Roger V. Des Forges (A.B. in Public and International Affairs, Princeton 1964; Ph.D. in Chinese History, Yale 1971) taught Chinese, Asian, and World History at Middlebury College (1970-1971), Yale University (1971-1972), and the State University of New York at Buffalo (1972-2014). He has been a Research Associate at the Fairbank Center of Harvard University and at the Center for Yellow River Civilization and Sustainable Development of Henan University in Kaifeng, China. He published two monographs, Hsi-liang and the Chinese National Revolution (Yale University Press, 1973) and Cultural Centrality and Political Change in Chinese History: Northeast Henan in the Fall of the Ming (Stanford University Press, 2003). He contributed to and co-edited two conference volumes, Chinese Democracy and the Crisis of 1989: Chinese and American Reflections (SUNY Press, 1992) and Chinese Walls in Time and Space: A Multidisciplinary Perspective (Cornell University Press, 2009). He has authored several articles in English and Chinese on the Chinese scholar rebel Li Yan, who helped to overthrow the Ming before dying at the hands of his own leader. He has published several book chapters, including “Time and Space in Chinese Historiography: Concepts of Centrality in the History and Literature of the Three Kingdoms,” in The Many Faces of Clio: Cross-Cultural Approaches to Historiography (Berghahn Books, 2007), and several articles, including, in Chinese, “Globalism in Chinese Perspective: China’s Roles in World History and Historiography,” in the Chinese journal Global History Review (2014), and, in English, “China’s Roles in World History and Historiography,” in the Sino-European journal Frontiers of History in China (2016). In 2007, he received an Award for Outstanding Contributions to International Education at the University at Buffalo, and in 2013 he co-directed a National Endowment for the Humanities Workshop on “China and India: Comparisons and Connections.” He contributed to and co-edited a conference volume titled Representing Lives in China: Forms of Biography in the Ming-Qing Period, 1368-1911 in the East Asian Series (Cornell University Press, 2019). Recently, he has authored his magnum opus, The Mythistorical Chinese Scholar-Rebel-Advisor Li Yan, a Global Perspective, 1606-2018, published in the Leiden Series in Comparative Historiography (Brill, 2020). He retired from teaching in 2015 and now lives in Sudbury, Massachusetts.

Last Updated: February 16, 2022



Remembering Jonathan Spence

Pamela Kyle Crossley, Sherman Cochran & more
A few weeks after Jonathan Spence, the celebrated historian of China, died at Christmas, ChinaFile began collecting reminiscences from his classmates, doctoral students, and colleagues spanning the five decades of his extraordinary career as a...