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Justin M. Jacobs
Justin M. Jacobs, PhD

I've spent my life studying places that help tell us what it is to be human, where we have come from, and where we're going.


American University

About Justin M. Jacobs

Justin M. Jacobs is an Associate Professor of History at American University. He studied English and Chinese at the University of Washington before earning his PhD in History at the University of California San Diego. Between degrees, he traveled widely throughout the world, including extended stays in China and Taiwan for research. At American University, he teaches courses on Chinese and Japanese history, the history of archaeology, the Silk Road, voyages of exploration, and global history.

Justin has published articles on the history of the Silk Road and served as editor of The Silk Road, a journal sponsored by the Silk Road House. He is the author of three books on history and archaeology: The Compensations of Plunder: How China Lost Its Treasures; Indiana Jones in History: From Pompeii to the Moon; and Xinjiang and the Modern Chinese State. His work on the history of archaeological expeditions in China has also been translated into Chinese.

Justin is regularly interviewed by prominent media outlets and has written articles for major newspapers such as The Washington Post. More than 60 of his lectures on East Asian history have been recorded for the podcast Beyond Huaxia: A College History of China and Japan. He also gives frequent public lectures for lifelong education programs such as Smithsonian Associates, Profs and Pints, and Live & Learn Bethesda.

By This Professor

World Heritage Sites: Exploring the World’s Greatest Places