History and Art History
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Michael G. Chang

Michael G. Chang

Michael G. Chang

Associate Professor

World History: political, social, cultural and economic histories of late imperial/early modern China (1500-1800); ethnicity; state-formation; court studies

Michael G. Chang is a specialist in the history of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911).  He received his A.B. in sociology and East Asian Studies from Princeton University and his Ph.D in Chinese history from the University of California, San Diego. In addition to a full-length monograph, A Court on Horseback: Imperial Touring and the Construction of Qing Rule, 1680-1785 (Harvard, 2007), he has also written scholarly articles appearing in Late Imperial China, Frontiers of History in China, The Qing History Journal (Qingshi yanjiu 清史研究) and a number of edited volumes, such as Cinema and Urban Culture in Shanghai, 1922-1943 (Stanford, 1999), The Dynastic Centre and the Provinces: Agents and Interactions (Brill, 2014), and Visualizing Modern China: Image, History, and Memory, 1750-Present (Lexington, 2014). His current research focuses upon the political and material cultures in and through which High Qing rule (1680-1820) was constituted, especially as revealed in practices of material exchange and network formation at the Qing court. He regularly offers courses on ancient, traditional, modern, and contemporary Chinese history as well as global history, East Asian history, and Chinese nationalisms.

Current Research

“Network Formation at the Imperial Court and the Making of Qing Rule in China's Long Eighteenth Century, 1670-1820.”

Selected Publications

"Of Feasts and Feudatories: the Politics of Commensal Consumption at the Early Kangxi Court" (forthcoming).

A Court on Horseback:  Imperial Touring and the Construction of Qing Rule, 1680-1785. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center/Harvard University Press, 2007. Chinese translation: Zhang Mianzhi 張勉治 (Michael G. Chang), Mabei shang de chaoting 《馬背上的朝廷》. Nanjing: Jiangsu renmin chubanshe (Jiangsu People's Press), forthcoming 2016.

"Envisioning the Spectacles of Emperor Qianlong's Tours of Southern China: an Exercise in Historical Imagination." In James A. Cook, Joshua L. Goldstein, Matthew D. Johnson, and Sigrid Schmalzer, eds. Visualizing Modern China: Image, History, and Memory, 1750-Present, p. 25-46. New York: Lexington Books, 2014.

     Click here for this volume's companion website and here for online materials for Ch. 2.

     An online adaptation of this essay appears here as: Michael G. Chang, "The Emperor Qianlong's Tours of Southern China: Painting, Poetry and the Politics of Spectacle," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 12, Issue 8, No. 2, February 23, 2015.

"Historical Narratives of the Kangxi Emperor's Inaugural Tour to Suzhou, 1684." In Jeroen Duindam and Sabine Dabringhaus, eds. The Dynastic Centre and the Provinces: Agents and Interactions, p. 203-224. Leiden: Brill, 2014.

"Civil-Military Tensions during the Kangxi Emperor's First Southern Tour." Frontiers of History in China  6.1 (March 2011): 26-52. Simultaneously published in Chinese as: Zhang Mianzhi 張勉治 (Michael G. Chang), “簡論康熙皇帝首次南巡與文武值觀之間的對立” Qingshi yanjiu 《清史研究》(The Qing History Journal) No. 1 (2011): 78-89.

“Kangxi’s Imperial Tours:  a Historical Reconsideration.” In Reign of the Kangxi Emperor: Conference Proceedings, 19-34. Singapore: Asian Civilisations Museum, 2010.

“Fathoming Qianlong: Imperial Activism, the Southern Tours and the Politics of Water Control, 1736-1765.” Late Imperial China 24.2 (December 2003), 51-108. Published in Chinese translation as: 張勉治 (Michael G. Chang), "洞察乾隆:帝王的實踐精神,南巡,和治水政治, 1736-1765Qingshi yicong 《清史譯叢》 (Qing History Overseas Research), no. 5 (June 2006). 6-60.

“The Good, the Bad, & the Beautiful: Movie Actresses & Public Discourse in Shanghai, 1920s-1930s.” In Yingjin Zhang, ed. Cinema and Urban Culture in Shanghai, 1922-1943, p. 128-159. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999. Published in Chinese translation as: 張勉治 (Michael G. Chang), "Shanliang, duoluo, meili: ershi shiji er sanshi niandai de dianying nu mingxing he Shanghai gonggong huayu" "善良、堕落、美丽:20世纪二三十年代的电影女明星和上海公共话语," in Mingguo shiqi di Shanghai dianying yu chengshi wenhua 《民國時期的上海電影與城市文化》, p. 140-170. Beijing: Beijing daxue chubanshe, 2011.

