Boundaries - demanding physical space, enclosing political entities, and distinguishing social or ethnic groups - constitute an essential aspect of historical investigation.
It is especially with regard to disciplinary pluralism and historical breadth that this book most clearly departs and distinguishes itself from other works on Chinese boundaries and ethnicity. In addition to history, the disciplines represented in this book include anthropology (particularly ethnography), religion, art history, and literary studies. Each of the authors focuses on a distinct period, beginning with the Zhou dynasty (c. 1100 BCE) and ending with the early centuries after the Manchu conquest (c. CE 1800) - resulting in a chronological sweep of nearly three millennia.
Nicola Di Cosmo is Senior Lecturer in Chinese History at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and specializes in the history of the relations between China and Central Asia from the ancient to the early modern period. His recent publications include 'The Northern Frontier in Pre-Imperial China' in The Cambridge History of Ancient China (1999) and Ancient China and Its Enemies: The Rise of Nomadic Power in East Asian History (2002)
Don J. Wyatt is Professor of History at Middlebury College, Vermont, USA. He specializes in Chinese intellectual history and philosophy, with particular emphasis on the many intersections between cosmological and political thought that prevailed among pre-modern scholars during various periods. Among his recent publications are The Recluse of Loyang: Shao Yung and the Moral Evolution of Early Sung Thought (1996) and 'Bonds of Certain Consequence: The Personal Responses to Concubinage of Wang Anshi and Sima Guang' in Presence and Presentation: Women in the Chinese Literati Tradition (1999).