Pamela Crossley

Professor of History – Dartmouth College

Pamela Crossley is author of the influential new history of modern China, The Wobbling Pivot. She has taught history at Dartmouth College since 1985. She is a specialist on the history of the Qing empire, but has also written extensively on modern China, the Liao dynasty, Mongol history and global history. Her book, Orphan Warriors: Three Manchu Generations and the End of the Qing World (Princeton, 1990), opened up new vistas on the cultural and identity dynamics of modern China. Her subsequent book, The Manchus (Blackwell, 1997) was a special selection of the History Book Club, and continues to be widely taught in undergraduate classes. In 2001 she was awarded the Joseph R. Levenson Prize by the Association for Asian Studies for her book, A Translucent Mirror: History and Identity in Qing Imperial Ideology (California, 1999). Her scholarly articles have appeared in Late Imperial ChinaThe Journal of Asian StudiesThe American Historical Review, and she has contributed upon invitation to three separate series of the Cambridge histories, as well as the The Oxford History of Historical Writing.

Crossley is also a scholar of global history. She was one of the original authors of the breakthrough text The Earth and its Peoples (1997 and subsequent), and continues as co-author ofGlobal Society: The World since 1900 (now in its third edition). Her short volume, What is Global History? (Polity, 2008) has been praised as both concise and illuminating.

Apart from more scholarly works, Crossley has also contributed to The New York Times Literary Review, The New Republic, CalliopeThe Royal Academy of Arts Magazine, Education about Asia, The Gale History of Modern China, The Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion, The National Interest, Wall Street Journal and BBC Online.

Crossley is a software author, working to integrate texts and teaching methods through digital media. The software module used to extend teaching and communication resources for all teaching modern China, including those who use The Wobbling Pivot in their own classes, has been designed and authored by her, and is in a process of constant development (like The Wobbling Pivot itself). Users are warmly encouraged to share their criticisms and suggestions for improvement.

Dartmouth has awarded its prizes both for distinguished scholarship (in 1990) and for distinguished teaching (in 2011) to Crossley. Her scholarly research as been supported by the ACLS, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others.

Crossley lives in Norwich, Vermont. She is a graduate of Swarthmore College and Yale University.