Man Xu

Man Xu

(617) 627-0908
East Hall
Research/Areas of Interest:

Middle Period China, Late Imperial China, Women's History, the History of Material Culture


  • PhD, Columbia University, New York, United States, 2010
  • MA, Peking University, Beijing, China, 2002
  • BA, Peking University, Beijing, China, 1999


Inspired by my international history education in China and the United States, I am interested in a broad range of topics in middle period and late imperial Chinese history with a particular focus on the history of family and kinship, local society, material culture and gender. My current manuscript reconstructs the complexities of elite and non-elite women's everyday lives during the Song Dynasty, from 960 to 1279. I draw upon a wide range of previously untapped sources—including archaeological reports, epitaphs, museum collections, paintings, poetry, and excavations of women's tombs—to recover the diversity of women's experience of the life course, from childhood socialization to death, and the artifacts that women produced, transmitted, and consumed, including cosmetics, dress, kitchen goods, and jewelry. Besides the exploration of gendered objects, places, and space in middle period China, I have been thinking about the construction of women's knowledge in encyclopedias in late imperial China.