Christopher A. Reed

Christopher A. Reed

Christopher A. Reed

Associate Professor


161 Dulles Hall
230 Annie & John Glenn Avenue
Columbus, OH

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Areas of Expertise

  • East Asian History
  • Comparative Empires
  • Power, Culture, and the State


  • PhD, UC Berkeley; C Phil, UC Berkeley; M Phil, University of Glasgow; BA, McGill University

Christopher A. Reed is a specialist in the history of modern China with particular focus on the period from the mid-eighteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries who teaches about modern China, modern Japan, and East Asia more generally.

Professor Reed's research concentrates on China's modern media, print culture, print capitalism, and print communism. His book Gutenberg in Shanghai: Chinese Print Capitalism, 1876-1937 (University of British Columbia Press and Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University, 2004; University of Hawaii and Hong Kong University presses, 2005) combines the history of technology, business, politics, and culture in the study of modernization in China's largest city. In 2014, Beijing's Commercial Press published an authorized Chinese translation of this book as 《谷腾堡在上海:中国印刷资本业的发展(1876-1937) 》.

In 2010, with Cynthia Brokaw, Professor Reed published From Woodblocks to the Internet: Chinese Publishing and Print Culture in Transition, 1800 to 2008 (Brill) which includes two of his essays, one of them titled "Advancing the (Gutenberg) Revolution: The Origins & Development of Chinese Print Communism, 1921-1947." The thirteen essays in the volume narrate and analyze the reciprocal influences of technological, intellectual, and sociopolitical changes on the structure of modern China's book (and print) trade; more specifically, they treat the rise of new genres of print, changes in writing practices, the dissemination of ideas and texts (both paper and electronic), the organization of knowledge, and the relationship between the state and print culture.

After having contributed to the Oxford Companion to the Book, and together with M. William Steele of International Christian University, Tokyo, Professor Reed co-authored the chapter on "Modern China, Japan, and Korea" (pp. 309-347) in The Oxford Illustrated History of the Book (2020), which has now appeared in two paperback versions (2021, 2023). More recently, Professor Reed has published “From Text(s) to Image(s): Maoist-Era Texts and Their Influences on Six Oil Paintings (1957-79),” pp. 205-38, in Redefining Propaganda in Modern China: The Mao Era and Its Legacies, ed. by James Farley and Matthew D. Johnson. Abingdon, Oxon & NY: Routledge, 2021; “Nearly Lost in Translation(s): Chiang Kai-shek’s China’s Destiny (中國之命運 1943) and Its Extraordinary English-Language Publishing History, 1943-1947,” Publishing History (Cambr, UK: Chadwyck-Healey) 84 (Summer 2021), 65-98; and "Competing with the Marketplace: The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)'s Department of Propaganda and Its Political Publishing Program, 1924-1937," pp. 127-150, in Parties as Governments in Eurasia, 1913-1991: Nationalism, Socialism, & Development, ed. by Ivan Sablin and Egas Moniz Bandeira. Abingdon, Oxon & NY: Routledge, 2022.

Gutenberg in Shanghai won the inaugural 2003-05 ICAS Humanities Book Prize (co-sponsored by the US-based Association for Asian Studies, the European Alliance in Asian Studies, and Leiden University, The Netherlands' International Institute for Asian Studies); for more information, please see this English-language article from the China Daily. Gutenberg in Shanghai also received Honorable Mention in the DeLong Book Prize competition of the Society for the History of Authorship, Readership, and Publishing (SHARP) in 2005.

From 2004 to 2009, Professor Reed was the chief editor of Twentieth-Century China, a leading international historical journal of modern and contemporary China, that he partnered with the Historical Society for Twentieth-Century China, a scholarly association affiliated with the AHA and AAS. Since 2009, he has been a member of the journal's Editorial Board. He was also the Editorial Board member in charge of Asia for Book History, the international scholarly journal of SHARP. More recently, he was invited to join the Editorial Board of Studies on Asia, the online journal of the Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs, the local affiliate of the Association of Asian Studies. In 2006, Reed was named the Hulsewe-Wasniewski Lecturer in Chinese Studies at Leiden University in The Netherlands. And, in 2007, he served as a visiting professor at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. While there, he delivered the D.F. Mackenzie Lecture in Book History at the National Library of New Zealand.

Prior to coming to Ohio State, Professor Reed taught on the faculties of the University of San Francisco, University of Oklahoma, and Reed College (in fact, when he was there, he was the only Reed at Reed). The recipient of three Fulbright awards among other research grants, Professor Reed has lived in China and Taiwan for over five years. He has also worked and traveled widely throughout Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, and North America.

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