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External Director of Studies, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Sally K Church studied Chinese history at Middlebury College for her BA. She obtained an MA in Chinese literature at the University of Chicago and a PhD, also in Chinese literature, at Harvard.

Her academic work focuses on various aspects of pre-modern Chinese history, especially on the maritime expeditions of Zheng He (1405-1433), the history of Chinese ships during the Ming period and earlier, and Chinese diplomatic history during the Ming. She is producing a critical edition of the Longjiang Shipyard Treatise, a 16th century work by a Chinese bureaucrat who was trying to turn a corrupt and failing shipbuilding institution around; and mapping the overland journey of Chen Cheng, Chinese ambassador to the Timurids, who made the nine-month journey along the Silk Road from China to Herat three times on horseback in the early 15th century. She is also producing, together with Dr Robert Harding, a new annotated translation of the travel account of the Chinese Buddhist monk Faxian, who went to India in 399-414 AD. She was co-author of the Oxford Starter Chinese Dictionary, published in 2000.

She is Director of the charity Civilizations in Contact (Reg. No. 1148995, www.cic.ames.cam.ac.uk/)

For her biography see: www.ames.cam.ac.uk/directory/churchsally