Jeffrey Wasserstrom

picture of Jeffrey  Wasserstrom

Chancellor's Professor, History
School of Humanities
Professor (by Courtesy)
School of Law
Historical Writing Mentor, Literary Journalism
School of Humanities

Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1989, History
M.A., Harvard University, 1984, East Asian Studies
B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz, 1982, History

Phone: History Department: (949) 824-6521
Fax: 949.824.2865

University of California, Irvine
300H Murray Krieger Hall
Mail Code: 3275
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
China, Protest, Globaliization, Gender, Urban
Academic Distinctions
W. Bruce Lincolm Memorial Lecturer (Northern Illinois), 2017
Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar, 2014-2015 Academic Year
Visiting Research Fellow, Merton College, Oxford, June-July 2014
John Fisher Ziedman Memorial Lecturer, Sidwell Freinds School, 2011
Visiting Fellow, Institute for Advance Study, University of Warwick
Fulbright-Hays Fellowship;
Woodrow Wilson Foundation Fellowship (Charlotte B. Newcombe award);
NEH Collaborative Project Fellowship;
Spencer Foundation Fellowships (National Academy of Education Post-Doc, small grants, etc.);
Luce Foundation Support;
ACLS Award
Research Abstract
I am a specialist in modern Chinese history with a strong interest in connecting China's past to its present and placing both into global perspective. Both my first book, Student Protests in Twentieth-Century China: The View from Shanghai (Stanford, 1991), and one of my recent ones, Global Shanghai, 1850-2010 (Routledge, 2009), have focused on China's largest metropolis. Many of my other publications, including China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know (which will soon be out in a third edition, co-authored with Maura Cunningham) and Eight Juxtapositions: China through Imperfect Analogies from Mark Twain to Manchukuo (Penguin, 2016), a very short book, were written not just with specialists but also with general educated readers and anyone curious about Chinese history in mind.

My commitment to reaching out beyond the Ivory Tower shows through as well in other aspects of my career, including my past involvement in the Irvine-based group blog/electronic magazine, "The China Beat" (which was published from 2008 to 2012), my current role as a member of the editorial team of the Los Angeles Review of Books's China Channel, and my role in co-founding and helping organize events put on by UCI's Forum for the Academy and the Public. It also has led me to edit accessible books, such as Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China (Oxford, 2016) and testify before a Congressional-Executive commission on China and conduct a State Department briefing on contemporary Chinese politics. I have also gone outside of the academy to work with filmmakers (I was an adviser on two of prize-winning China documentaries made by the Long Bow Group and appeared in Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower, a film about Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement distributed by Netflix) and speak at literary festivals (in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Los Angeles) and guest at an Italian festival of global journalism (in Ferrara)

I have contributed to many academic periodicals, including the China Quarterly, the Journal of World History, the Journal of Global History, and History Workshop Journal, but I have also written commentaries and reviews for general interest magazines (e.g., Time, The Nation, the TLS, and Internazionale), newspapers (the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times), and many online publications (from the Huffington Post to the online edition of the Atlantic). I have been interviewed by NPR, PRI, APM's Marketplace and for other broadcast media, serve as an adviser to the Hong Kong International Literary Festival, am on the editorial board of Dissent Magazine, and am advising editor on China for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

I was educated largely in California (UCSC B.A., Berkeley PhD, with a Master's from Harvard in between) and moved back here to join UCI's History Department in 2006. Before that, I spent two years teaching at the University of Kentucky and fifteen years at Indiana University in Bloomington, where in addition to offering courses I spent a year as the Acting Editor of the Bloomington-based American Historical Review and served for three years as the Director of IU’s East Asian Studies Center.
The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China (Oxford University Press, 2016);
Eight Juxtapositions: China through Imperfect Analogies from Mark Twain to Manchukuo (Penguin, 2016)
China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2010 and also a 2013 update editions, with contributions by Maura Elizabeth Cunningham, out in Turkish, Korean, Indonesian and Chinese complex character translations, and a third edition, coauthored with Maura Elizabeth Cunningham, forthcoming in the spring of 2018)
Chinese Characters: Profiles of Fast-Changing Lives in a Fast-Changing Land, co-edited with Angilee Shah (University of California Press, 2012)
Global Shanghai, 1850-2010 (Routledge, 2009)
Student Protests in Twentieth-Century China: The View from Shanghai (Stanford University Press, 1991);

Popular Protest and Political Culture in Modern China, co-editor (Westview Press, 1992 and 1994 second edition);

Human Rights and Revolutions, co-editor (Rowman and Littlefield, 2000 and 2007 second edition);

The 20th Century: A Retrospective, co-author (Westview Press, 2000);
Chinese Femininities/Chinese Masculinities: A Reader, co-editor (University of California Press, 2002);

Twentieth-Century China: New Approaches, editor (Routledge, 2003);
Professional Societies
American Historical Association
Association for Asian Studies
Other Experience
Academic Editor
Los Angeles Review of Books's China Channel 2017

Editor, Journal of Asian Studies
Association for Asian Studies 2008—2018

Last updated