Postdoctoral Research Fellow GRK-2840Dr. Barend Noordam


I am a historian of Ming China, specializing in global military history, the history of science and technology, and knowledge circulation between early modern East Asia and Europe. I studied History and China Studies at the university of Leiden and my subsequent dissertation dealt with the Neo-Confucianization of the military profession in late Ming China, as seen through the lens of the career of military commander Qi Jiguang (1528-1588). Since then I have held postdoctoral fellowships at the Free University of Berlin and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. From 2019-2023 I was a postdoctoral researcher of the Aftermath of the East Asian War of 1592-1598 project based at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. As a member of this project, I traced the development, textual consolidation, and diffusion of military technology in both Ming China and Chosŏn Korea in the late sixteenth century. As part of the Research Training Group “Ambivalent Enmity”,  my project traces the collection, compilation, and circulation of Chinese knowledge about Japan in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. This research will shed light on the kind of knowledge that was collected, how it circulated, and at which levels of the Chinese bureaucracy and society this knowledge was received. Furthermore, the project will assess how this knowledge impacted the self-image of the Ming Chinese at different levels of society. 

Barend Noordam

Contact Information

Barend Noordam
Karl Jaspers Centre
Voßstraße 2, Building 4400
Room 400.00.09
69115 Heidelberg

+49 (0) 6221 54 4082

GRK Ambivalent Enmity

Curriculum Vitae (Excerpt)

2023-  Research Associate, Heidelberg University
2019-2023  Postdoctoral Researcher, Autonomous University of Barcelona
2018-2019  Postdoctoral Fellow, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
2018  Lecturer, Humboldt University of Berlin
2017-2018  Postdoctoral Fellow, Free University of Berlin
2018  PhD in History, Leiden University
2017  Lecturer, Leiden University
2014-2015  Doctoral Research Fellow, Academia Sinica (Taipei)
2009  BA in China Studies, Leiden University
2007  MA in History, Leiden University


Articles and Book Chapters (Selected)

“Chinese Volley Fire and Metanarratives of World History.” Journal of World History 34/3 (2023): 329-368.

“Heart-Minds and Harquebuses: The Bozhou Rebellion in China (1587-1600).” Small Wars & Insurgencies 34/3 (2022): 627-669.

“Securing the Emperor, Securitising the Guns: The Strangely Delayed Dissemination of Ottoman Military Technology in the Late Ming Empire.” Journal of the British Academy 9/s4 (2021): 112-136. 

“Military Innovation and Intrastate Warfare: Portuguese Artillery and Sieges during the Wokou Raids of the mid-Sixteenth Century.” In The First World Empire: Portugal, War and Military Revolution, edited by Hélder Carvalhal, André Murteira, and Roger Lee de Jesus, 206-222. London and New York: Routledge, 2021.

“Qi Jiguang 戚繼光: The Soldier as a Sage?” In Image: Proceedings of the 1st Rombouts Graduate Conference, edited by Hanna Li and Gina van Ling, 44-61. Leiden: Shilin, 2016.

“Military Intelligence and Early Modern Warfare: The Dutch East India Company and China, 1622-1624.” In The Dynamics of Transculturality: Concepts and Institutions in Motion, edited by A. Flüchter and J. Schöttli, 113-135. Heidelberg: Springer, 2015.  

“Technology, Tactics, and Military Transfer in the Nineteenth Century: Qing Armies in Tonkin, 1884-1885.” In Structures on the Move. Technologies of Governance in Transcultural Encounters, edited by Antje Flüchter and Susan Richter, 169-188. Heidelberg: Springer, 2012.

“The Trojan Gun: The Jesuits as Cultural Mediators of Military Technology and the Court in Beijing, 1601-1644.” Leidschrift 27/1 (2012): 101-119.

Book Reviews (Selected)

“Book Review: Yang Haiying 杨海英, Cong “Tang jiang shu tie” kan Ming-Qing shidai de nanbing beijiang 从《唐将书帖》看明清时代的南兵北将 (Southern Soldiers and Northern Generals during the Transitional Period of Ming & Qing: From the Perspective of Letters from Chinese Servicemen during Campaign in Korea).” Europe Research Centre for Chinese Studies Blog (2023).

“Book Review:  More than the Great Wall: The Northern Frontier and Ming National Security, 1368-1644 by John W. Dardess.” Journal of Chinese Military History 9/2 (2020): 209-211.

“Book Review: Martial Spectacles of the Ming Court by David M. Robinson.” Ming Studies 71 (2015): 64-69. 

“Book Review: The Military Collapse of China’s Ming Dynasty, 1618-44 by Kenneth M. Swope.” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 77/3 (2014): 634-635.

“Book Review: Lost Colony: The Untold Story of China’s First Great Victory over the West by Tonio Andrade.” BMGN – Low Countries Historical Review 129/2 (2014): review 27 (3pp.).


“Technological Exchanges between the Ottoman and the Ming Empires,” February 12, 2021, in Living on the Edge, produced by Lisa Hellman, MP3 audio, 35:14.


2023  Conference Organization Grant, Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation
2017-2019  Center for International Cooperation (FU Berlin) Grant 
2014-2015  Academia Sinica (Taipei) Fellowship for Doctoral Candidates
2014-2015  PRC European Window Research Grant at Renmin University (Beijing) for Doctoral Candidates (declined)
2009-2011  Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) Scholarship
2007-2008  Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education (NUFFIC) Scholarship