Thursday, May 16, 2013 | 9:30 PM EDT - 9:30 PM EDT

, New York, NY

In The Silk Road: A Very Short Introduction James Millward explores the historical background against which the silk road flourished, discusses the significance of old-world intercultural exchange, and puts the silk road into the context of world history. Professor Millward will discuss the historical significance and contemporary uses of the silk road at a National Committee program on May 16 at the Institute of International Education in New York City.


James A. Millward is professor of history at the Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. He teaches a variety of classes on Chinese, Central Asian and world history at the undergraduate and graduate levels. His research interests focus on China and Inner Asia, including Mongolia, Tibet and especially Xinjiang. His first book, Beyond the Pass: Economy, Ethnicity and Empire in Qing Central Asia, 1759-1864 (Stanford, 1998) is a study of China’s administration of Xinjiang in the 18th and 19th centuries, based on wide reading in Chinese sources and a year’s work in the Qing dynasty archives in Beijing; it has been published in Chinese by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences as part of the PRC national project on Qing history.

His other publications include New Qing Imperial History: The Making of Inner Asian Empire at Qing Chengde (co-editor; Routledge 2004), about the Manchu summer palace complex at Jehol, Inner Mongolia; Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang (Columbia University Press 2008) which is a survey history from ancient times through the 20th century of the area now comprising China’s far west; and The Silk Road: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2013). Millward is, in addition, the author of numerous book chapters, reviews, and articles in The Journal of Asian Studies, Late Imperial China, Inner Asia, and other academic publications. He has also written on Greece and Turkey for the Let's Go travel guide series, and on Chinese food in Chile Pepper Magazine. He is currently at work on a book about the globalization of stringed instruments, entitled The World on a String: Chordophone Culture, World History, and the Guitar.

Millward was elected a member of the China and Inner Asia Council of the Association of Asian Studies, later serving on the program committee. He was also a board member of the Central Eurasian Studies Society and, in 2010, its president. A member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, Millward was a Committee Public Intellectuals Program fellow from 2005 to 2007.

He lectures frequently at universities and to groups ranging from K-12 teachers, Congressional committees and staffers, and the International Chinese Snuff Bottle Society. In recent years he has delivered papers in France, Sweden, India, Australia, Japan, Austria, China and Korea as well as throughout the United States.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard (magna cum laude, 1983), an MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London, 1985), and his Ph.D. in history from Stanford (1993).

When not teaching or conducting research, Millward enjoys playing a variety of stringed instruments in the bluegrass band By & By and an Indian music ensemble, and spending time with his wife and two daughters in their home in Washington, D.C.


Politics & Foreign Relations

  • INTERVIEW | Author James Millward on The Silk Road in History and Today
  • Politics & Foreign Relations

    Recorded 5/16/2013