BuYun Chen is a historian who specializes in the history of textile production, fashion, and craft technology in premodern China. She recently completed a book on the history of fashion during the Tang dynasty, titled Empire of Style: Silk and Fashion in Tang China (University of Washington Press). Her current research explores how the circulation of raw materials, finished goods, and technical knowledge between China, Japan, and Southeast Asia shaped local craft practices.
In teaching, as in research, she emphasizes cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of history. Professor Chen teaches a variety of courses at Swarthmore, including surveys of Chinese history, an upper-level course on fashion theory and history, and a first-year seminar on the global history of science and technology.