You are here: Home / Directory / Kathlene Baldanza

Kathlene Baldanza

Kathlene Baldanza

Associate Professor of History and Asian Studies

201 Weaver Building
University Park , PA 16802

Curriculum Vitae

Download CV


  1. PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 2010
  2. MA, University of Pennsylvania, 2004
  3. BA, Bryn Mawr College, 2001


I research the diplomatic and cultural relations of Vietnam and China. You can find a podcast about my first book, Ming China and Vietnam: Negotiating Borders in Early Modern Asia (Cambridge, 2016), here. While researching that project, I frequently came across references to the pestilential miasma found in the Sino-Vietnamese borderlands. My second book project, tentatively titled Miasma, Medicine, and Empire between China and Vietnam, explores how environment and disease influenced Sino-Viet relations and state-formation in both countries. In addition to this project, I am working with my co-author Zhao Lu on a translation of the 19th century shipwreck tale and travelogue Hainan Zazhu (“Miscellany of the South Seas”), a precious source for the social history of Nguyen-era Vietnam.


Recent Publications:

“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.


Recent Awards:

· Resident Association, 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

· Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies Post-doctoral Fellowship, 2016


Courses Taught:

HIST 10 World History to 1500

HIST 173 Vietnam in War and Peace

HIST 174 History of Traditional East Asia

HIST 177 The Rise of Modern Southeast Asia

HIST 187 Global Taiwan

HIST 302 Undergraduate Seminar in Asian Diplomacy

CHS 422 Gender and Sexuality in Modern China

HIST 483 History of Chinese Culture and Society to 1800

HIST 580 Pre-modern China

Areas of Specialization:

East Asia: