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J. Michael Farmer
Associate Professor-Arts And Humanities
Office MailstopMail Box: JO31, JO 5.612, Room No.: JO5612 
Email Address    Primary Phone Number 972-883-6354    Media Contact
 Professional Preparation
 Ph.D.Chinese LiteratureUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison2001
 M.A.Chinese LiteratureUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison1996
 M.A.History (China)University of Wisconsin-Madison1994
 B.A.Oriental and African Languages & LiteratureUniversity of Texas-Austin1992
Collapse Section Expand Section Research and Expertise
Research Interests
  • Cultural, intellectual, and literary history of early medieval China (late Han-mid-Tang)
  • Early Chinese historiography and historical narrative
  • Local history/historiography (especially Sichuan)
  • Records of the Three States. Records of the States South of Mt. Hua
  • Early medieval poetry
  • Women in traditional China
  • Silk Roads/Old World Encounters
  • World History/Women in World History
Collapse Section Expand Section Publications
 1  2 3 4  
  YearPublication  Type
“Scholarship in Shu,” [introduction and translation] in Robert F. Campany, Wendy Swartz, and Lu Yang eds., Early Medieval China: A Sourcebook (publisher not determined), forthcoming.
Category: Early Medieval China: A Sourcebook
“Huayang guo zhi” [The Records of the States South of Mount Hua], [bibliographic essay] in Albert Dien, ed., Six Dynasties Handbook (publisher not determined), forthcoming.
Category: Six Dynasties Handbook
Book chapters
Zhang Hua, and Zuo Si, in Dictionary of Literary Biography: Classical Chinese Writers, v. 1, The Pre-Tang Era (Columbia, South Carolina: Bruccoli Clark Layman, 2010).
Category: Dictionary of Literary Biography: Classical Chines...
Translation of “The Memoir of General Wei (and Huo-ch’ü-ping) [General of] Agile Cavalry” [Chapter 111 of Sima Qian’s Shih chi], in William H. Nienhauser, Jr., ed., The Grand Scribe’s Records, vol. 9 (Bloomigton: Indiana University Press, 2010).
Category: The Grand Scribe's Records
Peer reviewed
“Rotten Pedant! The Literary and Historical Afterlife of Qiao Zhou,” Asia Major 3 ser. 20.2 (2008): 59–99.
Category: Asia Major
Peer reviewed
Collapse Section Expand Section Presentations and Projects
  1  2 3 4 5 6 
Start DateEnd DatePresentation/Project
2010 2010 "Qiao Zhou and the Intellectual Traditions of Early Medieval Shu"

Paper presented at the Center for Chinese Studies, University of California, Berkeley, California, 10 March 2010.

2010 2010 "A Jade Pure, Frosty and Clear: Redefining Female Chastity in Early Medieval Sichuan"

 Presented in the Franklin D. Murphy Lecture Series, Kress Foundation Department of Art History, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, 4 March 2010.

2009 2009 "Damaged Goods? Changing Conceptions of Female Remarriage in Early Medieval Shu"

Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southwest Conference of Asian Studies, Austin, Texas, 17 October 2009.

2009 2009 "Women in Traditional China"

 Presented at “Women in China: Past, Present, Future” workshop for teachers. Sponsored by University of North Texas Department of History and Confucius Institute at UT Dallas, Dallas, Texas, September 2009.

2009 2009 "The Silk Roads & China"

Presented at “Religion, Culture, and History on the Silk Road” workshop for teachers. Sponsored by University of North Texas Department of History and Southern Methodist University Department of Religious Studies, Dallas, Texas, May 2009.

Collapse Section Expand Section Affiliations
American Oriental Society
Association for Asian Studies
American Historical Association
Early Medieval China Group
T'ang Studies Society
Collapse Section Expand Section Appointments
DurationRankDepartment / SchoolCollege / OfficeUniversity / Company
2009-PresentAssociate ProfessorArts & Humanities University of Texas at Dallas
2007-2009Assistant ProfessorArts & Humanities University of Texas at Dallas
2005-2006Visiting Assistant ProfessorDepartment of History University of Utah
2002-2007Assistant ProfessorDepartment of History Brigham Young University
2000-2001InstructorDepartment of East Asian Languages & Civilizations University of Colorado at Boulder
1999-1999InstructorDepartment of East Asian Languages & Literature University of Wisconsin-Madison
1994-1994Instructor  Beloit College Center for Language Studies
       Teaching HelpHelp  
 Additional Information

Chinese/Asian Humanities

  • Introduction to East Asian History
  • Traditional China (Historical survey to CE 1000)
  • Modern China (Historical survey, CE 1000-2000)
  • Chinese Cultural History (Topics include women in traditional China; Dao &World in Medieval China)
  • Asian Thought &Religion: Daoism
  • Undergraduate Historiography Seminar (Topics include silk Roads; Early Chinese Thought & Society)
  • Masterpieces of Chinese Literature (Survey of literature in translation)
  • Graduate Seminar: Early Chinese Historiography
  • Graduate Methods Seminar: Sinological Methods

