Skip to main content


Robert Hymes

Carpentier Professor of Chinese History, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University

Governing Board Member, SOF/Heyman, Columbia University (1994–2004, 2005–2008, 2009–2012)

Headshot of Robert Hymes

Robert Hymes is the H. Walpole Carpentier Professor of Chinese History at Columbia University. Professor Hymes received his BA from Columbia College (1972), and his MA (1976) and PhD (1979) from the University of Pennsylvania. His work so far has focused on the social and cultural history of middle period and early modern China, drawing questions and sometimes data from cultural anthropology as well as history, and using the methods of the local historian to study elite culture, family and kinship, medicine, religion, gender, and (currently) the changing role and form of Chinese social networks from the tenth through the seventeenth centuries. His publications include Statesmen & Gentlemen: The Elite of Fu-chou, Chiang-hsi, in Northern & Southern Sung (Cambridge, 1987); Ordering the World: Approaches to State & Society in Sung Dynasty China (Berkeley, 1993, co-edited with Conrad Schirokauer); and Way and Byway: Taoism, Local Religion, and Models of Divinity in Sung and Modern China. Both Statesmen and Gentlemen and Way and Byway won the Joseph Levenson Prize of the Association for Asian Studies for the best book on pre-1900 China in their years of publication.