Steven B. Miles earned a Ph.D. degree in history from the University of Washington in 2000, before taking up positions as visiting assistant professor at the College of William & Mary, as assistant professor at Southern Illinois University, and as assistant, associate, and full professor in the Department of History at Washington University in Saint Louis. In 2021, he became a professor and head of the Division of Humanities at HKUST. Since 2019, he has served as editor-in-chief of Late Imperial China.
A sociocultural historian of early modern China, Professor Miles’ earlier published work focused on urban institutions and literati culture in nineteenth-century Guangzhou. His more recent publications explore migration, rivers, and frontiers in southern China from the sixteenth century through the nineteenth century, an interest that in turn led to a broader, comparative study of Chinese diasporas from the sixteenth century to the present. His current research projects include a database of stone inscriptions related to Cantonese commercial networks and a series of projects on urban life and seasonality in nineteenth-century China.
History of Early Modern China, Migration and Diasporas, Rivers and Frontiers, Cities and Urban Culture
“Cantonese Migrant Networks: Stone Inscriptions from the West River Basin” database, http://digital.wustl.edu/westriver (Chrome or Safari recommended), 2015-present
“Urbanization and Emigration in Coastal South China,” in The Cambridge History of Global Migration, vol. 1, edited by Catia Antunes and Eric Tagliacozzo, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.
Opportunity in Crisis: Cantonese Migrants and the State in Late Qing China. Harvard University Asia Center, Harvard University Press, 2021.
“Where Diasporas Met: Hunanese, Cantonese, and the State in Late-Qing Guangxi.” Journal of Chinese History 5.2 (July 2021).
Chinese Diasporas: A Social History of Global Migration. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2020.
“Confucian Academies and Their Urban Environments in Qing China,” in Vladmír Glomb, Eun-Jeung Lee, and Martin Gehlmann, eds., Confucian Academies in East Asia. Leiden: Brill, 2020.
Upriver Journeys: Diaspora and Empire in Southern China, 1570-1850. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, Harvard University Press, 2017.
“The Upriver Reach of a Delta Town: Jiujiang Migrants in the West River Basin, Sixteenth-Nineteenth Century.” Frontiers of History in China 8.2 (June 2013).
“Imperial Discourse, Regional Elite, and Local Landscape on the South China Frontier, 1577-1722.” Journal of Early Modern History 12.2 (2008).
“Strange Encounters on the Cantonese Frontier: Region and Gender in Kuang Lu’s (1604-1650) Chiya.” Nan Nü: Men, Women and Gender in China 8.1 (2006).
The Sea of Learning: Mobility and Identity in Nineteenth-Century Guangzhou. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, Harvard University Press, 2006.
Chinese edition: Xuehaitang yu wan Qing Lingnan xueshu wenhua 学海堂与晚清岭南学术文化. Guangzhou: Guangdong renmin chubanshe, 2018.
“Celebrating the Yu Fan Shrine: Literati Networks and Local Identity in Early Nineteenth-Century Guangzhou.” Late Imperial China 25.2 (December 2004).
Chinese edition: “Yu Fan ci: 19 shiji Guangzhou jingying qunti he difang rentong” 虞翻祠：19世纪广州精英群体和地方认同. Qingshi yicong 9 (2010).
“Rewriting the Southern Han (917-971): The Production of Local Culture in Nineteenth-Century Guangzhou.” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 62.1 (June 2002).