John has always been interested in learning about other cultures and considering opposing viewpoints. After getting a BA in History and Comparative Politics from Oberlin College, John spent several years teaching English in China, where he developed an insatiable curiosity for East Asian culture, as well as a passion for teaching. He later received a MA in Asian Studies from Seton Hall University, and a PhD in Modern Chinese History from The Ohio State University. John’s dissertation, “Chinese Imaginations of the Soviet Union” won the 2019 Ohio Academy of History award. He has taught Asian, World, and Gender history at various colleges, including the Rhode Island School of Design, UC Irvine, and Williams College. John believes that the role of an instructor is not to teach students what is “right,” but to help them develop the skills to think critically for themselves. He’s looking forward to many stimulating discussions at the Davidson Academy!
John Knight, Ph.D.