Beyond Meaning

The Form, Substance, Color and Pattern of Shang Things

Roderick Campbell


Rod Campbell is Associate Professor of East Asian Archaeology and History at ISAW. He is an archaeologist and historian focusing on the Chinese Bronze age, especially the Anyang period (ca. 1250-1050 BCE). Thematically, Campbell’s research has ranged from theorizing violence and early complex polities to historiography and more recently visual culture and ancient economy. Professor Campbell held a number of post-doctoral appointments after graduating from Harvard with a dual degree in anthropology (archaeology) and East Asian Languages and Civilizations (Chinese history), including the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (NYU), the Joukowsky Institute (Brown University), and Merton College (Oxford University) and won grants and fellowships from numerous sources including from the Canadian Social Sciences and Research Council, Luce-ACLS, the Chiang Ching-kuo foundation, and the Wenner Gren foundation. Publications include Archaeology of the Chinese Bronze Age (Cotsen Institute, 2014), Violence and Civilization (ed. Joukowsky Institute, 2014), Violence, Kinship and the Early Chinese State: the Shang and their World (Cambridge UP, 2018), an article on early complex polities for Current Anthropology, a study of a gigantic Shang bone workshop at Anyang for Antiquity, as well as numerous papers on topics ranging from Shang ontology to Early Chinese economies. Professor Campbell’s field work consists of a network of archaeological collaborations across regions and site types with different institutions in China, aimed at reconstructing the Shang political economy (currently focused on zooarchaeology and bone working).

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