Jonathan Skaff

Visiting Research Scholar 2015-16

Jonathan Skaff is Professor of History at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, where he also has served as Director of International Studies. After teaching English in Shanghai in the mid-1980s, Skaff pursued graduate studies at The University of Michigan where he received his Ph.D. in History in 1998. His research reassesses medieval China’s frontier interactions with Inner Asia via borderlands and overland trade routes. He has published on various aspects of political, military, cultural and economic relations. His book, Sui-Tang China and its Turko-Mongol Neighbors: Culture, Power and Connections, 580-800 (Oxford University Press, 2012) received fellowship support from the Institute for Advanced Study, National Endowment for Humanities, and the American Philosophical Society. A Chinese translation is forthcoming from the Social Sciences Academic Press. Other publications include book chapters from publishers such as Cambridge, Harvard and Oxford university presses, and peer-reviewed articles in journals such as Asia Major, Journal of World History, and Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient.

In Spring 2016 Skaff will deliver the annual M. I. Rostovtzeff Lectures at ISAW. His current research involves topics that will be covered in the lectures, including customary Eurasian diplomatic rituals, Sogdian immigrants from Central Asia living in Silk Road oasis cities and the China-Inner Asia borderland regions, and the comparative monetary history of the Silk Road cities of Turfan and Kucha.