Yuan Julian Chen is currently the Environmental Humanities Fellow at the Franklin Humanities Institute and Global Asia Initiative at Duke University. She received her PhD from the Department of History at Yale University. Before joining Duke, she was a Visiting Professor at Boston College teaching classes on early China and food history.
Her current research focuses on the history of environment in premodern and early modern East Asia. Her first book manuscript, tentatively titled “Kaifeng: What it Took to Feed, Furnish, and Fortify the World’s Largest City, 960-1123,” is under contract with Oxford University Press. This project explores the environmental changes of Middle Period of China from the view of Kaifeng, China’s imperial capital, and its ecological and economical connections with its diverse supplying regions in China and beyond. Her second book-length project will study the militarization of nature in premodern and modern China.
Her work has been published in the Journal of Early Modern History, the Journal of Chinese History, the Journal of Song-Yuan Studies, and Chinese Culture. Her research has been supported by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange. She speaks Chinese and Japanese and reads Classical Chinese and Tangut.