Nicola Di Cosmo joined the Institute as Luce Foundation Professor in East Asian Studies in the School of Historical Studies in 2003. His main field of research is the history of the relations between China and Inner Asia from prehistory to the modern period. He is currently working on questions of climate change at the time of the Mongol empire, the political thought of the early Manchus, and commercial relations in northeast Asia on the eve of the Qing conquest.
Nicola Di Cosmo is Luce
Professor in East Asian Studies in the School of
Historical Studies at the
Institute for Advanced Study. A scholar
of China and inner Asia from
prehistory to the present, he...
Nicola Di Cosmo, Luce Foundation Professor in East Asian Studies
in the School of Historical Studies, has co-edited Empires and
Exchanges in Eurasian Late Antiquity (Cambridge University
Press, 2018), which offers an integrated picture of Rome...
On April 26, 2018, the Institute community gathered to celebrate
Ideas 2017–18 with talks by IAS Members––deep ideas explained in
under 20 minutes with no slides or chalk––followed by audience
discussions moderated by Faculty. The program concluded...
Half a century ago a French historian of rural Languedoc
published a history of climate and people: climate changes, is
subject to fluctuations, and (since history is about change)
climate is the object of history.2 Le Roy Ladurie’s implied
How can historians contribute to investigating the
relationships between climate change, ecology, and human activity?
Scientific research is making available volumes of data on the
possible correlations between environmental change and
In his recent book Global Crisis: War, Climate Change &
Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century, Geoffrey Parker
states: “although climate change can and does produce human
catastrophe, few historians include the weather in their analyses.”
Historians today can hardly answer the question: when does
history begin? Traditional boundaries between history,
protohistory, and prehistory have been blurred if not completely
erased by the rise of concepts such as “Big History” and
Nicola Di Cosmo, Luce
Foundation Professor in East Asian Studies, School of Historical
Studies. This lecture will provide an overview of the production
and characteristics of alien history in early China, while
acknowledging and attempting to gauge...
In March, Professor Nicola Di Cosmo, Luce Foundation Professor
in East Asian Studies in the School of Historical Studies, brought
together twelve international scholars who participated in a
workshop that explored “The Sense of the Past among Inner...