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Associate Professor
Earl N. Phillips Jr. Distinguished Professor of International Studies
460 Hamilton Hall
Office Hours: R 3:00-4:30pm and by appointment


MA School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1983
PhD Princeton University, 1991

Research Interests

Michael Tsin’s current research focuses on exploring the social processes of identity formation through the prism of late nineteenth and twentieth century China. The project is part of his ongoing interest in the historical processes through which ideas and practices were translated into established norms and values, disseminated through the social body, transplanted across different times and places, and contested and challenged by the populace. At a broader level, he is curious to learn more about how the forces of global capitalism, whether through the instrument of formal colonial possessions in the last century or through the mechanisms of transnational institutions in the twenty-first century, manage to continually make and unmake the world in its different forms.

Some Notable Publications

  • Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: A History of the World From 1000 CE to the Present, 4th edition (Norton, 2014), in collaboration with Robert Tignor et al.
  • “Overlapping Histories: Writing Prison and Penal Practices in Late Imperial and Early Republican China,” Journal of World History, 20:1 (March 2009), 69–97
  • “Rethinking ‘State and Society’ in Late Qing and Republican China,” in Jens Damm and Mechthild Leutner, eds., China Networks, Berliner China-Hefte/Chinese History and Society, 35 (LIT [Münster], 2009), 20–32
  • Nation, Governance, and Modernity in China: Canton, 1900–1927, paperback edition (Stanford, 2002)

Graduate Students

Courses Taught (as schedule allows)

For current information about course offerings, click here.

  • HIST 133—Introduction to Chinese History
  • HIST 292—Unity and Difference in Twentieth-century China
  • GLBL 390—Colonization, Migration, and National Identity
  • HIST 398—Mao Zedong and the Chinese Cultural Revolution
  • HIST 890—Colonial Encounters