Chinese Studies

Dr. Ulrich Theobald (MBA) 田宇利

Senior Lecturer, Department of Chinese and Korean Studies, Sinology/Chinese Studies Section

Academic Career

  • 2016- Senior Lecturer, Department of Chinese and Korean Studies, University of Tübingen
  • 2009 PhD Sinology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Tübingen
  • 2003-2016 Lecturer, Department of Chinese and Korean Studies, Tübingen
  • 2005-2016 Instructor for Chinese Studies, Leibniz College, Tübingen
  • 2002 MBA International Marketing, University of Applied Sciences, Reutlingen
  • 2000 MA Sinology, Faculty of Cultural Studies, University of Tübingen

Research Focus
Specializing in the economic, military, and administrative history of late imperial China Dr. Theobald’s research projects include an analysis of the Second Jinchuan Campaign (1771-1776): Economic, Social and Political Aspects of an Important Qing Period Border War (2013). This book is the most detailed study to date of the financing and supply arrangements of one of the great wars of the Qing dynasty. It was carried out as part of the international research project "Monies, Markets, and Finance in China and East Asia, 1600-1900", funded by the German Research Foundation.
One of his newer projects investigates the impact of the sale of offices between c. 1750 and 1912 on the employment structure of state examination graduates, with a shift to life-long modes of "on-the-job training". The project "Administrative Military Law in Late Imperial China: Accounting (Junxu zeli 軍需則例) and Production of Weapons and the Managing of Arsenals (Junqi zeli 軍器則例)" is one of just a few studies of zeli regulations for administrative purposes. At present a project on Jiang Fangzhen's 蔣方震 (1882-1938) book Caibing jihua shu 裁兵計畫書 (1923) is conducted. In this writing, published during the height of the warlord confrontations in northern China, Jiang brought forward suggestions for a regulated mode of disarmament and shortly described a federal system of autonomous "United Provinces" (liansheng zizhi 聯省自治).

Major Publications
Dr. Theobald is editor of the books Money in Asia (1200 -1900): Small Currencies in Social and Political Contexts (with Jane K. Leonard; Brill 2015) and Southwest China in Regional and Global Perspectives (c. 1600 - 1911): Metals, Transport, Trade and Society (with Cao Jin; Brill 2017), and author of War Finance and Logistics in Late Imperial China: A Study of the Second Jinchuan Campaign (Brill 2013) and several articles on monetary history, employment of civilians in the military, military pay and corruption, weights and measures, as well as on Chinese empresses, musical theory and the history of energy in traditional China. A book on the history of bibliography in China is in progress.

Other Activities
Ulrich Theobald is the editor of, a widely known online encyclopaedia on Chinese history, literature and art, and author of the more than 3,000 articles found in it. Between 2014 and 2016 he was co-editor of the journal East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine.