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The Chinese Empire in Local Society: Ming Military Institutions and Their Legacies

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Key Metrics

  • Michael Szonyi
  • Routledge
  • Hardcover
  • 9780367431846
  • 9.4 X 6.2 X 0.8 inches
  • 1.1 pounds
  • Social Science > Research
  • English
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Book Description

This book explores the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) military, its impact on local society, and its many legacies for Chinese society. It is based on extensive original research by scholars using the methodology of historical anthropology, an approach that has transformed the study of Chinese history by approaching the subject from the bottom up.

Its nine chapters, each based on a different region of China, examine the nature of Ming military institutions and their interaction with local social life over time. Several chapters consider the distinctive role of imperial institutions in frontier areas and how they interacted with and affected non-Han ethnic groups and ethnic identity. Others discuss the long-term legacy of Ming military institutions, especially across the dynastic divide from Ming to Qing (1644-1912) and the implications of this for understanding more fully the nature of the Qing rule.

The Chinese Empire in Local Society: Ming Military Institutions and Their Legacies

Author Bio

Michael Szonyi is Professor of Chinese History and Director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University. He is a social historian of late imperial and modern China. His research focuses on the local history of southeast China, from the Ming dynasty to the twenty-first century, using a combination of traditional textual sources and ethnographic-style fieldwork. 

His books include The Art of Being Governed: Everyday Politics in Late Imperial China (Princeton, 2017); A Companion to Chinese History (Wiley, 2017); Practicing Kinship (Stanford, 2002) and Cold War Island: Quemoy on the Front Line (Cambridge, 2008; Chinese edition National Taiwan University Press 2016). He is also co-editor, with Jennifer Rudolph, of The China Questions: Critical Insights into a Rising Power (Harvard, 2017), a work celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of the Fairbank Center. 

Szonyi received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto and his doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He has also studied at National Taiwan University and Xiamen University. Professor 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. 

He has a joint appointment in the Department of History. Szonyi has served previously as Director of Undergraduate Studies and Chair of the Committee on Regional Studies – East Asia (RSEA) AM program.

 

Source: Harvard University Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations

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