Profile

Robert Paul Hymes
Horace Walpole Carpentier Professor of Oriental Studies

Robert Hymes, H. Walpole Carpentier Professor of Chinese History (EALAC), received his B.A. from Columbia (1972) and his M.A. (1976) and Ph.D. (1979) from the University of Pennsylvania . His work has focused on the social and cultural history of middle period and early modern China, drawing questions and sometimes data from cultural anthropology as well as history, and using the methods of the local historian to study elite culture, family and kinship, medicine, religion, gender, and (currently) the changing role and form of Chinese social networks from the tenth through the seventeenth centuries. His publications include Statemen and Gentlemen: The Elite of Fu-chou, Chiang-hsi, in Northern and Southern Sung (1987), and Way and Byway: Taoism, Local Religion, and Models of Divinity in Sung and Modern China (2002), both of which won the Joseph Levenson Prize of the Association for Asian Studies for the best book on pre-1900 China.  He also co-edited Ordering the World: Approaches to State and Society in Sung Dynasty China (1993).