Roxann Prazniak

Roxann Prazniak
Associate Professor of History

Office: 221 CHA
Phone: 541-346-3345

Office Hours: SPR 14: M & W 3:30-5p
Curriculum Vitae

cover image for Roxann Prazniak is an historian of China and Eurasia. She has done fieldwork in rural China on cultures of protest in the early twentieth century. Her book Of Camel Kings and Other Things: Rural Rebels Against Modernity in Late Imperial China draws voices of village dissidents into a national discourse on the dilemmas of modernity. County-based case studies explore the organizational and cultural networks through which rural protesters sustained their historical consciousness and mobilized to interpret contemporary political conditions.

 

scene from 1314 manuscript
Professor Prazniak's current project considers the Eurasian origins of early modernity. Through visual evidence from manuscript illustrations and frescoes she traces the dynamics of cultural flow across Eurasia during the Mongol era. The workshops of Tabriz take on a central role in this story producing illustrated manuscripts that fused Persian, Islamic, Italian, Greek, and Buddhist elements. Her perspective suggests that the turn to modernity in human history was more of a shared process across social and cultural zones than the unique product of any one society.

 

comparing pictures of flowers from Monet and Qi BaishiEach of these works and her teaching rely on a comparative approach that defines the uniqueness of each historical situation in its larger context. This movement between a particular event or development and its regional and interregional context is a way of approaching a fuller understanding of both historical processes and consequences.

Her book Dialogues Across Civilizations: Sketches in World History from the Chinese and European Experiences demonstrates this method through such topics as "Patterns of Urban and Commercial Development: The Capital Cities of Paris and Hangzhou," and "Philosophical and Environmental Perspectives in Nature Art: Claude Monet and Qi Baishi."

Professor Prazniak's writings have been published in Chinese and Korean.