Edward L Farmer

I was trained in East Asian Regional Studies and Modern Chinese history. My research has concentrated on the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), but years of teaching have broadened my interests: first to comparative Asian History, then to comparative World History. Coming from a Chinese history background, I have tried to see world and global history from a perspective that resists Eurocentric assumptions. In recent years this has led me to reexamine Ming history from a global perspective.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Harvard University, 1968.

Curriculum Vitae


  • World & Global History
  • Comparative Early Modern History
  • History of Ming China
  • Modern Chinese History
Courses Taught
  • Hist 1015 - Introduction to Global History: The Information Age
  • Hist 8630 - Seminar in World History
  • Hist 3/5467 State and Revolution in Modern China
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Director: National Resource Center in International Studies and Foreign Language and Area Studies Grant Program, Institute of Global Studies
  • Director of Publications, Center for Early Modern History:
  • Managing Editor, Ming Studies:
  • Editor, Ming Studies Research Series:


  • "Prepresentations of Empire": Ming China seen through gazetteer illustrations, 1998 -
  • "Then and Now": A Framework for Global Historical Analysis, 2004


  • The Shanghai Communiqué Then and Now: A Historical Perspective: Unpublished paper, 2002
  • Illustration as Text, as Painting and as Map: Some Thoughts about Ming Gazetteer Images: Unpubished paper, 2003
  • Ming China’s Pursuit of Cultural Homogeneity: Unpublished paper, 2004
  • Ming Taizu and the Chinese Social Orde: Unpublished paper, 2005
  • Patriarchy in One Country: Zhu Yuanzhang’s Concept of the Ideal Social Order: Unpublished paper, 2006
  • "Western civilization, Modernity, and World History: Some Perspectives from East Asia": Farmer, Edward, 2001.
  • "Shijieshi zhongdi Mingshi yanjiu" (The Study of Ming History in a World HistoryContext): Farmer, Edward, 2004.
  • The Information Age: Introduction to Global History Since 1950. Farmer, Edward, Kendall/Hunt, Author, 2007.
  • NDFL Fellowship for Chinese, 1961-65
  • Fulbright Fellowship, Taiwan, 1965-67
  • ACLS Chinese Civilization Fellowship, 1975-76
  • Wang Institute of Graduate Studies Fellowship, 1984-85
  • Morse-Alumni Award for Undergraduate Education, 1989
  • Committee for Scholarly Communication with China, Travel Grant, 1994
  • University of Minnesota Academy of Distinguished Teachers, 1999-