DR Tom Nimick

Dr. Thomas Nimick

Associate Professor



Professor Thomas G. Nimick is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He did his undergraduate work at Princeton University in French language and culture. He spent two summers studying Chinese at the Middlebury College Summer Language Schools. He participated in the Princeton-in-Asia program and taught English for a year at Fudan University in Shanghai, China. On his return he served as a research assistant in the Chinese Linguistics Project at Princeton, worked on Chinese language teaching materials and studied Classical Chinese and Chinese history. He appeared in the video for the language textbook Chinese Primer. He spent two more summers studying Japanese at Middlebury. He entered the degree program in East Asian Studies at Princeton and focused his research on the history of China in the Ming dynasty. He joined the faculty in 1993. As a historian of the Ming he has focused on governance and on handbooks teaching new officials about their duties. As a life-long Presbyterian, he has also examined issues of Presbyterian governance among missionaries on the China coast in the late 19th century. 

Ongoing Research Projects

Contributor to Official Handbooks and Anthologies of Imperial China: A Descriptive and Critical Bibliography, edited by Pierre-Étienne Will.

“The Romance of Mission: William T. and Mary E. Morrison in China, 1860-1876”

“Missionary Women’s Outreach to Poor Women in China: Origins of the Industrial Class Strategy.” The Journal of Presbyterian History (forthcoming)

Publications & Presentations

“Mapping the Background: The Uncertain Influence of the Ming State and Imperial Leadership.” In The Ming World, Kenneth M. Swope, ed. New York: Routledge, (forthcoming) 2019.

“When a Judge Becomes More than a Judge: Changes in Local and Regional Administration in the Ming Dynasty as Seen through the Role of the Prefectural Judge.” Ming Studies, no. 77 (April, 2018): 6-26.

“Ming Biography is Now a Sharper Lens.” Ming Studies, no. 76 (2017): 84-101.

Local Administration in Ming China: The Changing Roles of Magistrates, Prefects, and Provincial Officials. Ming Studies Research Series, No. 5. Edward L. Farmer, Romeyn Taylor, Ann Waltner, eds. Minneapolis: Society for Ming Studies, 2008.

“The Selection of Local Officials Through Recommendation in Fifteenth-Century China,” in Toung Pao, no. 91 (2005): 125-182.

“Case Files from the Provincial Administration Commission with Annotated Index.” Ming Studies, no. 47 (2003): 62-85.

“A Twisted Tale of Love and Treachery in a Small County in Ming Times.” Ming Studies, no. 43 (Spring, 2000): 40-54.

“The Placement of Local Magistrates in Ming China.” Late Imperial China, vol. 20, no. 2 (December, 1999): 35-60.

“Ch’i Chi-kuang and I-wu County.” Ming Studies, no. 34 (July, 1995): 17-29.