Short CV/Education and training

Positions Held

  • Since 2022
    Professor of Chinese and Early Modern Global History, KULeuven

  • 2013 – 2022
    Professor of Chinese History, Leiden University

  • 2012 – 2013
    Reader in Chinese History, King's College London

  • 2007 – 2012
    University Lecturer in Chinese History, University of Oxford

  • 2007 – 2012
    Official Fellow and Tutor, Pembroke College

  • 2002 – 2007
    Assistant Professor of Chinese History, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

  • 1999 – 2002
    Public Services Librarian/Coordinator of Reference Services, Harvard College Library/ Harvard-Yenching Library


  • 2007
    M.A. University of Oxford (By Resolution)

  • 1991
    B.A./M.A. KU Leuven (Belgium) in Chinese Studies, summa cum laude with congratulations of the jury

Selected publications


  • Political Communication in Chinese and European History, 800-1600, ed., with Julius Morche. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2021.

  • The Essentials of Governance, ed. and tr., with Glen Dudbridge † and Gabe van Beijeren. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020.

  • Information, Territory, and Networks: The Crisis and Maintenance of Empire in Song China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2016.

  • Knowledge and Text Production in an Age of Print--China, 900-1400, ed., with Lucille Chia. Leiden: Brill, 2011.

  • Songdai yanjiu gongju shukan zhinan xiudingban, with Peter Bol. Guilin: Guangxi shifan daxue chubanshe, 2008.

  • Competition over Content: Negotiating Standards for the Civil Service Examinations in Imperial China (1127-1276). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2007.

Select recent articles

  • Is there a Faction in this List? [with Brent Ho, Allon Wagner, Qiao Jiyan, and Chu Mingkin], Journal of Chinese History 4.2 (2020), 1-43.

  • Creating, Linking, and Analyzing Chinese and Korean Datasets: Digital Text Annotation in MARKUS and COMPARATIVUS, Journal of Chinese History 4.2 (2020), 519-527.

  • Considering Citizenship in Imperial Chinese History, Citizenship Studies 23:3 (2019), 256-76.

  • Mediation and Communication in Medieval Politics, with John Watts and Catherine Holmes, Past and Present 238, suppl_13 (2018), 261-96.

  • Shmuel N. Eisenstadt and the Comparative Political History of Pre-Eighteenth-Century Empires, Asian Review of World Histories 4.1 (2016), 133-63.

  • The Diverging Legacies of Classical Empires in China and Europe, with Wim Blockmans, European Review 24 (2016), 306-24.

  • Maps and Memory: Readings of Cartography in Twelfth- and Thirteenth- Century Song China. Imago Mundi: International Journal for the History of Cartography 61:2 (2009), 145-167.

Select recent Book Chapters

  • Critical Reflections on Citizenship and Subjecthood in the Historiography on Imperial China, in Guo Zhonghua, ed., The Routledge Handbook of Chinese Citizenship. Abingdon: Routledge, forthcoming.

  • Towards a Comparative Political History: Structural Transformations in Political Communication, c. 1000-1500, with John Watts, in Political Communication in Chinese and European History, 800-1600, Hilde De Weerdt and Julius Morche, eds., pp. 35-99. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2021.

  • The Essentials of Governance in Context, with David McMullen, in The Essentials of Governance of the Reign of Constancy Revealed, Hilde De Weerdt, Glen Dudbridge †, Gabe van Beijeren eds., pp. XV-LXII. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020.

  • On the Future of Medieval Studies. A (Chinese) Historian’s Perspective, in Past and Future, Medieval Studies Today, Maarten Hoenen and Karsten Engels, eds., pp. 27-46. Textes et Études du Moyen Âge, Turnhout/Basel: Brepols, 2020.

  • The Production and Circulation of ‘Written Notes’ (biji), in Imprimer sans profit? Le livre non commercial dans la Chine impériale, Michela Bussotti and Jean-Pierre Drège, eds., pp. 19-47. Geneva: Librairie Droz, 2015.

  • Chinese Cities, 600-1300, in The Oxford Handbook of Cities in World History, Peter Clark, ed., pp. 292-308. Oxford: Oxford University Press., 2013.


