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Justin Jacobs

Associate Professor Department of History

Justin Jacobs is a historian of modern China. His research concerns the northwestern Chinese borderlands, comparative Eurasian empires, and the historical politics of archaeological expeditions. He is the author of Xinjiang and the Modern Chinese State (University of Washington Press, 2016), which analyzes strategies of Chinese rule in Xinjiang during the late Qing, Republican, and early Communist eras, including Nationalist efforts to represent Xinjiang from Taiwan after 1949. He is currently working on two projects: Indiana Jones in History: From Pompeii to the Moon (, and The Compensations of Plunder: How China Lost Its Treasures. At AU, he teaches courses on modern China, East Asian civilization, the politics of archaeological expeditions, and the Japanese Empire.


PhD, University of California, San Diego
MA, University of Washington
BA, University of Washington

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CAS - History
Battelle Tompkins - 153
Monday & Thursday 9:30-11:00 am
Contact Info
(202) 885-2170 (Office)

Send email to Justin Jacobs

For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.
See Also
Indiana Jones in History
Beyond China


  • Spring 2017

    • HIST-396 Selected Topics:Non-Recurring: The Japanese Empire: 1895-1945
    • Description
    • HIST-399 Conversations in History: The Silk Road
    • Description
  • Summer 2017

AU Expert

Area of Expertise:

modern Chinese history, Xinjiang Province, minority governance in China

Additional Information:

Justin Jacobs is interested in how the multiethnic peoples of China became incorporated into a Han-dominated state during the twentieth century. For his dissertation, he conducted a year of field research in China, Taiwan, and the mostly Muslim province of Xinjiang, supported by a Fulbright-Hays fellowship. He is the author of three peer-reviewed articles on modern Xinjiang, and has also written on Japanese war crimes trials in China during the early Mao years. He teaches courses on Chinese, Japanese, and Inner Asian history.

Media Relations
To request an interview please call AU Media Relations at 202-885-5950 or submit an interview request form.