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David Robinson

Robert H.N. Ho Professor in Asian Studies and Professor of History
History, 315 Alumni Hall
p 315-228-7512


BA, Hobart College, 1988; MA, PhD, Princeton University, 1995

Teaching Experience

Visiting assistant professor, Hobart and William Smith Colleges 1995-96


Early-modern Chinese, Korean, Japanese history


Court culture, Chinese military history, Mongol empire, Koryŏ-Chosŏn history, diplomatic practise in early modern East Asia, violence and social order in early-modern East Asia


  • Seeking Order in A Tumultuous Age: The Writings of Chŏng Tojŏn (1342-1398), A Korean Neo-Confucian. Korean Classics Library: Historical Materials (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2016).
  • Martial Spectacles of the Ming Court (Harvard University Asia, 2013)
  • Empire’s Twilight: Northeast Asia under the Mongols (Harvard University Asia Center, 2009)
  • ed. Culture, Courtiers, and Competition: The Ming Court (1368-1644) (Harvard University Asia Center, 2008)
  • Bandits, Eunuchs, and the Son of Heaven: Rebellion and the Economy of Violence in Mid-Ming China (University of Hawaii, 2001)
  • Essays in  Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies; Journal of Central Eurasian Studies; Journal of Korean Studies; Late Imperial China; Mingshi yanjiu luncong 明史研究论丛; Mingshi yanjiu 明史研究; Zhongguoshi yanjiu dongtai 中国史研究动态; Oxford Bibliographies in Chinese Studies; Ming: Courts and Contacts 1400-1450; Fighting for a Living: A Comparative History of Military Labor in Europe and Asia, 1500-2000; Ming: 50 years that changed China; Chinese and Indian Warfare—From the Classical Age to 1870; Chūgoku Higashi Ajia gaikō kōryū shi no kenkyū 中国東アジア外交交流の研究
  • New in 2017:  Essays in Journal of Chinese History; Korean Studies; Why Mongolia Matters: War, Law, and Society; Gugong xuekan 故宫学刊; Universality and its Limits: Spatial Dimensions of Eurasian Empires
  • Forthcoming in 2018: Essays in Journal of the Social and Economic History of the Orient; Cambridge History of the Mongol Empire; Universality and Its Limits: Spatial Dimensions of Eurasian Empires; Oxford World History of Empire