Glasserman, Aaron

Field: International and Global; Advisor: Zelin; Year: 2015

Aaron Glasserman is a historian of China who specializes in Islam, law, and religion-state relations.  His recent research focuses on Henan Province in central China. He has conducted research in Muslim communities, mosques, and archives throughout mainland China and in Taiwan, Japan, and Turkey. He is currently writing a dissertation, Islam and Muslim Politics in Modern China.

His broader research interests include Chinese law and religion; ethnic and religious policy in China; bureaucracy and bureaucratization; bureaucratization of religion; religious authority in modern Islam; China and the Middle East; and the relationships of China’s rulers and of China’s Muslim communities to other governments and Muslims abroad.

He has been as a TA for a range of classes on pre-modern and modern Chinese history and modern global and international history: “Major Topics in East Asian Civilization,” “Gender and Power in China,” “History of US-East Asia Relations,” and “World History since World War 2.” He is developing an original undergraduate course, “Difference and Dissent: Religion and Law in China since the Qing,” which examines law and religion as elements of and challenges to the multiple normative orders administered by China’s rulers since the seventeenth century. The course also considers how notions of despotism, syncretism, and folk belief have qualified Chinese law and religion in the western social science imaginary and have been central to claims about essential differences between “China” and “the West.”  

He graduated from Princeton University (2013, summa cum laude) with a BA in Near Eastern Studies and certificates in Chinese Language and Culture and Arabic Language and Culture. He also holds an MA (2017) and MPhil (2018) in History from Columbia University. His research has been supported by the Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Esherick and Ye Family Foundation, the Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund, and the Spiegel Fund.