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Back Art Blog Great Master of Macro History, Mr. Ray Huang - Academic career

Great Master of Macro History, Mr. Ray Huang - Academic career

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Academic career

Huang went to the United States to study Chinese History. At the University of Michigan, he received his Bachelors Degree in 1954, his Masters Degree in 1957 and his Doctorate in 1964. He was appointed Visiting Associate Professor at Columbia University in 1967, and a Professor at the State University of New York, New Paltz Branch in 1968-1980. He was a research fellow at the Harvard Center for East Asian Research in 1970, where he worked with the leading American Sinologist John K. Fairbank, with whom he had close personal ties. Nevertheless, Huang and Fairbank disagreed in research methodology. Fairbank liked concentrated analysis in short time frames and limited areas, while Huangliked synthesis covering broad time periods (though Huang's classic work 1587 had a very tight focus).

In 1972, Huang went to Cambridge University and assisted Joseph Needham, who was more sympathetic to Huang's research approach, in Needham's monumental work on the history of Chinese science and technology. Huang's chosen field of study became financial administration in Ming China, and he published one of his major works, Taxation and Finance in Sixteenth Century Ming China, in 1974 (translated into Chinese only in 2001).

He returned to Cambridge in the mid 1970s, and contributed two chapters to the Ming Dynasty Volumes of the Cambridge History of China. Around the late 1970s, he retired from teaching and focused on writing instead, even occasionally contributing to a column in Yazhou Zhoukan. Nonetheless, he often travelled to Taiwan even after retirement to give lectures and participate in various academic exchanges.

His other works include The War in Northern Burma (1946), 1587, a Year of No Significance (1981) (also published in Chinese as The Fifteenth Year of Wan Li/《萬曆十五年》, 1985), Broadening the Chinese Field of Vision (in Chinese, 1988), Chinese Macrohistory (1988) (in Chinese 1993), Conversations about Chinese History on the Banks of the Hudson River (in Chinese 1989), Discussions of Here and There and Old and New (in Chinese 1991), Capitalism and the Twenty First Century (in Chinese 1991), From a Macrohistory Perspective in Reading Jiang Jieshi's Diary (in Chinese 1993), Contemporary Chinese Outlets (in Chinese 1994), The Affair of Wan Chong (in Chinese 1998), Yellow River Qing Mountain: Record of Huang Renzi's Recollections (in Chinese 2001), and Bianjing Unfinished Dreams.

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Last Updated on Friday, 08 July 2011 22:03