Dr. Prasenjit Duara

Dr. Prasenjit Duara, Director

Dr, Prasenjit Duara is the Oscar Tang Chair of East Asian Studies at Duke University. He was born and educated in India and received his PhD in Chinese history from Harvard University. He was previously Professor and Chair of the Dept of History and Chair of the Committee on Chinese Studies at the University of Chicago (1991-2008). Subsequently, he became Raffles Professor of Humanities and Director, Asia Research Institute at National University of Singapore (2008-2015).

In 1988, he published Culture, Power and the State: Rural North China, 1900-1942 (Stanford Univ Press) which won the Fairbank Prize of the AHA and the Levenson Prize of the AAS, USA. Among his other books are Rescuing History from the Nation (U Chicago 1995), Sovereignty and Authenticity: Manchukuo and the East Asian Modern (Rowman 2003) and most recently, The Crisis of Global Modernity: Asian Traditions and a Sustainable Future  (Cambridge 2014). He has edited Decolonization: Now and Then (Routledge, 2004) and co-edited A Companion to Global Historical Thought with Viren Murthy and  Andrew Sartori (John Wiley, 2014). His work has been widely translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean and the European languages

Yuan Chen

Dr. Yuan Chen, Postdoctoral Associate, Franklin Humanities Institute & Global Asia Initiative

Yuan Julian Chen received her PhD from the Department of History at Yale University. Before joining Duke, she was a Visiting Professor at Boston College teaching classes on early China and food history. Her current research focuses on the history of environment in premodern and early modern East Asia. She is currently working on a book manuscript, tentatively titled "Kaifeng: What it Took to Feed, Furnish, and Fortify the World's Largest City, 900-1200." It explores the environmental changes of Middle Period of China from the view of Kaifeng, China's imperial capital, and its ecological and economical connections with its diverse supplying regions in China and beyond. Her work has been published in the Journal of Early Modern History, the Journal of Chinese History,theJournal of Song-YuanStudies, andChinese Culture. Her research has been supported by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange. She speaks Chinese and Japanese and reads Classical Chinese and Tangut. Her teaching interests include Chinese history, Tokugawa Japan, early modern global history, environmental history, and the Silk Road.


Rohini Thakkar , program coordinator

Rohini Thakkar joined DUCIGS as Staff Specialist in September 2017. She is responsible for coordinating programs and activities for the Global Asia Initiative (GAI) and the newly created  Duke India Initiative (DII). Rohini holds an M.A. in English from Pune University (India).  Rohini has also studied Japanese both at Pune University and Nagoya University (Japan).  She worked for Hewlett Packard and Oracle in Bangalore (India) before obtaining her Masters in International Studies from NCSU. She has worked at the Study Abroad Office at NCSU as well as for the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) at Duke University.

Global Asia Initiative Advisory Committee

Dr. Prasenjit Duara, Oscar Tang Professor of East Asian Studies, History Department

Dr. Erika Weinthal, Lee Hill Snowdon Professor of Environmental Policy, Nicholas School of the Environment

Dr. Ralph Litzinger, Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology

Dr. Carlos Rojas, Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Dr. Elizabeth Losos, Senior Fellow, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Global Asia Initiative Affiliates

Yan Gao, Faculty Member, University of Memphis, History

Zhang Lianwei, Associate Professor of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Beijing Forestry University, China

Jeffrey Nicolaisen, Visiting Lecturer, Duke Kunshan University

Takushi Odagiri, Associate Professor of Humanities, Kanazawa University, Japan