Teaching Fellows

Yuan Tian

Teaching Fellow Yuan Tian

Area of Study

Department of History

Yuan Tian

Teaching Fellow

A global historian of modern China, Yuan Tian’s research and teaching interests include legal history, business history, history of empire and colonialism, and Sino-Western relations in the 19th and 20th centuries. Her first book project, titled Uncharted Jurisdiction: Law, Colonialism and Global Trade in Modern China, critically examines the encounters between the Chinese community and imperialist agents through the lens of grassroots-level courtroom in China’s southwest. Instead of adhering to the conventional coastal outlook in scholarship on Sino-Western relations, Tian focuses on the vast Chinese interior, which was fraught with numerous constraints on foreign activities. In so doing, Tian reveals the unregulated legal borderland created by extraterritoriality and the unintended consequences of colonial legal regimes on empire-building and society-making.

Her research has been supported by numerous organizations, including the American Council of Learned Societies, the Association of Asian Studies, the Hoover Institution, and the China Times Cultural Foundation. Yuan’s recent article, forthcoming in Late Imperial China, studies Sino-Western jurisdictional disputes over the extradition of political offenders and the history of summary execution in late Qing China. She holds a PhD in History from the University of Chicago, a MA in East Asian Studies from Stanford University, and a BA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong.

Dissertation: Western Privileges in Chinese Eyes: A Social History of Extraterritoriality in Qing China Sichuan (1860-1911)