Naomi Standen

Visiting fellow


Naomi Standen is the first non-Europeanist appointed as a Professor of Medieval History in the UK. Her research started from a fascination with the ground-level functioning of borderlands, especially in the Liao (907-1125), and from there has expanded in both time and space. She works with texts, with archaeologists and with medievalists studying all parts of the globe. Publications include Unbounded loyalty: frontier crossings in Liao China (Hawai’i, 2007), and The Global Middle Ages (ed. with Catherine Holmes, the Past and Present supplement for 2018). She is writing a global history of eastern Eurasia between the 7th and the 14th centuries.

Research projects

  • ‘A global history of eastern Eurasia, 600-1350’, in A history of the world, ed. Jürgen Osterhammel and Akira Iriye, (C.H. Beck and Harvard University Press)
  • The Global Middle Ages
  • Understanding cities in the premodern history of Northeast Asia, c. 200-1200 (part of KLASH: Kitan-Liao Archaeological Survey and History)


2019 ‘Colouring outside the lines: methods for a global history of eastern Eurasia 600-1350’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 29, in press.

2018 The Global Middle Ages, ed. Catherine Holmes and Naomi Standen, Past and Present, Supplement 13.

2011 ‘Integration and separation: the framing of the Liao dynasty (907-1125) in Chinese sources’, Asia Major, 3rd ser. 24:2 (2011), 147-198.

2011 ‘Who wants to be an emperor? Zhao Dejun, Youzhou and the Liao’, in The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms, ed. Peter Lorge (Chinese University of Hong Kong), pp. 15-46.

2009 ‘The Five Dynasties’, in Cambridge history of China, Vol. 5, The Sung dynasty and its precursors, 907-1279, Part 1, ed. Denis Twitchett and Paul Jakov Smith (Cambridge University Press), pp. 38-132.

2007 Unbounded loyalty: frontier crossings in Liao China (University of Hawai’i). [Chinese trans. Zhongzhen bu er? Liaodai de yuejing zhi ju 忠贞不贰?辽代的越境之举, by CAO Liu 曹流, Jiangsu renmin chubanshe, 2015].

2005 ‘What nomads want: raids, invasions, and the Liao conquest of 947’, in Mongols, Turks and others: Eurasian nomads and the outside world, ed. Michal Biran and Reuven Amitai (Brill), pp. 129-174. [Japanese trans. ‘Yūbokumin wa nani o hossuru ka – shūgeki to shinryaku soshite 947 nen no Ryō no seifuku’ 遊牧民は何を欲するか——襲撃と侵略そして947年の遼の征服 by YAMANE Naoki 山根直生, Fukuoka Daigaku jinbun ronsō 福岡大学人文論叢 [Fukuoka University Review of Literature and Humanities] 50:4 (2019), 1235-1276].

1999 Frontiers in question: Eurasian borderlands, 700-1700, ed. D.J. Power and Naomi Standen (Macmillan).