About

I am a historian of twentieth century China with particular interests in industrialization, revolution, and experiences and memories of war. In 2015, I received my PhD in History from the University of Chicago and then became an assistant professor in the department of National Security Affairs at the US Naval Postgraduate School. My first book is titled Mao’s Third Front: The Militarization of Cold War China. It examines how the Chinese Communist Party industrialized inland regions in order to protect socialist China from American and Soviet threats. I am currently working on two book projects. The first one – The Three Gorges Dam: Building a Hydraulic Engine for China – analyzes state-led efforts to transform China’s Three Gorges region into a hydraulic engine to power national development.  I am also in the process of researching a third book project tentatively titled, The People’s Army: A Social and Cultural History of the Military in China, 1927- present. My research has been supported by the Fulbright International Institute of Education, the Fulbright-Hays Commission, and the University of Chicago.

Other Publications


  • Mao’s Third Front: The Militarization of Cold War China (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press, 2020).

  • Covell Meyskens. “Chinese Views of the Nuclear Endgame in North Korea.” Nonproliferation Review.” Vol 26, No. 5-6 (2019): 1-19.

  • 柯尚哲 (Covell Meyskens). “Cong oumei guandian kan sanxian jianshe (Western Perspectives on the Third Front).” In  Zhongguo gongchandang yu sanxian jianshe (The Chinese Communist Party and the Third Front), edited by Chen Xi, 569-579. Beijing: Zhonggong dangshi chubanshe, 2013.

  • Covell Meyskens. “Searching for Security: Prospects for Peace in Sino-Foreign Relations,” Journal of International and Global Studies 5 (2014).

  • Covell Meyskens. “Le Monde selon Katrina (The World According to Katrina),” Drôle d’époque 17 (2005)

  • Covell Meyskens. “Guerre et Race dans le Pacifique : Signes et Pratiques (War and Race in the Pacific : Signs and Practices),” Drôle d’époque 16 (2005)

  • Trauma, Narrative, and the Absence of Closure

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