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Ph.D., Yale University, 1983; M.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1977; B.A., Connecticut College, 1975

Office: 9278 BUNCHE
Phone: 310-825-3087
Fax: 310-206-9630
E-mail: vonglahn@history.ucla.edu

Mailing Address:

UCLA Department of History
6265 Bunche Hall
Box 951473
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1473

Class Websites


China, World

Research Interests

Social, economic, and cultural history of China, 10th-18th centuries; popular religion, urban history, popular social movements; comparative economic history; global economic integration, 1000-1800.

After completing an undergraduate degree majoring in Chinese at Connecticut College, I pursued graduate study in Chinese history at UC Berkeley (M.A.) and Yale University (Ph.D., 1983). I held postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard and the University of Rochester and a tenure-track assistant professorship at Connecticut College before I joined the UCLA faculty in 1987. My primary field of research is the economic and social history of premodern China, with a particular focus on the period 1000-1700. My publications include three monographs in Chinese history,several edited books, and a co-authored textbook in world history. I continue to pursue research in Chinese monetary history, especially the interrelationship between China’s monetary system and wider spheres of monetary circulation within Asia and on a global scale. During the 2013-14 academic year I was on leave with the support of a Guggenheim Fellowship and completed a book manuscript, The Economic History of China from Antiquity to the Nineteenth Century , that I am currently preparing for publication.

In addition to teaching courses on all periods of Chinese history, I teach a range of undergraduate and graduate courses in world history.

Selected Publications


The Country of Streams and Grottoes: Expansion, Settlement, and the Civilizing of the Sichuan Frontier in Song Times. Cambridge, MA: Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1987.

Fountain of Fortune: Money and Monetary Policy in China, 1000-1700. Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1996.

The Song-Yuan-Ming Transition in Chinese History. Co-edited with Paul Jakov Smith. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2003.

Monetary History in Global Perspective, 1470-1800. Co-edited with Dennis O. Flynn & Arturo Giráldez. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Press, 2003.

The Sinister Way: The Divine and the Demonic in Chinese Religious Culture. Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2004.

Crossroads and Cultures: A History of the World. Co-authored with Bonnie Smith, Marc van der Mieroop, and Kris Lane. Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2012.

Recent Articles:

“Chinese Coin and Changes in Monetary Preferences in Maritime East Asia in the 15th-16th Centuries.” In Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 57.5 (2014).

“The Ningbo-Hakata Merchant Network and the Reorientation of East Asian Maritime Trade, 1150-1300.” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies. 74.2 (2014)

“Cycles of Silver in Chinese Monetary History.” In Economic History of Lower Yangzi Delta in Late Imperial China: Connecting Money, Markets, & Institutions, pp. 17-71. Ed. Billy K.L. So. London: Routledge, 2012.

“Household Registration, Property Rights, and Social Obligations in Imperial China: Principles and Practices.” In Registration and Recognition: Documenting the Person in World History, pp. 39-66 Ed. Keith Breckenridge and Simon Szreter. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

"La storia economica della Cina dal 221 a.C. al 1850 d.C.” In La civiltà cinese: dalle origini ai giorni nostri, volume 2, pp. 117-216. Ed. Mauritzio Scarpari. Turino: Einaudi, 2010.

“Monies of Account and Monetary Transition in China, Twelfth to Fourteenth Centuries.” In Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 53.3 (2010).

“南宋中国における複合通貨と地域通貨圏の形成” (Multiple Currencies and the Formation of Regional Currency Systems in Southern Song China). In 宋銭の世界 (The World of Song Money), pp. 275-294. Ed. Ihara Hiroshi 伊原弘. Tokyo: Bensei shuppan, 2009.

“Foreign Silver Coins in the Market Culture of Nineteenth Century China.” International Journal of Asian Studies 4.1 (2007): 51-78.

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