About the Author

Thomas S. Mullaney received his Ph.D. from Columbia University and is Assistant Professor of Modern Chinese History at Stanford University. His first book, Coming to Terms with the Nation: Ethnic Classification in Modern China (Foreword by Benedict Anderson; University of California Press, 2011) –  examines the process by which Chinese social scientists and Communist state authorities decided which of the country’s minority groups to recognize, and how this transformed the modern Chinese nation-state. He is also principal editor of Critical Han Studies: Understanding the Largest Ethnic Group on Earth (University of California Press, Forthcoming – introduction here), an edited volume that brings together path breaking new research on China’s ethnic majority. He is currently working on a global history of China’s nineteenth- and twentieth-century development of a character-based information infrastructure, examining in particular the development of Chinese telegraph codes, typewriting, character retrieval systems, shorthand, braille, computing, and other modern language systems. This blog charts the process of researching and writing this new book.

One Response to “About the Author”


  1. Dear Dr Mullaney,
    I am pleased to see that you have been awarded a grant to pursue Lin Yutang’s typewriter as I believe that he is due more credit than he has been given for the IBM program that allows internet users to write in Chinese characters on line.
    I am presently writing a psychobiography of Lin Yutang and would welcome anything that might add to my uderstanding of what made Lin tick.
    Keep in touch,
    Roslyn Joy (Ricci)


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