Derk Bodde

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Derk Bodde
Born(1909-03-09)March 9, 1909
DiedNovember 3, 2003(2003-11-03) (aged 94)
Academic work
DisciplineChinese history
InstitutionsUniversity of Pennsylvania

Derk Bodde (March 9, 1909 – November 3, 2003) was an American sinologist and historian of China known for his pioneering work on the history of the Chinese legal system.

Bodde received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1930, he spent six years (1931-1937) studying in China on a fellowship. He earned a doctorate in Chinese Studies from the University of Leiden March 3, 1938.[1]The title description of his thesis is: China’s first unifier, a study of the Chín dynasty as seen in the life of Li Ssŭ (280?-208 B.C.) ... door Derk Bodde ... – Leiden : E.J. Brill, 1938. - viii, 270 p. front (facsim.) 24 ½ cm.[2] When the Fulbright scholarship program was initiated in 1948, Bodde was the first American recipient of a one-year fellowship, which he spent studying in Beijing.

He spent several decades as Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and was a president of the American Oriental Society (1968–69).


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jaarboek der Rijksuniversiteit te Leiden 1938. Promotiën - 20 September 1937 tot 18 September 1938 - Doctoraat Letteren en Wijsbegeerten, p. 149.
  2. ^ NUC: 0577262, DLC, ICRL.
  3. ^ Association for Asian Studies (AAS), 1985 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Asian Studies; retrieved 2011-05-31


  • Le Blanc, Charles (2003). "Derk Bodde (1909–2003)" (PDF). Early China. 28: vii–x. Archived from the original on 2007-07-04.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  • Martin, Douglas (November 13, 2003). "Derk Bodde, 94, a Longtime Scholar on China". New York Times. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  • Rickett, W. Allyn (October 2003). "In Memoriam: Derk Bodde (1909-2003)". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 123 (4): 711–13. JSTOR 3589964.