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About Ruth Dunnell

A specialist in premodern Chinese history, Ruth W. Dunnell came to Kenyon in 1989 as the second holder of the James P. Storer Professorship in Asian History. She helped to launch the interdisciplinary Asian Studies Program in 1991. Dunnell has moved to expand coverage of Korea in her East Asian history courses and also teaches courses on women and gender in East Asia, Tibet, and the Mongol empire.
After publishing a book on the rise of a Buddhist state between Tibet and China in the eleventh century (the Tangut Xia state), she has shifted her attention to the Mongol conquests and their legacies in East Asia, and has recently finished a biography of Chinggis Khan. Her current research explores the Tangut role in the spread of Tibetan Buddhism in the 12th and 13th centuries and under the Mongol empire.
Dunnell's next project will explore the social history of the class of foreign (Central Asian and Muslim) experts who helped the Mongols to govern China in the 13th and 14th centuries. In 1999-2000 she served as the resident director of the Oregon University System study abroad program in Beijing. She is currently working on a social history of the non-Chinese who helped the Mongols to rule China in the Yuan dynasty 13th-14th centuries.


Present James P. Storer Professor of Asian History, Kenyon College

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Contact Information

P: (740) 427-5323
Seitz House 04