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Richard Smith

Baker Institute Rice Faculty Scholar | George and Nancy Rupp Professor of Humanities


Richard J. Smith, Ph.D., is a Baker Institute Rice scholar, as well as the George and Nancy Rupp Professor of Humanities, a professor of history and director of Asian and Global Outreach in the Center for Education at Rice University. He is also an adjunct professor at the Center for Asian Studies of The University of Texas at Austin and a member of several professional advisory boards. Smith co-founded the Baker Institute Transnational China Project and served for 15 years as the director of Asian studies at Rice.

A specialist in modern Chinese history and traditional Chinese culture, Smith also has strong interests in transnational, global and comparative studies. He has a website devoted to the “Yijing (Classic of Changes).” Smith has authored nine books, including “The I Ching: A Biography” (2012), “Mapping China and Managing the World: Cosmology, Cartography and Culture in Late Imperial Times” (2012), and has co-edited or co-authored six volumes, including “Different Worlds of Discourse: Transformations of Gender and Genre in Late Qing and Early Republican China” (2008). He is presently working on several articles and book chapters, as well as a revised edition of “China’s Cultural Heritage: The Qing Dynasty, 1644-1912.”

Smith has won 12 teaching awards while at Rice, including the Phi Beta Kappa Award, several George R. Brown Superior Teaching Awards, the Piper Professorship Award, the George R. Brown Certificate of Highest Merit, the Sarofim Distinguished Teaching Professorship, the Nicholas Salgo Distinguished Teaching Award, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching “Texas Professor of the Year” Award. Smith received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis.

Contact at or 713-348-4683.