Pat Giersch

cgiersch@wellesley.edu

(781) 283-2905
History
B.A., Dartmouth College; Ph.D., Yale University
FND 214



C. Pat Giersch
Professor of History

Historian of China/Inner Asia; research on intersection of empire and ethnicity in 1700s, and 20th century transnational trade networks.


In earlier work, I sought to understand the early modern origins of China's ethnic diversity, a project culminating in a book on conquest, migration, and cultural encounters in China's Southwest. My interests have evolved to include the intersections of geography, ethnicity, and trade, and I continue to travel in frontier China while investigating the transnational caravan businesses that plied early-twentieth-century routes from Lhasa to Rangoon.

I teach a range of courses designed to help students investigate how historical developments have shaped China, East and Inner Asia, and the globe. These courses range from a comparative survey of China, Japan, and Korea to a specialized seminar on Chinese identity and nationalism. The courses emphasize acquisition of crucial skills: knowledge of methods used for reconstructing the past, an understanding of the contingent processes of change, and the ability to think critically about the relationship between past and present.