Keith Knapp

Visiting Scholar (Jun 2021-Jul 2021)


Keith Knapp received his PhD in East Asian history from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1996. He is now a professor of history at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina.  His research interests include early medieval (220–589) Confucian thought, material culture, family life, education, and attitudes towards animals.  He has published a monograph Selfless Offspring: Filial Children and Social Order in Medieval China (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2005) and co-edited two books: Early Medieval Chinese Texts: A Bibliographic Guide (Berkeley, CA: Institute of East Asian Studies, 2015), and the Cambridge History of China, Volume II: The Six Dynasties, 220–589 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019). For ten years, he was the president of the Early Medieval China Group.  Presently, he is the Chair of the Southeast Early China Roundtable and is serving on the executive board of the T’ang Studies Society, and the editorial committees of Early Medieval China and the Journal of Chinese History.  At the MPIWG, he is a member of the  “Transience: Politics and Practices of Time in the Chinese Period of Division” working group in Dept. III. He is exploring the recluse and alchemist Ge Hong’s (283–343) criticism of Daoist anarchism and his defense of political hierarchy and a progressive, linear vision of time.


No current projects were found for this scholar.

No Easy Way Out: Ge Hong’s Rejection of Timeless Utopianism and Embrace of Progress


Past Events


Transience: Politics and Practices of Time


Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities

Birth of Popular Confucianism: Evidence from Dunhuang on the Creation of the Twenty-four Exemplars

Cambridge University

Dunhuang and Silk Road Series

China to 1800

The Citadel

Graduate Program

Violence, War, and Peace in Chinese History

The Citadel

Undergraduate Program

The Changing Face of Devotion: Images of Filial Piety Stories in Northern Dynasties China

University of Oxford

China Centre Seminar Series

People are Special, Animals are Not: An Early Medieval Confucian’s Views on the Difference between Humans and Non-human Animals

Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Region