School of Global and International Studies

Central Eurasian Studies

Christopher P. Atwood

Associate Professor, Central Eurasian Studies
Adjunct Associate Professor, History


Office: School of Global & International Studies 3038
Phone: (812) 855-2428

Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D., Indiana University, 1994
BA, Harvard, 1982

Current Doctoral Students

  • Leland Rogers
  • Wei-chieh Tsai
  • Hosung Shim

Research Interests

Almost anything Mongolian, but currently I am focused on the intersection of lineage-building, state-building, and history-writing in the Mongol empire. I also have a strong interest, currently undeveloped, in seeing demographic, economic, and climate-historical methodologies applied to Mongolian history.

Personal Statement

I am working on two manuscripts, both of which I hope will become books. One, titled The Campaigns of Chinggis Khan and the Veritable Records of the Mongol Emperors, is a translation and textual study of "Campaigns of Chinggis Khan", a Mongolian source which has survived only in Chinese and Persian translations, and its place in the historiography of the Mongol Yuan empire. The second, titled, The Tribal Mirage: Khans, Pastures, and Families in Central Eurasia is a social historical investigation that questions the idea of "tribes" and "kin-based society" among the nomads of the Eurasian steppes.

Courses Recently Taught

Publication Highlights

Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire(New York:  Facts on File) 2004

Young Mongols and Vigilantes in Inner Mongolia's Interregnum Decades 1911-1931, (Brill, 2002)

“Mongols, Arabs, Kurds, and Franks: Rashīd al-Dīn’s Comparative Ethnography of Tribal Society.” In Rashīd al-Dīn as an Agent and Mediator of Cultural Exchanges in Ilkhanid Iran, ed. Anna Akasoy, Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim, and Charles Burnett. London: Wartburg Institute, in press.

“How the Mongols Got a Word for Tribe—and What It Means.” Menggu shi yanjiu 蒙古史研究/Studia Historica Mongolica (Höhhot)no. 10, pp. 63-89.

“The Notion of Tribe in Medieval China: Ouyang Xiu and the Shatuo Dynastic Myth.” In Miscellanea Asiatica: Festschrift in Honour of Françoise Aubin ed. Denise Aigle, Isabelle Charleux, Vincent Goossaert, and Roberte Hamayon (Sankt Augustin: Institute Monumenta Serica, 2010), pp. 593-621.

Honors and Awards

  • Member, School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton NJ, academic year 2006-07

Department of Central Eurasian Studies
Global and International Studies Building 3024
East Building, 3rd Floor
355 North Jordan Ave.
Bloomington, IN 47405-1105

Phone: (812) 855-2233
Fax: (812) 855-7500