HS12: Legitimating the State: International Orders and Political Imaginations of China, 1300-present


This Working Group brings together three historians who study Northeast Asia from the Mongol period to the present, with a particular focus on the changing concept of “China” in the context of political legitimation and international engagement.

Open to New People

Active since: 2021

  • Cornell University
  • Colgate University
  • Skidmore College

Collaborative Goals

Collaborative Goals:

  1. Increasing understanding of each other's research, and organizing new events for next year; and
  2. Inviting an expert whose research speak to our shared interest, and developing our respective book projects through intellectual exchange with each other and with the invited guest.

For 2021-2022, we had two Zoom meetings to update one another about the latest development of our research. Additionally, we invited Timothy Brook for a public-faced roundtable around the theme of the Corridor Group: Legitimating the State, International Orders and Political Imaginations of China.

Group Organizers

David Robinson

Robert H.N. Ho Professor in Asian Studies and Professor of History, Colgate University

Jenny Huangfu Day

Associate Professor of History, Skidmore College

Mara Yue Du

Assistant Professor and Himan Brown Faculty Fellow, Cornell University

Group Outcomes

  • Through the two Zoom meetings the three group members had in Fall 2021 and Spring 2022, we got to know each other's research, set up the public event, and worked out plans moving forward.
  • We secured Corridor funding for two workshops our group plans to have for 2022-2023, one at Skidmore College and one at Colgate University.
  • We had a public-faced roundtable at Cornell University with Timothy Brook, one of the most prominent expert on sovereignty and China's international relations in the early modern and modern period. The event attracted 50 attendants from the Cornell community and other institutions. The intellectual conversation helped the three members to further develop the frameworks of their current book projects, and stimulated a fruitful conversation with the audience.

Legitimating the State: International Orders and Political Imaginations of China,1300-present

This round-table includes Professor Tim Brook of the University of British Columbia, Professor David Robinson of Colgate University, Professor Jenny Day of Skidmore College, and Mara Yue Du of Cornell University. Panelists discuss the evolving meaning of "China" and how the self-legitimating state in China interacted with changing domestic and global conditions from the Mongol period to the present.

See the time-stamps for the various sections and panelists below:

  • Introduction: 03:08
  • Timothy Brook: 06:52:08
  • David Robinson: 25:15:02
  • Jenny Day: 35:54:24
  • Mara Yue Du: 48:53:02
  • Q and A: 01:12:45:19