Benjamin Penny

School of Culture, History and Language, College of Asia & the Pacific

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Benjamin Penny


Benjamin Penny is a historian of religions in China who has worked on medieval China, the nineteenth century and contemporary times. His most recent book is The Religion of Falun Gong (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012) and he is currently working on a monograph concerning expatriate scholarship in Shanghai after the first Opium War, as well as co-editing East Asian History. After studying at the Universities of Sydney, Cambridge, Peking and the ANU, Penny held a post-doctoral fellowship also at the ANU before moving to the Humanities Research Centre. Between 1999 and 2005, he worked as the first Executive Officer of the Herbert and Valmae Freilich Foundation, and from 2003 to 2004 also held a research fellowship at the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research. Penny was appointed to the Division of Pacific and Asian History in October 2005 and in January 2010 became the Deputy Director of the new School of Culture, History and Language in the ANU’s College of Asia and the Pacific. In July 2010 he was appointed to the Deputy Directorship of the Australian Centre on China in the World, ANU. He was the CIW Director from 2016–2018.

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