Thomas Mullaney

Professor of History
Ph.D., Columbia University, History (2006)
M.A., Johns Hopkins University, Humanities (2000)
B.A., Johns Hopkins University, International Studies & East Asian Studies (1999)
Thomas Mullaney
Thomas S. Mullaney is Professor of Chinese History at Stanford University, and Curator of the international exhibition, Radical Machines: Chinese in the Information Age.

He is the author of The Chinese Typewriter: A History (MIT Press 2017), Coming to Terms with the Nation: Ethnic Classification in Modern China (UC Press, 2010), and principal editor of Critical Han Studies: The History, Representation and Identity of China’s Majority (UC Press, 2011). His writings have appeared in the Journal of Asian Studies, Technology & Culture, Aeon, Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Policy, and his work has been featured in the LA Times, The Atlantic, the BBC, and in invited lectures at Google, Microsoft, Adobe, and more. He holds a PhD from Columbia University.

His new book, The Chinese Typewriter, examines China’s development of a modern, nonalphabetic information infrastructure encompassing telegraphy, typewriting, word processing, and computing. This project has received three major awards and fellowships, including the 2013 Usher Prize, a three-year National Science Foundation fellowship, and a Hellman Faculty Fellowship.

He directs Digital Humanities Asia (DHAsia), a program at Stanford University focused on East, South, Southeast, and Inner/Central Asia. DHAsia was recently the recipient of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar fellowship.

He is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Dissertation Reviews, which publishes more than 500 reviews annually of recently defended dissertations in nearly 30 different fields in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Featured News

August 14, 2020
When we think of China today, we think of a technological superpower. From Huawei and 5G to TikTok and viral social media, China is stride for stride with the United States in the world of computing. However, China’s technological renaissance almost didn’t happen. And for one very basic reason: The Chinese language, with its 70,000 plus characters...
January 17, 2020
Professor of Chinese history THOMAS MULLANEY has been awarded a prominent fellowship at the Library of Congress. Beginning in the spring, Mullaney will be in residence at the John W. Kluge Center in Washington, D.C., as the 2020–21 Kluge Chair in Technology and Society. During his fellowship, Mullaney will focus on three areas: asymmetries in...
June 7, 2019
Stanford historian Tom Mullaney’s interactive website, The Chinese Deathscape: Grave Reform in Modern China, shows the locations of thousands of gravesites that have been relocated in China over the past two decades. In what is considered to be the largest grave relocation in human history so far, more than 10 million corpses have been exhumed...
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