Prasenjit Duara

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Prasenjit Duara (অসমীয়া: প্রসেনজিৎ দুৱঁৰা (Assamese), Chinese name: Chinese: 杜赞奇; pinyin: Dù Zànqí), originally from Assam, India, a historian of China, is Professor, Department of History, Duke University,[1] after being the Raffles Professor of Humanities at the National University of Singapore where he was also Director of Asian Research Institute and Research in Humanities and Social Sciences.[2] Duara also taught at George Mason University and the Department of History in the University of Chicago, where he was also chairman of the department from 2004-2007.

Duara obtained his Ph.D. in 1983 from Harvard University, where he studied with Philip Kuhn. His doctoral thesis was "Power in Rural Society: North China Villages, 1900-1940." [3]

In addition to Chinese history, he works more broadly on Asia in the twentieth century, and on historical thought and historiography. While his early work was on rural society in early 20th century China, he subsequently turned to studies of nationalism, imperialism, and origins of modern historical consciousness. His most recent work, featured in an interview with the New York Times in Oct 2016, deals with Asian religions and environmental sustainability.

Early life and education[edit]

Duara went to The Doon School in India and studied history at St. Stephen's College, Delhi.[4] After obtaining BA and MA in history from St. Stephen's College, Duara received his M. Phil in Chinese Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University. He then completed his PhD at Harvard University in History and East Asian languages in 1983.[5]


Duara has taught at Princeton University, George Mason University and has been a Mellon Faculty Fellow at Stanford University.[5][6] From 1990 until 2008, he taught at the University of Chicago where he was Chair of the China Studies Committee (1994-1996) and subsequently, Chair of the History Department (2004-2007).[7] He was the Raffles Professor of Humanities at the [[National University of Singapore]from 2009-2015]]. In addition to that, he also served as the director of Asia Research Institute and Humanities & Social Science Research at NUS.[5] In Jan 2016 he joined Duke University as the Oscar Tang Chair Professor of East Asian Studies. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate (doctor philosophiae honoris causa) by the University of Oslo in 2017. From 2018-2019 he will serve as the Vice President of the Association of Asian Studies and will move to the Presidency of the same in 2019-2020.

Selected publications[edit]

New York Times discussion of book,

  • —— (1995). Rescuing History from the Nation: Questioning Narratives of Modern China. Chicago; London: University of Chicago Press.
  • —— (2004). Decolonization: Perspectives from Now and Then. London; New York: Routledge. ISBN 0415248418.
  • —— (2006). "Nationalism in East Asia". History Compass. 4 (3): 407–427. doi:10.1111/j.1478-0542.2006.00329.x.
  • —— (2004). Decolonization : Perspectives from Now and Then. London ; New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780203485521.
  • —— (1988). Culture, Power, and the State: Rural North China, 1900-1942. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press.
  • —— (2009). The Global and Regional in China's Nation-Formation. London ; New York: Routledge.
  • —— (2003). Sovereignty and Authenticity : Manchukuo and the East Asian Modern. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. ISBN 0742525775.


External links[edit]