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Lecture | China Seminar

Human Trafficking and Piracy in Early Modern East Asia: Maritime Challenges to the Ming Dynasty Economy, 1370–1565

Wednesday 22 November 2023
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden


This seminar focuses on the recently published article by Harriet Zurndorfer, titled “Human Trafficking and Piracy in Early Modern East Asia: Maritime Challenges to the Ming Dynasty Economy, 1370–1565,” in Comparative Studies in Society and History [First View]. Utilizing theoretical insights from the model of “slaving zones,” this article examines recorded incidents of human trafficking along China’s littoral from 1370 to 1565 and contends that its presence and persistence were intertwined with the Ming court’s economic policies and problems.   

During this seminar, the author will invite you to engage in a dialogue concerning pivotal concepts and issues within the fields of human trafficking and piracy in early modern East Asia. It will start with a brief overview of the article, followed by questions posed by the author as well as a Q&A session. Prior to attending, the participants are recommended to read the article (please download here).

About the speaker

Harriet Zurndorfer is an economic and social historian of China, affiliated with the Leiden Institute for Area Studies (LIAS). She is the founder and editor of the journal Nan Nü: Men, Women and Gender in China now celebrating its 25th volume anniversary; she is one of the editors of the four-volume Cambridge World History of Violence (2020), as well as a contributor to the Cambridge Economic History of China (2022).  Dr. Zurndorfer has published several monographs, and more than 250 reviews, book chapters, and research articles that have appeared in a variety of journals, including:  The American Historical Review, Études chinoisesFeminist Economics, Gender & History, Gender, Place and Culture, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, International Journal of Asian Studies, International Review of Social History, Journal of  Chinese History, Journal of Early Modern History, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Ming Studies, Past and Present, and T’oung Pao.

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