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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

East Asian Studies
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow
Email address: 
+44 (0)1223 335106
Fellow of: 
Clare Hall

I was educated in Africa, Hungary, Japan and China, and began my undergraduate studies in Beijing University, majoring in Chinese history. I obtained my B.A. Degree in East Asian Studies from Princeton University, and my M.A. and M.Phil. Degrees in Modern Chinese History from Columbia University. In 2001, I joined the auction house, Sotheby’s, as Senior International Researcher for Chinese Works of Art Departments worldwide. In 2012, I 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. The success of the book led to its translation and publication in China by the Shanghai Shuhua Press in 2015.

After 13 years of working with Chinese artefacts at Sotheby’s, I decided to embark on completing a PhD, but this time in the period of early Imperial China, under the supervision of Prof. Roel Sterckx. My dissertation, titled “The Southwest: A Study of Regional Identity in Material Culture and Textual Sources during the Eastern Han Dynasty” was submitted in 2018. Through the study of the Southwest’s material culture (the area of present day Sichuan province), that included pictorial brick tiles, stone reliefs, decorated stone sarcophagi and commemorative and ancestral stelae, combined with analysis of early textual sources, my dissertation explores the region’s social make- up, economic activities, burial practices, education and governance, as well notions of social and cultural memory and identity.

My work has been published in the Journal of Asian Studies, Early China, Arts of Asia and the Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. My manuscript titled, Recorded on Metal and Stone: Memorial Art of the Southwest in Early Imperial China, is currently under review with University of Washington Press. My book examines the memorial art of the Southwest in early Imperial times. Through the examination of the region’s tomb and memorial art it demonstrates how the Southwest’s material culture represents a distinct and vibrant regional culture that is little referenced in early textual sources but clearly visible in its art.

I am currently a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, involved in teaching on the subject of early Imperial China and responsible for teaching a full term course on Chinese art and material culture. My current research explores the significance of the Southwest Silk Road as a zone of trade, communication and cultural reciprocation between early societies (c. 1100 BCE - 200 CE) of Southwest China and its frontier regions of present day Yunnan, Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Methodologically, it examines archaeological records, art and cultural history (textual sources) to compare burial practices, tomb decoration, grave goods and artefacts for evidence of influence between the different societies. The project eschews the Sino- centric approach of current scholarship and advocates a cross-regional study of cultural influence which has not yet been undertaken in this region.

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)