in Early Nineteenth-Century Vietnam” (2018), reconstructs the library and intellectual world of one particular Vietnamese scholar, Phạm Thận Duật (1825-1885) to challenge the prevailing North-South binary of Sino-Vietnamese studies.
My teaching interests span East Asian and Southeast Asian history. In the quest to produce more translated primary sources for use in the classroom, my co-author Zhao Lu and I have translated and introduced an early nineteenth century shipwreck tale about Vietnam, Hainan zazhu. Our translation is forthcoming as At the World’s Wild Edges: Cai Tinglan’s ‘Miscellany of the South Seas’” from the University of Washington Press.
My new book project, tentatively titled Miasma, Medicine, and Empire between China and Vietnam, explores how environment and disease influenced Sino-Vietnamese relations and state-formation in both countries. An article drawn from this project, “Our Mountains and Rivers Have Changed: Nature and Empire in the Ming Colonisation of Đại Việt,” is forthcoming from the Journal of Southeast Asian Studies.
“Books without Borders: Phạm Thận Duật (1825-1885) and the Culture of Knowledge in Mid-Nineteenth Century Vietnam,” Journal of Asian Studies, 77.3 (2018): 713-740.
“Publishing, Book Culture, and Reading Practices in Vietnam: The View from Thắng Nghiêm and Phổ Nhân Temples,” Journal of Vietnamese Studies, 13.3 2018: 9-28.
Ming China and Vietnam: Negotiating Borders in Early Modern Asia. Cambridge University Press, 2016.
Resident Associate, National Humanities Center, 2020-2021
Academy of Korean Studies Conference Grant (2018) for inaugural meeting of the Korea Vietnam Working Group
Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation Scholar Grant, 2017-2018
Penn State Center for Humanities and Information Faculty Fellow, 2017 and 2023
Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies Post-doctoral Fellowship, 2016