Luce Foundation Professor in East Asian Studies

Nicola Di Cosmo

School of Historical Studies
East Asian Studies
Historical Studies
Field of Study
East Asian Studies

Nicola Di Cosmo received his Ph.D. from the Department of Uralic and Altaic Studies (now Central Eurasian Studies) at Indiana University in 1991, and held research and teaching positions at the University of Cambridge, Harvard University, and the University of Canterbury (New Zealand) before joining the Institute for Advanced Study in 2003. His main field of research is the history of the relations between China and Inner Asia from prehistory to the modern period. Within that broad area he has published on the early history of China’s relations with steppe nomads (e.g., Ancient China and Its Enemies: The Rise of Nomadic Powers in East Asian History, 2002) and on Mongol and Manchu history (e.g., Manchu-Mongol Relations on the Eve of the Qing Conquest, 2003), and he has edited several books, including Military Culture in Imperial China (2009) and The Cambridge History of Inner Asia (2009). His most recent works explore the use of proxy data from climatology and other palaeosciences in the study of the history of China and Central Asia, with special reference to early Eurasian nomads, the Mongol empire, and the Qing dynasty.

Dates at IAS
  • Historical Studies
  • Historical Studies
1/19996/1999 Spring
Indiana University Ph.D., 1991
Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia B.A., 1982
New Zealand Royal Society, Marsden Fund Grant 2001
Harvard University, Milton Fund Grant for Research in the People’s Republic of China 1995
Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, Research Fellowship 1992
Center for Chinese Studies, Taipei, Research Grant and Residency at Academia Sinica 1990
Institute of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Rome, Research Grant to study at the Research Institute of Asian and African Cultures, Tokyo 1988
University of Canterbury 1999–2003 Senior Lecturer
Harvard University 1993–1999 Associate Professor 1998–99, Assistant Professor 1993–97
Indiana University 1992–1993 Visiting Lecturer and Rockefeller Fellow
University of Cambridge 1989–1992 Research Fellow