Pamela Kyle Crossley

Academic Appointments

Charles and Elfriede Collis Professor of History

Pamela Crossley is a specialist on the Qing empire and modern Chinese history, and also researches and writes on Central and Inner Asian history, global history, the history of horsemanship in Eurasia before the modern period, and the imperial sources of modern identities. She is the author of eight books  (China's Global Empire: Qing, 1636-1912, forthcoming; Hammer and Anvil: Nomad Rulers at the Forge of the Modern World [2019], The Wobbling Pivot: China since 1800 [2010], What is Global History? [2008], A Translucent Mirror: History and Identity in Qing Imperial Ideology [1999], The Manchus [1997], and Orphan Warriors: Three Manchu Generations and the End of the Qing World [1990],  and co-author of two leading textbooks on global history (The Earth and its Peoples, 5th ed., 2012, and Global Society: The World since 1900, 3rd ed. 2012) and co-editor of Empire at the Margins:Culture, Ethnicity, and Frontier in Early Modern China [2006]. Shorter research works have appeared or will appear in The Cambridge History of ChinaThe Cambridge History of World Slavery, and The Cambridge History of Warfare, in scholarly journals including American Historical ReviewJournal of Asian Studies and Annales. Her work has  been awarded the Joseph R. Levenson Prize of the Association for Asian Studies (for a book in any discipline addressing China before 1800), the Dartmouth Award for Outstanding Scholarly or Creative Achievement (now the Karen Wetterhahn Award) and a Guggenheim fellowship among other honors.  Her article “Outside In: Power, Identity, and the Han Lineage of Jizhou” in Journal of Song-Yuan Studies, 2013, has recently been cited as one of the 15 best articles published in the journal in its 50 year history, the only article written by a specialist from outside the medieval Chinese history field. She has also been awarded the Jerome Goldstein Award for Distinguished Teaching. Crossley is an original appointee of the Dartmouth Society of Fellows.   

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Her written commentary has appeared in popular publications including Foreign Policy, ChinaFileThe London Review of BooksThe New RepublicNew York Times Book ReviewHistory TodayRoyal Academy of Arts MagazineThe National InterestWall Street JournalForeign Policy,  and other commentarty has been featured in Guardian, Financial Times, New York Times, Defense One/The Atlantic, Perfil, Weekendavision, Pacific, NPR, and BBC. Her books have been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish and Polish, and her documentary “Horsemanship and Dreams of Human Mobility,” was at the Asian Arts Theatre festival (Gwangju, South Korea), October 10, 2013.

Crossley is also a software author and scholarly editor of the ECCP Reader, a desktop access point to the famous reference work Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period (1943) with parallel channels of recent research and commentary, and is the author of teaching devices used in her courses, including the Daxue Reader which is freely available. 

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Department of History, 308 Carson Hall
PhD Yale University (Modern Chinese History), 1983
MPhil Yale University (History), 1981
MA Yale University (History), 1979
MA Yale University (East Asian Studies), 1978
BA with high honors in the Humanities, Swarthmore College 1977

Selected Publications

Hammer and Anvil: Nomad Rulers at the Forge of the Modern World, (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019).

The Wobbling Pivot: China since 1800, An Interpretive History (Blackwell/Wiley 2010).


What is Global History? (Polity 2008).


A Translucent Mirror: History and Identity in Qing Imperial Ideology , (University of California Press, 1999).








Speaking engagements

Keynote Speaker: “Was there a Chinese tributary system?” for the conference “Contact Zones and Colonialism in China’s South, 221 BCE – 1368 CE,” May 9-12, 2019 at Pennsylvania State University, ACLS/CCKF.


Works in progress

book: a comparative history of the origin of modern identities in the late Qing, Russian and Ottoman empires


research article: pluralities of Qing imperial rulership and characteristics of embassy relations with Joseon Korea


book: a biography of Wu Bingjian


Please do not ever write my name as "Pamela K. Crossley."


Yes, the name that is forced onto this page and into my email address by the Dartmouth servers. That mangling of my name is an invention of the Dartmouth directory, which refuses to change it. You can cite me as Pamela Crossley, or Pamela Kyle Crossley, or P.K. Crossley without causing me to wish I had never been born. My email address is NOT, it is Since Dartmouth alone is responsible for spreading "Pamela K. Crossley" around the web and making me ashamed each time it appears, I make a public announcement here. Sorry to be weird.