James Carter, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair of the History Department
My research and teaching interests focus on the history of late-imperial and modern China. I'm particularly interested in interactions between China and the West during the modern period, focusing not on state-to-state relations, but the actions of individuals. This emphasis on individual actions frames the way I think about history, as a negotiation between broad, overarching trends and individuals' daily lives.
- PhD, Yale University (1998)
- MA, MPhil, Yale University (1994)
- BA , University of Richmond (1991)
- Champions Day: The End of Old Shanghai. New York: W.W. Norton, (forthcoming June 2020) (with Richard A. Warren). Forging the Modern World: A History, 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018. (First edition published 2013.)
- Heart of Buddha, Heart of China: The Life of Tanxu, a Twentieth-Century Monk. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
- Creating a Chinese Harbin: Nationalism in an International City, 1916-1932. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2002
- (ed. with Richard Warren) Sources for Forging the Modern World, 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.
- (ed. with Cynthia Paces) 1989: End of the 20th Century. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010.
- “Echoes of the Past in China’s Urban Future” Conclusion to China’s Urban Future and the Quest for Stability. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press, 2020.
- “The Rise of Nationalism and Revolutionary Parties, 1919-1937,” Chapter in Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom, ed., The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.
- “Looking for Lok To,” in Angilee Shah and Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom, eds., Chinese Characters: FastChanging Lives in a Fast-Changing Land. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012.
- (with Cynthia Paces), “One Revolution of the Earth.” Chapter in James Carter and Cynthia Paces, eds., 1989: End of the 20th Century. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010.
- “Touring Harbin's Pasts.” Chapter in Daniel Walkowitz and Lisa Knauer, eds., Memory and the Impact of Political Transformation in Public Space. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004: 149-166.
- “A Tale of Two Temples: Nation, Region, and Religious Architecture in Harbin, 1928-1998.” Chapter in Place, Space, and Identity: Harbin and Manchuria in the Twentieth Century, a special issue of South Atlantic Quarterly (99:1, Winter, 2000): 97-115.
- “The Future of Harbin’s Past,” Itinerario 35, no. 3 (2011): 73-85; Korean version published in Journal of Manchurian Studies 9.
- “Buddhism, Resistance, and Collaboration in Manchuria,” Journal of Global Buddhism 10 (2009): 193-216.
- “Struggle for the Soul of a City: Nationalism, Imperialism, and Racial Tension in 1920s Harbin,” Modern China 27: 1 (January 2001): 91-116.
- “New Additions to the Search Party: Using The Search for Modern China: A Documentary Collection,” Education About Asia 5:2 (Fall 2000): 19-22.
- “Blue Skies, Black Snow, Red Tape: Archives in North Manchuria” Wall and Market 2: 1 (Spring 1997).
- “A Subject Elite: The First Decade of the Constitutionalist Party in Cochinchina, 1917-1927” The Vietnam Forum 14 (Spring, 1994): 211-243.
- “Hong Kong Apocalypses: Teaching the Recent Past and the Speculative Future,” History News Network. May 17, 2020. https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/175508
- “Shanghai’s Past, Hong Kong’s Future,” (with Jeffrey Wasserstrom) Public Books: A Magazine of Ideas, Arts, and Scholarship. May 12, 2020. https://www.publicbooks.org/shanghais-past-hong-kongs-future/
- “Why China’s May Fourth celebrations also bring new concerns for Beijing,” Washington Post Monkey Cage Blog. May 3, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/05/03/whychinas-may-fourth-celebrations-also-bring-new-concerns-beijing/
- “China and the Family of Nations,” China-US Focus. July 21, 2017. http://www.chinausfocus.com/foreignpolicy/2017/0721/15263.html
- “‘This is Not That China Story’: Q&A With Michael Meyer, Author of In Manchuria” ChinaFile Feb. 4, 2015. http://www.chinafile.com/reporting-opinion/culture/not-china-story
- “The East (Side) is Red” Los Angeles Review of Books China Blog. Dec. 10, 2014. http://blog.lareviewofbooks.org/chinablog/east-side-red/
- “Shanghai Joyce,” (with Jeffrey Wasserstrom). Times Literary Supplement (Nov. 1, 2013): 15.
- “Jogging the Memory,” Los Angeles Review of Books China Blog. Oct. 23, 2013. http://blog.lareviewofbooks.org/chinablog/jogging-memory/
- “Renewal of the Chinese Nation or Nationalism?” China-US Focus. Feb. 22, 2013 http://www.chinausfocus.com/culture-history/renewal-of-the-chinese-nation-or-nationalism/
- “Taprooms and Temples: Beer, Buddhism and Tourism in China,” The National Interest. Nov. 28, 2011. http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/taprooms-temples-beer-buddhism-tourism-china-6192
- “Harbin’s Past, Modern Style,” The China Beat, July 31, 2011, http://www.thechinabeat.org/?p=3629
- “Basketbrawls Past and Present,” The China Beat, Oct. 15, 2010, http://www.thechinabeat.org/?p=2755
- “Harbin,” in Melvin Ember and Carol R. Ember, eds., Encyclopedia of Urban Cultures: Cities and Cultures Around the World, Vol. 2: 317-323. Danbury, Conn.: Grolier, published under the auspices of the Human Relations Area Files at Yale University, 2002.
- Tengelmann Award for Distinguished Research and Teaching (2015)
- National Committee for US-China Relations, Public Intellectuals Fellow
I am currently writing a book set in Shanghai on the eve of World War II. Tentatively titled Down to the Wire in Shanghai, this book focuses on the last Champions' race at the Shanghai Race Club, on November 12, 1941. Using the racetrack as the center of the story, I branch out from there to explore and explain the interrelations among Shanghai's many different communities--national communities including Chinese, British, American, and Japanese, but also religious communities of Jews and Buddhists, and political communities of nationalists, communists, and collaborators--on the eve of the Japanese invasion.