Kenneth Pomeranz

University Professor
Department of History and the College

Kenneth Pomeranz has become the 18th person to hold a University Professorship at the University of Chicago. His work is primarily focused on China, although he is also very interested in comparative and world history. His major areas of research interest include social, economic, and environmental history, and he has also studied state formation, imperialism, religion, gender, and other topics. His current projects include a history of Chinese political economy from the 17th century to the present, as well as a book entitled “Why Is China So Big?”

His publications include the books The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy (2000), which won the John K. Fairbank Prize from the American Historical Association and shared the World History Association book prize; The Making of a Hinterland: State, Society, and Economy in Inland North China, 1853–1937 (1993), which also won the Fairbank Prize; The World That Trade Created (with Steven Topik, first edition 1999, 3rd edition 2012); and a collection of his essays, recently published in France. He has also edited or co-edited five books and was one of the founding editors of the Journal of Global History.

He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others.

He earned a PhD in history from Yale University and holds a BA from Cornell University.

Pomeranz joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2012.