General History

  • Historian's Craft (Methods and Approaches to History)
  • World Civilizations to CE 1500
  • Honors World Civilizations (Topic: Women in World History)
  • Senior Seminar: Research and Writing


  • Teaching Assistant, Second-year Modern Chinese
  • Classical Chinese

  • Program Assistant. UW East Asian Studies Program, Academic years and summers 1995-98.
  • Advised undergraduate East Asian Studies majors. Created and maintained electronic communications network including e-mail distribution lists and website. Designed and produced newsletter and promotional materials. Provided general support to program chair.

  • "Introduction to Chinese Civilization"
    • UW Chancellor's Office Speaker's Program.
    • Multi-media presentation to students ofMt. Horeb High School, Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin, November, 1999.
  • "Chinese New Year"
    • UW East Asian Studies Program Outreach.
    • Multi-media presentation to residents of Leader Nursing Home and students at Stephens Elementary School, Madison, Wisconsin, February 1996; February 1997; and January 1998. Also presented to employees of Oscar Mayer Foods, Madison, Wisconsin,January, 1995.
  • "Three Schools of Chinese Thought"
    • UW East Asian Studies Program Outreach.
    • Lecture presented to social studies class at Oregon High School, Oregon Wisconsin, November, 1996.


University of Texas at Dallas

  • Inclusive Faculty Teaching Award, Office of Diversity and Community Engagement, 2011. 
American Philosophical Association 
  • Franklin Research Grant, 2011.

Brigham Young University

  • College of Family, Home, and Social Science Faculty Research Grant, 2003; 2005.
  • Women's Research Institute Faculty Research Grant, 2003

University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • University Fellowship, Fall 2000.
  • Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship, January-August 2000.
  • UW Graduate Student Council Professional Development Scholarship, 1999.
  • Title VI Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, Spring 1998.
  • Travel support from Starr Foundation fund, East Asian Languages &Literature, 1998.
  • Research support from Starr Foundation fund, East Asian Languages &Literature, Fall 1998.
  • Midwest Conference of Asian Affairs, Percy Buchanan Graduate Prize; Awarded for best research paper in China and Inner Asia area, 1998.
  • Research support from Starr Foundation fund, East Asian Languages &Literature, Fall 1997.
  • Chow Tse-tsung Scholarship for Chinese Studies, 1997.
  • University Fellowship, 1995-96.
  • History Department Fellowship, Fall 1993.
  • Title VI Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, 1992-93.

University of Texas-Austin

  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1992.
  • Phi Kappa phi Honor Society, 1992.
  • Special Honors in Chinese, 1992.

  • Editor. Early Medieval China
    • 2010-present.
  • Secretary-Treasurer. T'ang Studies Society.
    • 2005-present.
  • Co-organizer. International Symposium on Chinese Local History.
    • Salt Lake City, Utah, November 2004.
  • Member Executive Committee.
    • Brigham Young University Asian Studies Program. 2002-present.
  • Faculty Advisor.
    • Beta Iota Chapter of phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society, 2003-04.
  • Discussant, "Traditional Chinese Literature" and "Modern Chinese History" panels.
    • Annual Meeting of the Western Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, Provo, Utah, September, 2002.
  • Panel chair, History Section.
    • ''The Historical, Fictional, Theatrical, and Artistic Three Kingdoms: A Sino-American Colloquium," Chengdu and Nanchong, Sichuan, People's Republic of China, 28 May-4]une 2001.
  • Panel Co-organizer, Annual Meeting of Association for Asian Studies
    • Panel titled "Local Historiography in Early Medieval China," March 2000.
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Electronic Dissertation Committee
    • Served as member of University-wide committee drafting policy regarding electronic dissertation submission, 1997-98.

Personal Statement

Dr. J. Michael Farmer specializes in the history, thought, and culture of early and medieval China. He holds Masters Degrees in both Chinese history and Chinese literature, and a PhD in Chinese literature, all from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Farmer has published articles on various aspects of medieval China, including didactic illustrations in an early Chinese academy, the local historiography of medieval Sichuan, and the use of poetry in historical narrative. His book, The Talent of Shu, published by the State University of New York Press (2007) is a socio-intellectual history of early Sichuan told through a critical biography of a noted classicist and historian, Qiao Zhou. Dr. Farmer teaches several courses on Chinese history, including Early China, Medieval China, Modern China, the Silk Roads, and Women in Traditional China. He regularly translates literary, historical, and philosophical texts from China's early medieval period, and is engaged in a long-term project to translate the fourth century local history Huayang guo zhi [Records of the States South of Mount Hua]. 

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