Pamela Kyle Crossley

Academic Appointments

Charles and Elfriede Collis Professor of History

Pamela Crossley is a specialist on the Qing empire and modern Chinese history, and also researches and writes on Central and Inner Asian history, global history, the history of horsemanship in Eurasia before the modern period, and the imperial sources of modern identities. She is the author of eight books--China's Global Empire: Qing, 1636-1912, forthcoming; Hammer and Anvil: Nomad Rulers at the Forge of the Modern World[2019], The Wobbling Pivot: China since 1800 [2010], What is Global History? [2008], A Translucent Mirror: History and Identity in Qing Imperial Ideology [1999], The Manchus [1997], and Orphan Warriors: Three Manchu Generations and the End of the Qing World [1990]--co-author of two leading textbooks on global history (The Earth and its Peoples, 5th ed., 2012, and Global Society: The World since 1900, 3rd ed. 2012) and co-editor of Empire at the Margins: Culture, Ethnicity, and Frontier in Early Modern China [2006]. Shorter research works have appeared or will appear in The Cambridge History of ChinaThe Cambridge History of World Slavery, Cambridge History of Global Migration, Cambridge History of Nationhood and Nationalism, and The Cambridge History of Warfare, in scholarly journals including Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, American Historical ReviewJournal of Asian Studies and Annales. She has also been awarded the Jerome Goldstein Award for Distinguished Teaching. Crossley is an original appointee of the Dartmouth Society of Fellows.   

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Carson Hall, Room C308
HB 6107




  • PhD Yale University (Modern Chinese History), 1983
  • MPhil Yale University (History), 1981
  • MA Yale University (History), 1979
  • MA Yale University (East Asian Studies), 1978
  • BA with high honors in the Humanities, Swarthmore College 1977

Selected Publications

  • Hammer and Anvil: Nomad Rulers at the Forge of the Modern World, Rowman & Littlefield, 2019 (Chinese translation, Beijing United Publishing Company, 2019); Turkish translation forthcoming.

  • The Wobbling Pivot: China since 1800, An Interpretive History (Blackwell/Wiley 2010).

  • What is Global History? (Polity 2008).

  • A Translucent Mirror:  History and Identity in Qing Imperial Ideology, Berkeley:  University of  California Press, 1999; electronic edition, 2001; paperback 2001;digital rights, 2015. awarded Levenson Prize of the Association for Asian Studies, 2001.

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Speaking Engagements

  • Endowed lecture: Dependency and the Mirage of “Ethnicity'", Joseph C. Miller Memorial Lecture, ” Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies, University of Bonn, December 13, 2021.


    Keynote Speaker: “What Keeps the Kitan Enigmatic: Barriers to Multilateral Narratives in Chinese History?” for the conference “Cosmopolitan Pasts of China and Eurasia,” June 11-12, 18-19, 2021 at Institute of Sinology, Department of Asian Studies, Ludwig Maximilians Universität, Munich.


  • Keynote Speaker: “Was there a Chinese tributary system?” for the conference “Contact Zones and Colonialism in China’s South, 221 BCE – 1368 CE,” May 9-12, 2019 at Pennsylvania State University, ACLS/CCKF.

Works In Progress

  • book: a comparative history of the origin of modern identities in the late Qing, Russian and Ottoman empires

  • book: the historical discourse of "empire" and "civilization"

  • book: a contextualization of Wu Bingjian


Please do not ever write my name as "Pamela K. Crossley."


Yes, the name that is forced onto this page and into my email address by the Dartmouth servers. That mangling of my name is an invention of the Dartmouth directory, which refuses to change it. You can cite me as Pamela Crossley, or Pamela Kyle Crossley, or P.K. Crossley without causing me to wish I had never been born. My email address is NOT, it is Since Dartmouth alone is responsible for spreading "Pamela K. Crossley" around the web and making me ashamed each time it appears, I make a public announcement here. Sorry to be weird.