Garret Olberding

Associate Professor

 In addition to an article for an edited volume, Debating War in Chinese History, Dr. Olberding completed his first book, Dubious Facts: The Evidence of Early Chinese Historiography (SUNY Press, 2012), which uses the military memorials of the Former Han Dynasty (ca. 200 BCE - 8 CE) to explore the employment of evidence in early Chinese imperial court discourse.  Relying on a close reading of various exemplars—many translated into English for the first time—the book investigates why some evidentiary claims attracted consent and others provoked controversy or objection.  The study ultimately aims to render more transparent the decision processes that informed early Chinese military campaigns as well as the causal arc of the historical records representing these decisions.  In the Spring of 2009, Dr. Olberding hosted a workshop titled “Addressing the Autocrat: The Drama of Early Chinese Court Discourse” that brought to campus leading scholars in the field of early China, from which proceeded an edited volume, titled Facing the Monarch: Modes of Advice in the Early Chinese Court, (Harvard University Press, Asia Center Publications, 2013).  Presently he is immersed in two major research projects: The first investigates the means by which the ministerial application of imperial orders was supervised in the Qin and Han dynasties in order to discern the broad management of administrative corruption.  A second major project discusses strategic conceptualizations of space and movement from the early to middle imperial periods.  His current course offerings are “China’s Art of War,” “East Asia to 1600,” “Early Imperial China,” “Classical China,” and “Law and Punishment.”  Dr. Olberding received his PhD from the University of Chicago.   To see a copy of Dr. Olberding's CV, click here