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Charles Sanft: QUEST Scholar of the Week

Sanft photoCharles Sanft, assistant professor in the History Department, has recently published his first book, Communication and Cooperation in Early Imperial China: Publicizing the Qin Dynasty (State University of New York Press), as part of the SUNY series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture. In it, he combines received history, the results of archaeological excavation, and current secondary scholarship to argue for the importance of non-coercive government under the early empire. The book integrates theory from anthropology and economics with early Chinese philosophy and argues that modern social science and ancient thought agree that cooperation is necessary for all human societies.

Joining the UT faculty in 2013, Sanft holds degrees in Chinese Studies from the University of Minnesota and the University of Muenster. His research focuses on the political thought and practice of early imperial China, from around the late third century BCE into the first century CE. He has published articles on legal history, ritual, and translations and studies of paleographic materials from the time in journals including Early China, Environmental History, Asia Major, Frontiers of History in China, and others. During the academic year 2014-15 he will be a research fellow in residence at the UT Humanities Center.

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