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Kathlene Baldanza

Kathlene Baldanza

Assistant Professor of History and Asian Studies

201 Weaver Building
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 863-0131

Curriculum Vitae

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  1. PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 2010
  2. MA, University of Pennsylvania, 2004
  3. BA, Bryn Mawr College, 2001


I am a historian of China and Vietnam. My first book, Ming China and Vietnam: Negotiating Borders in Early Modern Asia (Cambridge, 2016), illustrates the overlapping local, national, and universal loyalties and alliances that complicated early modern political relations. The early modern authors I studied in that project frequently described the disease-causing miasmic mists that they encountered in the Sino-Viet borderlands. Thus, in my current research project, I take up the way those miasmic diseases contributed to the outcome of military campaigns, to settlement patterns, and to cultural and medical understandings of tropical disease. A third project investigates print culture in pre-colonial Vietnam, particularly its relation to the book market in China. Recent course offerings have covered the history of Taiwan, Southeast Asia, and gender in East Asia.

Recent Publications:

“De-Civilizing Ming China’s Southern Border: Vietnam as Lost Province or Barbarian Culture,” in Jeff McClain and Yongtao Du, editors, Chinese History in Geographical Perspective, Lexington Books, 2013.

“A State Agent at Odds with the State: Lin Xiyuan and the Recovery of the Four Dong,” in James Anderson and John K. Whitmore, editors, Forging the Fiery Frontier: Two Millennia of Encounters in the South and Southwest, Brill, 2014.

"Perspectives on the Mac Surrender of 1540," Asia Major, November 2014.

Awards and Service:

ACLS Comparative Perspectives on Chinese Culture and Society Conference Grant (2013)
National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, University of Hawaii/East-West Center (2011)
Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation Doctoral Fellowship (2009-2010)
Fulbright IIE Award for research at Academia Sinica, Taiwan (2008)

Recent Courses:

HIST010 - World History I
HIST174 - The History of Traditional East Asia
HIST302W - Gender and Family Life in China
HIST483 - Chinese Society and Culture to 1800

Research Interests:

East Asia:
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