Professor Roel Sterckx

  • College positions:
    External Director of Studies in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
  • University positions:
    Joseph Needham Professor of Chinese History, Science and Civilization
    Fellow of Clare College
  • Subjects: Asian & Middle Eastern Studies

Research interests

Classical and literary Chinese language and philology; the cultural history, religion and thought of pre-imperial and early imperial China; text and manuscript studies (Warring States, Qin, and Han periods). My work is inspired to some degree by questions raised in the history of science and anthropology. I have an ongoing interest in forms of knowledge about the natural world in pre-modern China (cultural ecology, agricultural thought, natural history) and am currently working on a book provisionally entitled Thinking through Agriculture in Early China. I have also worked on food and dietary culture in Chinese philosophy and religion. Another area of interest is the interplay between moral and material values in Chinese thought. More specifically I hope to learn more about early China's religious economy, gift culture, and ideas about wealth creation, poverty, and the role of the professions (merchants, peasants) during the formation of empire. 


Teaching interests

Classical and literary Chinese