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Kathlene Baldanza

Kathlene Baldanza

Assistant Professor of History and Asian Studies

201 Weaver
Office Phone: (814) 863-0131


  1. PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 2010
  2. MA, University of Pennsylvania, 2004
  3. BA, Bryn Mawr College, 2001


I am a historian of late imperial China, with a strong interest in Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam. My first book manuscript, The Frustrated Autocrat: Debate and Negotiation in the Sino-Viet Borderlands, concerns the overlapping local, national, and universal loyalties and alliances that complicated early modern political relations. I am currently working on a new project, tentatively calledMalarial Rain and Barbarian Mist: Mosquito and Miasma in Chinese Imperial History. This project examines the role of malaria in determining the outcome of military campaigns in the South, settlement patterns, and cultural and medical understandings of tropical disease. In addition to my research, my teaching interests include the history of private life and Chinese legal history.

Recent Publications:

“De-Civilizing Ming China’s Southern Border: Vietnam as Lost Province or Barbarian Culture,” in Jeff McClain and Yongtao Du, editors, Chinese History in Geographical Perspective, Lexington Books, 2013.

“A State Agent at Odds with the State: Lin Xiyuan and the Recovery of the Four Dong,” in James Anderson and John K. Whitmore, editors, Forging the Fiery Frontier: Two Millennia of Encounters in the South and Southwest, Brill, 2014.

"Perspectives on the Mac Surrender of 1540," Asia MajorNovember 2014.

Awards and Service:

ACLS Comparative Perspectives on Chinese Culture and Society Conference Grant (2013)
National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, University of Hawaii/East-West Center (2011)
Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation Doctoral Fellowship (2009-2010)
Fulbright IIE Award for research at Academia Sinica, Taiwan (2008)

Recent Courses:

HIST010 - World History I
HIST174 - The History of Traditional East Asia
HIST302W - Gender and Family Life in China
HIST483 - Chinese Society and Culture to 1800