Courses Taught

HIST 125: Introduction to Global History

HIST 252: History of East Asia, Part II

HIST 387: Early (Ancient) China

HIST 353: Traditional (Later Imperial) China

HIST 354: Modern China

HIST 358: Contemporary (Post-1949) China

HIST 555: Chinese Nationalism(s)

HIST 610: The Study and Writing of History

Recent Presentations

"Patrimonialism in Practice: Hešen as Imperial Intendant of the Privy Purse and the Public Fisc." Paper presented at the conference/workshop "Early Modern China in the Late Imperial World." The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. 15-16 October 2015.

“Painting vs. Practice: the Spectacles of the Qianlong Emperor’s Southern Tours, 1751-1784.” Paper presented as part of the panel “Intercultural Spaces in Eighteenth-Century Beijing” at the AAS-in-Asia Conference, Academia Sinica. Taipei, ROC. 22-24 June 2015; as well as at "Revaluation and Prospects: Histories of Court Art in the High Qing" (重估與展望: 盛清宮庭藝術史) an international academic conference held at the Long Museum (龍美術館). Shanghai, PRC. 18-20 August 2015.

“A Clash of Political Cultures at the Early Kangxi Court,” invited talk presented at the Center for East Asian Studies, Stanford University. Palo Alto, CA. 27 May 2015

“Xiong Cili’s Conception of ‘Civil Rule’ at the Early Kangxi Court, 1670-1671” (熊賜履在早期康熙朝廷的「文治」觀). Ming-Qing Seminar, Inst.of Modern History, Academia Sinica (中研院, 近代歷史研究所, 明清研究會). Taipei, Taiwan. 21 June 2013.

"Civil-Military Tensions at the Early Kangxi Court." Confucius Institute (CI) Lecture Series, College of William & Mary.  Williamsburg, VA. 12 April 2013.

"The Politics of Access at the Qing Court:  the Young Kangxi Emperor and His Personal Advisors." Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS) Lecture, The Ohio State University.  Columbus, OH. 05 April 2013.

"Service at the Manchu Court:  the Young Kangxi Emperor and His Personal Advisors." Fenwick Fellow Lecture, George Mason University.  26 April 2012.

“The Politics of the Bow and the Brush at the Early Kangxi Court, 1670-1684.” Paper presented at “Past and Present in China: the Influence of History from Empire to Republic.” New York University, New York, NY. 2-3 December 2011.

“The Recruitment of Lower Yangzi (Jiangnan) Literati to the Kangxi Court, 1670s.” Paper presented at “Structures and Legacies of Dynastic Power in Late Imperial China and Early Modern Europe: Servants and Administrators—From the Courts to the Provinces.” Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands. 31 August-2 September 2011.

“The Historical Narratives of the Kangxi Emperor’s Inaugural Tour to Suzhou, 1684.” Paper presented at “Structures and Legacies of Dynastic Power in Late Imperial China and Early Modern Europe: Rulers, Palaces, and Wider Worlds—Ritual and Cultural Connections.” Herzog August Bibliotek, Wolfenbüttel, Germany. 16-18 March 2011.

“The Symbolic Significance of the Kangxi Emperor’s Early Imperial Tours” (“康熙皇帝早期巡幸的象徵意義”). Paper presented at the international academic conference on “Qing Politics & National Identity” (清代政治與國家認同國際學術研討會), organized by the Institute of Qing History (清代歷史研究所), Renmin University of China (中國人民大學), Beijing, PRC. 9-11 August 2010.

“The Kangxi Emperor’s Early Imperial Tours and the Politics of Knowledge Production.” Presentation at the USC Department of History Colloquium Series, the University of Southern California. Los Angeles, CA. 26 April 2010.

《清朝統治的政治文化和物質文化——以康熙南巡為例》(“The Political and Material Cultures of Qing Rule as seen through Kangxi’s Southern Tours”). Presentation in Mandarin Chinese at the Institute of Qing History’s Academic Workshop Seminar (清史研究所“學術工作坊”學術報告), Renmin University of China, Beijing, PRC. 17 June 2009.

 “The Flow of Gifts at Kangxi’s Court: a General, a Poet, a Governor, and Their Diaries.” Invited talk at the Department of Chinese Studies, National University of Singapore. 20 March 2009; and at the Center for Early Modern History, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. 16 February 2009.

In the Media

“Conference Report: 'Reign of the Kangxi Emperor'.” China Heritage Quarterly No. 17, 2009.

NCUSCR Public Intellectuals Program (PIP), 2011-2013

US-China Dialogue on Contemporary Chinese Humanities Studies George Washington University, 9 April 2015.