Arts & Humanities

History Prof gets Harvard Fellowship and Outstanding Faculty Award

Clayton Brown, a history professor at USU-Uintah Basin, is headed to Harvard for a summer fellowship.

Utah State University assistant professor Clayton Brown teaches world history courses to students at USU-Uintah Basin, but he speaks with a special authority on one very large corner of our world.

Brown, an expert in Chinese ethnicity and racial conflicts, will begin a residence at Harvard University June 1 to augment research that is set to be published by Cambridge University Press.

In addition, this busy history professor has received the Vernal campus’s Outstanding Faculty Award and, on May 4, a baby girl.

The Harvard research, titled “Children of the Yellow Emperor: Han Ethnicity and Modern Chinese Identity,” is an expansion of Brown’s doctoral dissertation that critically examines China’s majority Han, which Brown describes as the world’s largest ethnic group with more than 1 billion people. The award supports two weeks of research at the Harvard-Yenching Library, Harvard’s East Asia library.

And, as Brown focuses on one side of the globe, he’s being recognized on the other. The history professor was named this week as Outstanding Faculty Member for the Uintah Basin campus.

During his Harvard residence, Brown will present additional research at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology as part of the 7th International Society for East Asian Archaeology (SEAA) conference.

The lecture, “The American School of Archaeology in China, 1912-1934,” builds on his research as a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution and a visiting scholar at the Academia Sinica, Taiwan’s national academy.

Brown is a graduate of Logan High School, moving to USU for his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He earned a doctorate in Chinese history from the University of Pittsburgh and served as an assistant history professor at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn.

He and his wife, Erin Brown, welcomed a new daughter. Erin Brown is also an Aggie, earning a master’s degree in speech language pathology in 2015.

“We have six degrees from USU between us,” adds Brown. “We each have two bachelor’s and a master’s.”

Brown, a USU faculty member since 2011, teaches world history as well as such upper-division subjects as ancient and modern China, World War II in Asia, China’s Cultural Revolution and the Vietnam War. He has also written entries about Chinese history for the World Book History Encyclopedia.

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Writer and contact: Janelle Hyatt, 435-797-0289,

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