Shoufu Yin is an assistant professor in history at the University of British Columbia. His research and teaching center on Chinese and Inner Asian political culture and thought in global historical contexts. Specializing in areas where cultural history meets comparative philosophy, he works on a wide array of previously unknown, untapped, and understudied sources in different languages—literary Sinitic (classical Chinese), Korean, Manchu, Mongolian, Persian, Latin, and Greek, to name a few. As such, his publications show that it is productive to engage the intellectual world of hitherto overlooked and marginalized groups—including peasant women who fought in wars, Manchu translators who processed imperial documents, anonymous typesetters behind the production of books. Ultimately, his scholarly passion lies in writing new kinds of global intellectual histories that foreground the theoretical contributions of both “canonical” and “everyday” thinkers of different traditions.
His current book manuscript, “The ‘Chinese’ Rhetorical Curriculum and a Transcultural History of Political Thought, ca. 1250–1650,” provides a new narrative of the history of early modern political thought by examining the rhetorical curriculum that flourished in East Eurasia. Tracing how the curriculum took its shape under Mongol-ruled China and flourished in post-Mongol East Eurasia, it contends that this education enabled individuals thus trained to conceptualize their rights vis-à-vis the throne, re-problematize the proper shape of the government, and conceive counterfactual histories and alternative futures. Simultaneously, he is publishing a series of articles, showing how seemingly formulaic documents from the past may shed light on themes of contemporary importance, including individual liberty, gender equality, environmental crisis, and human-animal relationships.
He is a member of the Advisory Council of the Association for Global Political Thought, Harvard University, and is organizing a series of workshops that facilitate further dialogues between digital humanities and computational social sciences.
2022 Spring HIST 479A: Cultural History of Imperial China
2022 Spring HIST 321D/421D: History with Animals
2021 Fall HIST 378: History of Early China
Under Review/In Circulation
“Toward a Minimalist Approach to Democracy: Ideas Excavated from the First Large-scale Referendum in World History.” Under review/publicized via Social Science Research Network (SSRN). [SSRN version]
“Liu Bei, Plato, et al. on Kingship: A Microhistory of Seventeenth-century Globalization and Political Thought.” Under review/available upon request.
“Speaking on behalf of the ‘Korean’ King: Rhetorical Education and Political Representation in Early Modern China.” Under review/available upon request.
“Visualizing Divergence: Rhetorical Education, Literary Culture, and Historical Imagination in China and Korea (ca. 1314–1644).” Under review/available upon request.
“The Early Qing Compilation of the Ming History in Manchu: The Contexts, Contents, and Significance of the Ming gurun i suduri.” Conditionally accepted by T’oung Pao: International Journal of Chinese Studies/available upon request.
Published/Accepted for Publication
“Review: Origins of Moral-Political Philosophy in Early China: Contestation of Humaneness, Justice, and Personal Freedom, by Tao Jiang.” British Journal for the History of Philosophy: accepted and forthcoming.
“Election in Barbarian Lands: Representing Inner Asian and Euro-American Political Cultures in Early Modern China.” Oriens Extremus: Kultur, Geschichte, Reflexion in Ostasien 59 (2022): forthcoming.
“Redefining Reciprocity: Appointment Edict and Political Thought in Medieval China.” Journal of the History of Ideas 83.4 (2022): forthcoming. [manuscript for copyediting]
“Rewarding Female Commanders in Medieval China: Official Documents, Rhetorical Strategies, and Gender Order.” Journal of Chinese History 6.1 (2022): 1-20. An earlier version of my manuscript, entitled “On the Pseudo-Recognition of Female Commanders in Medieval China: War, Gender, and Imperial Rhetoric” is publicized via SSRN.
[with Michael Nylan] “Majority Rule in Imperial China.” The Cambridge History of Democracy, Volume 1: From Democratic Beginnings to c.1350. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.
[with Michael Nylan] “On Wen and Wu: Reading the Sunzi in Historical Context.” In Norton Critical Edition of The Art of War, edited by Michael Nylan. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2022.
“On the Importance of Having Atrocious Dreams: Social and Cultural Transformations of Tenth-Century China and Beyond” (in Chinese). Zaoqi zhongguoshi yanjiu 早期中國史研究 (Early and Medieval Chinese History) 12 (2020): 151-202. [publisher’s version]
“Review of Nicolas Tackett, The Destruction of the Medieval Chinese Aristocracy.” Frontiers of History in China 9 (2014): 640–643. An expanded version in Chinese is published in Tang Song lishi pinglun 唐宋歷史評論 (The Tang and Song History Review) 1 (2015): 276–295. [publisher’s version]