Department of History

Department of History
Department of History

Miche Xu

Ph.D. Candidate
Global Jewish History

 

Education

MA (Thesis), 2017
BA (H), 2014


I am a fourth-year doctoral candidate under the supervision of Howard Adelman. My dissertation analyzes the visits of the Jesuits of the Parisian Collège Louis-le-Grand, and the Anglicans of the London Society, to the Kaifeng Jewish community in late imperial China. From January 2019 to March 2020, I visited colleges, universities, libraries, and archives in America and across Europe collecting and studying letters of correspondence, field notes, diary entries, early modern books, annual reports, financial records, full versions of redacted letters, and unpublished minutes. Based on these materials, which are in Chinese, English, French, Hebrew, and Latin, I have written five chapters. In them I show the shifting and non-shifting interests of the missionaries, the consistent attempts among Jesuits and Anglicans to censor—in some cases obscure—their activities and intentions in the Jewish community, and the connection of the “missions” of the Jesuits and Anglicans. I argue that the Jesuits and Anglicans pursued the manuscripts and cultural artifacts of the Kaifeng Jews for personal, private, scholarly, and national reasons, complicating the essentialized consensus that the missionaries wanted to acquire just the manuscripts for theological purposes only. From fall 2020 to winter 2021, I am editing and polishing my dissertation for defence in the summer of 2021, and I am teaching “The Liberal Arts in the Contemporary World.” Formerly I was a Teaching Assistant for Jewish history and global history in the Department of History, and a Research Assistant translating ancient Daoist texts in the School of Religion at Queen’s.

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