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Professor Roel Sterckx FBA

Classical and literary Chinese language and philology; history, religion and thought of pre-imperial and early imperial China; text and manuscript studies (Warring States, Qin, and Han periods); the natural world in pre-modern China
Professor Roel Sterckx FBA profile picture

About this Fellow

Roel Sterckx is Joseph Needham Professor of Chinese History, Science and Civilization at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Clare College. He is a sinologist specialising in the cultural history, religion and thought of pre-imperial and early imperial China, the classical and literary Chinese language, philology, text and manuscript studies. He has an ongoing interest in forms of knowledge about the natural world in pre-modern China (cultural ecology, agricultural thought, natural history). Much of his work is inspired by questions raised in the history of science and anthropology. "Ideologies of the peasant and merchant in Warring States China," In Ideology of Power and Power of Ideology in Early China: Studies in Early Chinese Political Thought, ed. Yuri Pines, Paul Rakita Goldin, and Martin Kern (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2015), pp.211-248. "Mozi 31: Explaining Ghosts, again", in Carine Defoort and Nicolas Standaert eds., The Mozi as an Evolving Text: Different Voices in early Chinese Thought (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2013), pp.96-141. Food, Sacrifice, and Sagehood in Early China. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011 (Paperback edition, 2015). Of Tripod and Palate: Food, Politics and Religion in Traditional China (ed.; New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005). The Animal and the Daemon in Early China. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002.



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  • Joseph Needham Professor of Chinese History, Science and Civilisation, University of Cambridge; Fellow, Clare College, Cambridge

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