Dr. Johnathan Farris

Assistant Professor
A self-taken photograph of a smiling wear wearing a hat and posing in front of ancient ruins

Dr. Farris's research has focused on the artistic and architectural products of cultural exchange between Asia and the West from the 17th through the early 20th centuries. His recent work has dwelt on the environments of the China trade in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries, but he has cultivated a thorough knowledge of arts of East and Southeast Asia, while building on a firm knowledge of the Western tradition. Before coming to Youngstown State University, Farris lived and taught in Hong Kong for seven years. He also has had previous work experience in historic preservation and archaeology. Some of his further interests include the history of architecture broadly, arts of tourism and travel, landscape and topographic art, the relation of gardens and art, and the history of ceramics, metal and glass.


  • Ph.D. Cornell University (2004)
  • M.A. University of Virginia (1995)
  • B.A. Yale University (1993)


  • Enclave to Urbanity: Canton, Foreigners, and Architecture from the Late 18th to the Early 20th Centuries (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2016).
  • “Dwelling Factors: Western Merchants in Canton,” in Carole Shammas, ed. Investing in the Early Modern Built Environment: Europeans, Asians, Settlers and Indigenous Societies (Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2012).
  • “Treaty Ports of China and the West’s Architectural Presence,” in Carola Hein, ed. Port Cities: Dynamic Landscapes and Global Networks (New York: Routledge, 2011).
  • “Thirteen Factories of Canton: An Architecture of Sino-Western Collaboration and Confrontation,” in Buildings and Landscapes: Journal of the Vernacular Architecture Forum, Volume 14, 2007, pp 66-83.
  • Numerous book reviews relating to topics in the history of Asian and Western art, architecture, and urbanism.
  • Principal authorship of ten nominations to the National Register of Historic Places.