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Encyclopedia > Pamela Kyle Crossley

Pamela Kyle Crossley, a leading historian of modern China, is author of Orphan Warriors: Three Manchu Generations and the End of the Qing World (Princeton University Press, 1990); The Manchus (Blackwells Publishers, 1997); A Translucent Mirror: History and Identity in Qing Imperial Ideology (University of California Press, 1999). She is also a co-author of the best-selling global history textbooks, The Earth and its Peoples (Houghton Mifflin, 3rd edition, 2004) and Global Society: The World since 1900 (Houghton Mifflin, 2003). Crossley is a Guggenheim fellow and a recipient of the Association for Asian Studies Joseph R. Levenson Prize. She is widely published in periodicals such as The New York Times Literary Supplement, The New Republic, Royal Academy Magazine, Far Eastern Economic Review and Calliope, and has been featured in A&E's "In Search of..." series ("The Forbidden City"). The Qing Dynasty (Manchu: daicing gurun; Chinese: 清朝; pinyin: qīng cháo; Wade-Giles: ching chao), sometimes known as the Manchu Dynasty, was founded by the Manchu clan Aisin Gioro, in what is today northeast China expanded into China proper and the surrounding territories of Inner Asia, establishing the... The Manchu (manju in Manchu; 滿族 (pinyin: mǎnzú) in Chinese, often shortened to 滿 (pinyin: mǎn) are an ethnic group who originated in northeastern Manchuria. ...

Crossley is noted for arguing that the Qing empire was not "sinicized," but was ruled in such a way as to integrate Chinese political values with those of Northeast Asia and Mongolia. She pointed out that Manchu language, religion, documents, and customs remained of great importance to the Qing until the middle nineteenth century. On the other hand, she argued that modern "ethnic" identities in China were the product of an interaction of imperial authority and education, social changes, community life, and individual consciousness. While she disagreed with earlier scholars that Manchus had been sinicized, she did not argue that Manchu culture in modern China was the traditional culture of Northeast Asia. Rather, it was a new product of the experience of individual Manchu communities in China itself, shaped by what she called "the sense of difference that has no outward sign" (Orphan Warriors, p.267). Her ideas have been generalized to an interpretation of modern nationalism as strongly influenced by the legacies of the early modern empires, particularly regarding the roles of language, religion and genealogy in identity. These ideas have been controversial.

Crossley was educated in Lima, Ohio; Emmaus, Pennsylvania; Swarthmore College; and Yale University, where she wrote a dissertation under the direction of Jonathan Spence. Since 1993 she has been Professor of History at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire. Downtown Lima. ... Emmaus is a borough located in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, USA. As of the 2000 census, the borough had a total population of 11,313. ... Swarthmore College is a private liberal arts college in the United States. ... Yale University is a private university in New Haven, Connecticut. ... Jonathan D. Spence (August 11, 1936– ) is a British-born historian, specialising in Chinese history. ...

External Links

Xiaowei Zheng, "Sinicization vs. Manchuness: The Success of Manchu Rule"

Charles Horner, "China and the Historians" in The National Interest, Spring 2001

The Three Emperors (Royal Academy)

Crossley on Mongolian Art at Thorne-Sagendorph

2001 Joseph Levenson Book Prize

Justin Tighe, "Crossley, The Manchus"



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