Assistant Curator, Chinese Archaeology; Assistant Professor, History of Art
Research interests: history & archaeology early to middle ages East Asia; steppe pastoralsocieties; empires; urbanism; culture contact (esp. China-Mongolia).
My research incorporates textual analyses and material culture studies to investigate the dynamics of empires in early East Asia. In particular, my work on pastoral nomadic regimes challenges normative constructs of cultural politics, economic systems and sociopolitical institutions. I have conducted examinations of Chinese documents, as well as led archaeological survey and excavation projects in various regions of Mongolia. Most recently, I performed microscopic studies and protein analyses of garment remains recovered from those excavations. This interdisciplinary approach lies at the core of my current book manuscript on the Xiongnu steppe empire. The book integrates translations of Chinese documents with analyses of archaeological remains from China, Mongolia and Central Asia. The combined narrative of the world’s first nomadic empire fleshes out the complexities of the regime and demonstrates its lasting impact on the history of pre-modern Asia. The conceptual approaches developed for mybook serve as the foundation for subsequent investigations of the conquest dynasties of earlymedieval Northern China as well as the Mongol Empire.
Xiongnu Archaeology – Multidisciplinary Perspectives on the First Steppe Empire in Central Asia. 2011. U. Brosseder and B.K. Miller (Eds.), Bonn Contributions to Asian Archaeology, vol.5. Bonn: VFG-Arch Press.