Maura Dykstra

Maura Dykstra's picture
Assistant Professor of History
320 York Street, Room 259, New Haven, CT 06511
Areas of interest : 
Early Modern China; Ming and Qing China; Empire and Governance; Legal, Bureaucratic, Institutional, & Economic History; Municipal Governance; Histories of Information & Administration



Law and History in China

This seminar takes scholars on a journey through the laws and the history of China. We encounter a series of case studies: scholarly analyses of sets of historical materials from different periods and various contexts that illustrate types of law and ways of writing history. Students read and analyze a wide variety of case materials: legal sources, trial accounts, printed records, and archival materials from different times and places in Chinese history to familiarize themselves with a range of texts used to narrate and analyze histories of law. At the same time, students familiarize themselves with materials used to study the law, and discuss and critique a diverse range of case studies written for various audiences. Working simultaneously with case materials and case studies, students become familiar with both the range of sources and the variety of methods used to study law and history in China. 

Term: Spring 2025
Day/Time: T 1:30 PM - 3:20 PM
HIST 877

The History of Early Modern China

This course examines the periodization, parameters, and implications of some of the many ways that China’s path to modernity has been theorizing by reviewing scholarship on what defines and constitutes China’s Early Modern era. From early twentieth-century adaptations of social and historical theories from European languages into Chinese historiographical discussions to post-Mao attempts to trace the “sprouts of capitalism” that might justify China’s socialist revolution as a valid one, from theories of Song dynasty absolutism and Ming autocracy, from the Great Divergence to urban history, this course surveys the many ways in which the study of China’s pre-modern experiences have been shaped to answer questions about China’s particular path to modernity.

Term: Fall 2024
Day/Time: W 1:30 PM - 3:20 PM