Joseph Richmond Levenson (June 10, 1920 – April 6, 1969) was a scholar of Chinese history
and Jane K. Sather Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley
After graduating from Boston Latin School
in 1937 and Harvard College
in 1941, Levenson enlisted in the United States Navy
in 1942. He attended Japanese Language School and saw active service in the Solomon Islands
and Philippines campaign
s. After the war he earned M.A. (1947) and PhD (1949) degrees at Harvard, where he was a student of John K. Fairbank
. He was a member of the Harvard Society of Fellows
. He taught at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1951 until his death. He drowned in a canoeing accident in the Russian River
, California, in 1969.
Honors and awards
Levenson earned a number of awards and prizes, including Fulbright
(1954–55), the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences
(1962–63); and the American Council of Learned Societies
In honor of his scholarly and pedagogical contributions, two awards are made in his name: the China and Inner Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies
offers the Joseph Levenson Book PrizeAAS CIAC Levenson Book Prize Winners
and one by Harvard University for excellence in undergraduate teaching.
Paul Cohen commented in his study of American historical writing on China, ''Discovering History in China'', that Levenson addressed "the issues of modernization and cultural change more persistently, imaginatively, and, for many of his readers, persuasively than perhaps any other American historian of China in the immediate postwar decades".
References and further reading
* James Cahill,
Joseph Levenson's Role In My Development As A Scholar And Writer
* Paul Cohen
Joseph Levenson and the Historiography of the 1950s and 1960s
* Henry F. May, H. Franz Schurmann, Frederic Wakeman,
Joseph Richmond Levenson, History, Berkeley
" (Necrology) Calisphere University of California.
* Don J. Wyatt
Joseph Richmond Levenson
International Directory of Intellectual Historians
Articles and chapters
* "The Humanistic Disciplines: Will Sinology Do?," ''The Journal of Asian Studies'' 23.04 (1964): 507–512.
* ''Liang Ch'i-ch'ao and the Mind of Modern China'' (1953)
* ''Confucian China and Its Modern Fate'' (1958-1965)
* ''China: an interpretive history, from the beginnings to the fall of Han'' (1969)
* ''Revolution and Cosmopolitanism: the Western stage and the Chinese stages'' (1971)
Guide to the Joseph Richmond Levenson Papers
at The Bancroft Library
Category:Harvard College alumni
Category:20th-century American historians
Category:Boston Latin School alumni