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- B.A. in East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Kansas
- M.A in Chinese Philosophy, Peking University
- Ph.D. in History, University of California, Berkeley (2021)
Trenton Wilson is an intellectual, cultural, and political historian of early China. His current book project examines political and ethical debates around trust and suspicion from the third century BCE to the third century CE. The project and his research more broadly examine connections between intellectual and institutional history, including questions of bureaucracy, surveillance, law, punishment, amnesty, and luck. In his research, he utilizes traditional sources and excavated materials, including the many new legal and administrative documents from China’s early empires. He is interested in the history of Chinese classicism, commentary, and the intellectual culture of the early and medieval periods, especially “Mystery Learning” (xuanxue). His work also looks at the interpretation of early Chinese thought and institutions in the early modern/modern world and the writing of Chinese political history.