Faculty and Staff

Alan Wood

Professor Emeritus

Ph.D. History, University of Washington

Office: UW1-248
Phone: 425-352-5226
Email: awood@uw.edu
Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/awood/
Mailing: Box 358530, 18115 Campus Way NE, Bothell, WA 98011-8246


The Roman orator and philosopher Cicero once wrote that "historia magistra vitae"-history is the teacher of life. In teaching Chinese history and world history, I have three goals: 1) to cultivate wisdom as well as knowledge; 2) to understand the present by learning from the past experience of others; and 3) to become more aware of the global dimensions of all human activity.

Recent Courses Taught

BIS 334 Traditional China
BIS 402 Modern China
BCUSP 171 World History I
BCUSP 172 World History II
BCUSP 173 World History III


I was trained as a historian of China, specifically Chinese intellectual history. In the past few years, I have been teaching and writing about global history and globalization.

Selected Publications

"Fire, Water, Earth, and Sky: Global Systems History and the Human Prospect," Journal of the Historical Society (September 2010).

"What is Renewal? Why Now?" in Education and the Making of a Democratic People, ed. By John Goodlad, Roger Soder, and Bonnie McDaniel. Boulder: Paradigm Publishers, 2008.

Asian Democracy in World History. New York: Routledge, 2004.  Translated into Farsi, 2005.

Entries (ten) on Ming dynasty philosophers for the Encyclopedia of Confucianism, edited by Yao Xinzhong, London: RoutledgeCurzon Press, 2003.

What Does It Mean to be Human?: A New Interpretation of Freedom in World History. New York: Peter Lang, 2001.

World Civilizations. Co-author, ninth edition. New York: W.W. Norton, 1997.

"Nelson Trusler Johnson." Entry in Notable U.S. Ambassadors, 1775-1996: A Biographical Dictionary. Edited by Cathal J. Nolan. Westport, Ct.: Greenwood, 1997.

Limits to Autocracy: From Sung Neo-Confucianism to a Doctrine of Political Rights. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1995.