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Cecily McCaffrey

Associate Professor of History

Headshot of Cecily McCaffrey

Contact Information

Salem Campus

Eaton 104
900 State Street
Salem  Oregon  97301
503-370-6944 (Fax)



Ph.D. History, University of California at San Diego
M.A. Asian Studies, University of California at Berkeley
B.A. International Relations, Tufts University

Research and Teaching

Cecily McCaffrey teaches courses in Asian History, with a primary focus on the modern period. Her courses include a four semester sequence in Chinese history, ranging from the medieval era to the present day, as well as specialized courses in environmental history, war and memory, and popular resistance movements. Her classes emphasize skill-building in close reading, critical analysis, and historical writing. 

Her current research centers on the White Lotus Uprising of the late 18th century, a religiously-inspired revolt against imperial authority that endured for a decade in central China. She is particularly interested in capturing the experiences of the people who were caught up in the movement in its different stages, whether die-hard rebels or those forcibly conscripted. Her work considers the uprising in two ways: first, as an episode of resistance to state authority; second, as a mirror of environmental, political, and social conditions at the time.


History 118 East Asian Civilization since 1800
History 131 Pacific War, 1931-1945
History 221 History Workshop
History 233 Asian Empires on the Silk Road
History 265 Late Imperial China
History 282 China in Revolution, 1911-1949
History 331 Asian Environmental History
History 344 Rebellion and Resistance in East Asia
History 381 Modern Japan
History 383 Mao’s China

Selected Publications

“From Chaos to a New Order: Rebellion and Ethnic Regulation in Late Qing Inner Mongolia.” Modern China 37.5 

“In the Eyes of the Beholder: Rebellion as Visual Experience” in Visualizing Modern China: Image, History, and Memory, 1750-Present. Lexington Books, 2014.



Willamette University

History Department

Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-370-6061 voice
503-370-6944 fax