Paul Cohen (historian)

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Paul A. Cohen (Chinese name: Chinese: 柯文; pinyin: Kē Wén, born 1934) is Edith Stix Wasserman Professor of Asian Studies and History Emeritus at Wellesley College and Associate of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University. His research interests include 19th-20th century China; historical thought; American historiography on China.[1]


Paul A. Cohen studied at Cornell University from 1952-1953, before he transferred to the University of Chicago, where he received his BA in 1955. He received his MA in 1957 and PhD in 1961 from Harvard University, where he was a student of John King Fairbank and Benjamin I. Schwartz. After completing his doctorate, he worked at the University of Michigan from 1962 to 1963. He was a faculty member in the History department at Amherst College from 1963-1965. Thereafter, he taught at Wellesley College till his retirement. He is currently an Associate of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University.[2] He was formerly married to Jane M. Cohen, now on the faculty at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin.


Cohen is the author of many influential books on modern Chinese history, as well as historiography, such as Discovering History in China (1984; 2010). His works have been translated into several languages including Chinese and Japanese.

Winner of the 1997 John K. Fairbank Prize in East Asian History and the 1997 New England Historical Book Award.

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