A note about office hours/auditors for spring 2022:

Michael Szonyi is Director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and Frank Wen-hsiung Wu Professor of Chinese History at Harvard University.  He is a social historian of late imperial and modern China who studies local society in southeast China using a combination of traditional textual sources and ethnographic-style fieldwork.

His works include The Art of Being Governed: Everyday Politics in Late Imperial China (2017; Chinese edition 2019); A Companion to Chinese History (2017), Cold War Island: Quemoy on the Front Line (2008; Chinese edition 2016) and Practicing Kinship (2002).  He is the co-editor, with Jennifer Rudolph, of The China Questions: Critical Insights on a Rising Power (2018; Chinese edition 2020).  His most recent publication, co-edited with Zhao Shiyu, is The Chinese Empire in Local Society (2020), a collection of essays showcasing the work of young historians from the PRC.

A frequent commentator on Chinese affairs, Szonyi is a Fellow of the Public Intellectuals Program of the National Committee on US-China relations.  He has served as a member of the China and Inner Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies, and for more than a decade was the English-language editor of the journal Lishi renleixue (Historical Anthropology).

Szonyi received his BA 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. Prior to coming to Harvard in 2005, Prof. Szonyi taught at McGill University and University of Toronto.

Curriculum Vitae (English)/ 中文简历 (Chinese)

Author's page on

Some recent public interviews:

Rhodes Trust

Georgetown Journal of International Affairs

中美印象, Carter Center (in Chinese)

VOA 美国之音 (in Chinese)

A lengthy interview in Chine on The Art of Being Governed, my most recent book, on the program 晓说 is here and here. The Chinese edition was published by Gingko (后浪) Press in late 2019 and is now available.