Helen Dunstan

Emeritus Professor Helen Dunstan

  • Post Nominals: FAHA
  • Fellow Type: Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 2007
  • Section(s): Religion, History, Asian Studies


Helen Dunstan is a historian of premodern China, best known for her work on economic thought and economic policy in the first half of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911). She is particularly interested in the processes through which the central government made economic-policy decisions, and in the interplay between motives of very different kinds in such decision-making.

While much of Helen’s research has focused on state intervention in the grain trade, her interests now also embrace (1) Song-dynasty political economy; (2) provincial finance in the Qianlong reign; and (3) corpses, Tang to Qing a project that draws on her lifelong fascination with the anthropological study of Chinese society.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.