Empire in Asia

A New Global History

Empire in Asia Members & Contributors


Anthony Disney, MA (Oxon.) PhD (Harvard) is primarily a historian of the Portuguese empire in maritime Asia in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, about which he has written extensively. His works include Twilight of the Pepper Empire. Portuguese Trade in Southwest India in the Early Seventeenth Century (1978; second edition 2010),  A  History of Portugal and of the Portuguese Empire. From Beginnings  to 1807 (two volumes, 2009), The Portuguese in India and Other Studies, 1500-1700  (2009)and numerous articles, papers and other shorter works. He has taught at Melbourne and La Trobe Universities in Australia and has been  a scholar emeritus  at La Trobe since  2010. Anthony has also been a member of the International Seminar on Indo-Portuguese History since its foundation in 1978. Currently he is writing a biography of Dom Miguel de Noronha, fourth Count of Linhares, who was viceroy at  Goa between 1629 and 1635.

Thomas David DuBois is a historian of modern China and transnational East Asia. He is the author of Sacred Village: Social Change and Religious Life in Rural North China (Hawaii 2005), and Religion and the Making of Modern East Asia (Cambridge 2012), and most recently, Empire and the Meaning of Religion in Northeast Asia, Manchuria 1900-1945 (Cambridge 2017), as well as about two dozen scholarly articles on the legal, commercial and religious history of Northeast Asia. His popular and scholarly has been published in Arabic, Chinese, and Russian translation. His current project on China’s animal industries is conducted in conjunction with scholars at Hulunbuir University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Frederik Vermote is an assistant professor Asian and World History at Fresno State University and a research fellow at the USF Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History. His research interests include Jesuit finances and travel between Europe and China during the fifteenth to the eighteenth century. His forthcoming and most recent publications include “Travellers Lost and Redirected: Jesuit Networks and the Limits of European Exploration in Asia”, in Itinerario: The Journal of the History of European Expansion and Global Interaction; two book chapters on financing Jesuit missions in Brill and Oxford edited volumes; “Cash or Credit: Jesuit Money Flows during the Dawn of a Global World”, in Mercantilism and Account Keeping:  Comparative Analysis of the Periphery-Core Structure and its Impacts on Indigenous Market Players; and an article in The World History Connected journal, "Dangers and Limitations of JesuitTravel Throughout Eurasia During the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries". Vermote’s book manuscript Moving Money and Missionaries in a Global World: The Jesuit Financial Networks between Europe and Asia is under contract with Brill.

Paul Werth is professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, specializing in the history of the Russian Empire. He has held fellowships in Washington, North Carolina, Sapporo, and Munich, and for five years he was editor of the journal Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History. His previous work has focused primarily on problems of religious diversity and toleration in Tsarist Russia, and his major publications include At the Margins of Orthodoxy: Mission, Governance, and Confessional Politics in Russia's Volga-Kama Region, 1827-1905  (Cornell, 2002); The Tsar's Foreign Faiths: Toleration and the Fate of Religious Freedom in Imperial Russia (Oxford, 2014); and, in Russian, Orthodoxy, Unorthodoxy, Heterodoxy: Sketches on the Religious Diversity of the Russian Empire (Moscow, 2012). Having recently completed a term as head of his department, he is now researching a book on the significance of the seemingly obscure year 1837 for Russian history, while also contemplating future projects linking the histories of Russia and China. 

Florence Hodous is currently a post-doctoral scholar at Renmin University, Beijing, interested in the history of the Mongol empire and in particular its laws and its religions, as well as cross-cultural contacts between Yuan China and the Ilkhanate in Persia. From 2013 to 2016, post-doctoral scholar at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, researching judges of the Mongol Empire. Publications include: “A Judge at the Crossroads of Cultures: Shi Tianlin,” (Asiatische Studien,  forthcoming 2017), “Faith and the Law: Religious Beliefs and the Death Penalty in the Ilkhanate” (in Bruno De Nicola ed., The Mongols’ Middle East, BRILL, 2016), “Clash or compromise? Mongol and Muslim law in the Ilkhanate (1258-1335)” (Studies on the Iranian World II, Krakow: Jagiellonian University Press, 2015), “The quriltai as a legal institution in the Mongol empire,” (Central Asiatic Journal 56, 2012/2013). Completed her PhD “Toluid Dynamics of Asia: Flexibility, Legality and Identity within Toluid Institutions” in 2013 from SOAS, University of London under the direction of George Lane.

Robert Bickers is Professor of History at the University of Bristol, and works on issues at the intersection of modern Chinese history, and the history of colonialism and empire. His books include Empire Made Me: An Englishman Adrift in Shanghai (2003), The Scramble for China: Foreign Devils in the Qing Empire (2011), and Out of China: How the Chinese Ended the Era of Foreign Domination (2017). He directs the ‘Historical Photographs of China’ digitization project (www.hpcbristol.net) and currently leads a Hong Kong History Project. Britain’s imperial presence in Asia was an intermittent feature of his family history from 1885 for over a hundred years.