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Zach Fredman

Associate Professor of History at Duke Kunshan University
DKU Faculty


Zach Fredman is a diplomatic and military historian whose research focuses on the United States in the world, modern China, and US-East Asian relations. His first book, The Tormented Alliance: American Servicemen and the Occupation of China, 1941–1949 (UNC Press, 2022), examines the U.S. military presence in China during World War II and the Chinese Civil War. He has begun research on a second monograph, tentatively titled R&R: The US Military's Rest and Recreation Program during the Vietnam WarR&R explores the political work women's bodies did for the state during the Vietnam War, when American servicemen's access to sex and good times underpinned the US war effort, capitalist economic development and anti-communist state-building in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Australia. 

He has published scholarly articles in Diplomatic History, The Journal of Modern Chinese History, Modern American History, Frontiers of History in China, and Diplomacy and Statecraft. His writing has also appeared in The Washington Post and The Chronicle of Higher Education. 

He was previously a postdoctoral fellow at Dartmouth College's John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding (2017-2018) and Nanyang Technological University's School of Humanities and Social Sciences (2016-2017). His research has been supported with grants and fellowships from the Institute of International Education, the Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and the Association for Asian Studies. 

He earned his Ph.D. at Boston University in 2016. In 2017, he received the Edward M. Coffman First Book Manuscript Prize from the Society for Military History and the Betty M. Unterberger Dissertation Prize from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. 


Current Appointments & Affiliations

Associate Professor of History at Duke Kunshan University · 2023 - Present DKU Faculty
Associate Professor of the Practice of DKU Studies at Duke University · 2023 - Present DKU Studies

Education, Training & Certifications

Boston University · 2016 Ph.D.