Man Xu

Man Xu

Associate Professor
Transfer of Credit Representative
East Hall, Room 007
6 The Green, Medford, MA


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.


  • PhD Columbia University, 2010
  • MA Peking University, 2002
  • BA Peking University, 1999


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

Research Interests


  • de Bary Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Heyman Center for the Humanities, Columbia University, 2010-2011
  • Faculty Fellowship, Columbia University, 2002-2010
  • CLIR Mellon Research Fellowship, Council on Library and Information Resources, 2006-2007
  • CU Mellon Travel Fellowship, Columbia University, 2006-2007

Selected Publications and Presentations


  • Crossing the Gate: Everyday Lives of Women in Song Fujian (960-1279). State University of New York press. 2016.


  • "Local Elites in Transition: Epitaphs Excavated in Luzhou from the Seventh to the Twelfth centuries," Asia Major, 30 (2017).

  • "Gender and Burial in Imperial China: An Investigation of Women's Space in Fujian Tombs of the Song Era (960-1279)," NAN NÜ: Men, Women and Gender in China, 13 (2011): 1-51.

  • "「内事」と「外事」——宋代福建路地域社会での女性の経済活動 (Inner Affairs and Outer Affairs: Women's Economic Activities in Local Communities of Fujian during the Song Period),"Chūgoku josei shi kenkyū 中国女性史研究 (The Journal of Historical Studies on Chinese Women) vol. 20, 2011.

  • "内外の際――宋代福建路の士人家族の構成員としての女性(Inner and Outer: Elite Women and Their Natal Families in Fujian Circuit of Song Dynasty)," Chūgoku josei shi kenkyū 中国女性史研究 (The Journal of Historical Studies on Chinese Women) vol.14, 2005.

Teaching/Courses Taught

Pre-modern Chinese History
Modern Chinese History
Women and Gender in Chinese Tradition
Women and Gender in East Asian Tradition
Confucianism: From China to the World
Visual and Material Culture in Chinese Tradition