Stanley Toops

Associate Professor of Geography/International Studies
Miami University
110 Shideler Hall
Oxford, Ohio 45056
(513) 529-5558


  • BA 1979, Drake University
  • MA 1983, University of Washington, Seattle
  • Ph.D. 1990, University of Washington


My research interests are in the international aspects of development, culture, ethnicity, and tourism.

I have been researching China through fieldwork for over twenty years. My research in geography and international studies has focused on the Central Asian portion of China, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Much of my research has focused on the interplay of culture and development. My current research agenda examines 1) the development and demography of Xinjiang with that of the Central Asian countries, and 2) tourism development in Central Asia. I have led study groups numerous times to China and Central Asia. I have traveled extensively on the Silk Road: China, Mongolia, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkey.

In my research, I have published articles on tourism, population, trade, handicrafts, landscapes, politics and ecological issues in Xinjiang, as well as tourism, society, and development aspects of China’s geography. My experience in interviews, fieldwork and qualitative research methods, fluency in Chinese and knowledge of Uyghur, has served me well in past research in Central Asia.


  • GEO 111: World Regional Geography
  • GEO 208: Rise of Industrialism in East Asia
  • GEO 308: Geography of East Asia
  • GEO 408: Geography of the Silk Road
  • ITS 201: Introduction to International Studies
  • ITS 302: Problems of Non-Western Societies
  • ITS 402: Senior Capstone in International Studies

Selected Publications

  • Toops, S. 2020. Asia Pacific: A Geographic Perspective. Understanding Contemporary Asia Pacific. 
  • Gamer, R. and S. W. Toops, ed.  Understanding Contemporary China. Boulder: Lynne Rienner,  2017. 5th edition.
  • Anderson, S., M. Peterson, and S. Toops. International Studies: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Global Issues. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2008, 1st edition. 2012, 2nd edition. 2015, 3rd edition, 2017, 4th edition.
  • Green, J., Y. Skryzhevska, and S. Toops. “Atlas Use in Teaching Geography in Higher Education in the U.S. and Canada.” Chasopys - The Journal of Social-Economic Geography (Ukraine). 22 (1) May 2017, 62-68.
  • “Reflections on China’s Belt and Road Initiative,” Area Development and Policy 2016. 1(3) 352-360. DOI
  • “Spatial Results of the 2010 Census in Xinjiang.” 2016. China Policy Institute.
  • “Where Inner Asia meets Outer China: The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.” In Eurasian Corridors of Interconnection. S. Walcott and C. Johnson, eds. 49-71. New York, NY: Routledge.  2014.
  • Jerry Green, Mary Henry, Liza Skryzhevska, and Stanley Toops, 2013. "The Course Syllabus as a Guide to Map Interpretation Instruction" Research In Geographic Education 14, 42-54.
  • Stanley D. Brunn, Stanley W. Toops, and Richard Gilbreath.  The Routledge Atlas of Central Eurasian Affairs, New York: Routledge. 2012.
  • S. Anderson, J. Hey, M Peterson, and S. Toops Introduction to International Studies Boston: Pearson, 2006.
  • “Demographics and Development in Xinjiang after 1949.” East West Center Washington Working Papers, No. 1, May 2004.
  • “The Demography of Xinjiang.” 264-275 , and “The Ecology of Xinjiang: A Focus on Water.”241- 263,  In Xinjiang: China’s Muslim Borderland F. Starr, ed. Armonk, NY:  M.E. Sharpe, 2004.
  • “Xinjiang (Eastern Turkistan): Names, Regions, Landscapes, Futures.” In Changing China. Chiao-min Hsieh, ed. Boulder: Westview Press, 2003, 411-421.
  • “The Population Landscape of Xinjiang/East Turkestan.” Inner Asia, 2 (2) 2000, 155-171.
  • “Tourism and Turpan:  The Power of Place in Inner Asia/Outer China.” Central Asian Survey, 18 (3) 1999, 303-318.
  • "China: A Geographic Preface." In Understanding Contemporary China. Robert E. Gamer ed. Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1999, 13-31.  1st  edition.   2003.  2nd. Edition. 2008. 3rd edition.  2012. 4th edition.
  • with S. Andrus. 1996. "Social Intelligence in China. " In Blaise Cronin, ed. Information, Development, and Social Intelligence. Los Angeles and London: Taylor Graham, 146-163. Reprinted from Journal of Economic and Social Intelligence, 3 (2) 1994, 3-20.
  • "Tourism in Xinjiang: Practice and Place." In Tourism in China. Alan Lew and Lawrence Yu, eds. Boulder: Westview Press, 1995, 179-202.
  • "Trade Between Xinjiang and Central Asia." In Xinjiang in the Twentieth Century: Historical, Anthropological, and Geographical Perspectives. Linda Benson, Justin Rudelson and Stanley W. Toops. The Woodrow Wilson Center, Asia Program, Occasional Paper No. 65, September 8, 1994, 18-35.
  • "Xinjiang's Handicraft Industry." Annals of Tourism Research, 20 (1) 1993, 88-106.
  • "Tourism in China: The Impact of June 4, 1989."  Focus, 42 (1) 1992,  2-7.
  • "Recent Uygur Leaders of Xinjiang."  Central Asian Survey, 11 (2) 1992, 77-99.
  • "Tourism in Xinjiang, China."  Journal of Cultural Geography, 12 (2) 1992, 19-34