  • PARALLELS: Comparing text editions online, with Mees Gelein, forthcoming (2021)

  • K-MARKUS: Korean text analysis and reading platform, with Hu Jing, Mees Gelein, Brent Ho, Kim Hyeon, Kim Baro, 2019

  • COMPARATIVUS: A text comparison platform, with Mees Gelein and Brent Ho, 2017

  • MARKUS: A markup, reading, and visualization platform for classical Chinese texts (with Brent Ho), 2014

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • European Research Council Advanced Grant (2021-26) (2,499,625 Euro), 2021

  • NWO (National Dutch Research Council), Open Competition (2021-24) (749,769 Euro), 2021

  • Asian Modernities and Traditions Large Grant, Leiden University, with Bart Barendregt and Florian Schneider (190,000 Euro), 2016

  • Ph.D.s in the Humanities, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), with Monica Klasing Chen (214,000 Euro), 2016

  • National Endowment for the Humanities /JISC--Digging into Data Challenge, with Gail Chen and Peter Bol (Harvard University) and Brent Ho (King's College London) (125,000 USD + 119,246 GBP), 2013

  • Sponsor/PI, British Academy Postdoctoral fellowship, with Michael Hoeckelmann (University of Münster) (217,696 GBP), 2013

  • European Research Council Starter Grant (2012-17) (1,432,797 Euro), 2011

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

Select board memberships and professional committees

  • Association for Asian Studies, China and Inner Asia Council, since 2022

  • Association for Asian Studies, Program Committee, 2017 – 2020

  • China Biographical Database, Steering Committee, since 2017

  • International Institute for Social History, Amsterdam, Academic Committee, 2014 – 2021

  • International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden, Academic Committee, 2014 – 2017

  • The Ten-Thousands Room Project (platform for the analysis of Chinese manuscripts), funded by the Mellon Foundation, Yale University, Advisory Board, 2014 – 2018

  • Society of Sung-Yuan Studies, Governing Board, 2013 – 2017

Select funding peer review

  • Academia Sinica, Taipei, Postdoctoral fellowships

  • European Research Council, Advanced Research Grants, History and Archeology panel

  • Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF); “Digital Lives”

  • NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research); Rubicon

  • Researchers in Residence, National Library of the Netherlands, The Hague

  • Academia Sinica, Taipei, Postdoctoral fellowships

  • International Institute for Asian Studies fellowships

  • Research Grants Council of Hong Kong

  • The Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies, Senior Research

  • Italian Ministry for Education University and Research (MIUR), research projects

  • COST expert, European Cooperation in Science and Technology

  • AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council): Peer Review College (Academic and International Projects)

  • AHRC, Moderation Panel Member

  • National Endowment for the Humanities

  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada)

  • Stanford Humanities Center External Faculty Fellowships

  • International Dissertation Field Research Fellowship Program (IDRF), the Social Science Research Council in partnership with the American Council of Learned Societies

Media coverage

  • Interview in Price Lab Podcast, University of Pennsylvania, February 14, 2019

  • Interview in OpenMethods Spotlights, October 13, 2020

  • 2019 Featured in Sophia Chen, Scientists Reveal Ancient Social Networks Using AI—and X-Rays, WIRED, March 21, 2019.

  • “The Art of War,” In Our Time, BBC4 Radio. Appeared live March 1, 2018

  • “访谈︱魏希德:如何将数位人文工具Markus用于历史研究.” Interview on Digital Humanities, The Paper/澎湃, Feb 10, 2017

  • “访谈︱魏希德:我学术生涯的关键人物和关键词.” Interview on Chinese Studies and Chinese History, The Paper/澎湃, Feb 9, 2017

  • “Hilde De Weerdt on MARKUS,” interviewed on DH East Asia Podcast, July 31, 2016

  • 2015. “Legalism,” In Our Time, BBC4 Radio. interviewed for series of radio programmes which appeared on BBC4 in March 2015

  • “The Battle of Talas,” In Our Time, BBC4 Radio. Appeared live October 9, 2014


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