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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

East Asian Studies
Affiliated Lecturer in Chinese Art and Material Culture
Email address: 
+44 (0)1223 335106
Fellow of: 
Clare Hall

HAJNI ELIAS obtained her B.A. Degree in East Asian Studies from Princeton University, and her M.A. and M.Phil. Degrees in Modern Chinese History from Columbia University. In 2001, she joined the auction house Sotheby’s as Senior Researcher for Chinese Works of Art Departments worldwide. During her years at Sotheby’s she co-authored a comprehensive publication on Chinese art collections held privately and in museums worldwide and on the history of the Chinese art market in the 20th and 21st centuries. After 13 years of working with Chinese artefacts, in 2013 she began her Ph.D. at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge, under the supervision of Prof. Roel Sterckx. Her Ph.D. dissertation, titled “The Southwest: A Study of Regional Identity in Material Culture and Textual Sources during the Eastern Han Dynasty” was completed in 2018. Her current research focuses on the material culture of Southwest China, present day Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, as well as exploring artistic and cultural transmission amongst early societies along the Southwest Silk Road of China and Southeast Asia. Apart from research she also teaches on the subject of Chinese history and a course on Chinese Art and Material Culture offered jointly with the History of Art Department at Cambridge. 

Teaching responsibilities: 

C7 History of Dynastic China (co-taught with Dr Ganany and Dr Imre Galambos)

C15 Chinese Art and Material Culture (Paper 21/22 for History of Art Department)

Articles, Book Chapters etc

The Southwest Silk Road: artistic exchange and transmission in early China. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 2024 pp. 1-26 (2024)
Commemorating the Dead for the Living: Two Eastern Han (25 – 220 CE) Stelae from Southwest China Catherine S. Chan (ed.) & Tsang Wing Ma (ed.) East Asia and Beyond the Archives: Missing Sources and Marginal Lives, Leiden, Leiden University Press pp. 77-101 (2023)