Shoufu Yin (殷守甫)
Shoufu Yin is an assistant professor in history at the University of British Columbia. His research and teaching center on Chinese and Inner Asian political thought in global historical contexts. Specializing in areas where cultural history meets comparative philosophy, he works on a wide array of previously unknown, untapped, and understudied sources in different languages—literary Sinitic (classical Chinese), Korean, Manchu, Mongolian, Persian, Latin, and Greek, to name a few. As such, his publications show that it is productive to engage the intellectual world of hitherto overlooked and marginalized groups—including peasant women who fought in wars, Manchu translators who processed imperial documents, anonymous typesetters behind the production of books. Ultimately, his scholarly passion lies in writing new kinds of global intellectual histories that foreground the theoretical contributions of both “canonical” and “everyday” thinkers of different traditions.
His current book manuscript, “The ‘Chinese’ Rhetorical Curriculum and a Transcultural History of Political Thought, ca. 1250–1650,” provides a new narrative of the history of early modern political thought by examining the rhetorical curriculum that flourished in East Eurasia. Tracing how the curriculum took its shape under Mongol-ruled China and flourished in post-Mongol East Eurasia, it contends that this education enabled individuals thus trained to conceptualize their rights vis-à-vis the throne, re-problematize the proper shape of the government, and conceive counterfactual histories and alternative futures. Simultaneously, he is publishing a series of articles, showing how seemingly formulaic documents from the past may shed light on themes of contemporary importance, including individual liberty, gender equality, environmental crisis, and human-animal relationships.