Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2011;
M.A., University of California, Berkeley, 2007;
Università di Roma "La Sapienza", 2000.
My primary focus is early China. I am particularly interested in the ways imperial authority was represented and justified in the historiography, literature, and material culture of the Western Han Dynasty (3rd-1st century BCE). My current research concentrates on discourses about the legitimation of power and on the relationship between human agency and metaphysical forces. Through a cross-cultural analysis that involves the ancient Mediterranean world and Greco-Roman historiography, I historicize different approaches to divinity, monotheism, public and private ritual behaviors, and institutionalized religion. My final goal is the establishment, between East and West, of a shared vocabulary for the "sacred," and of an open dialogue that entails different understandings and practices concerning the perceived moral bases of societies and individual rights. I teach courses on ancient Asian civilizations as well as on comparative political, cultural, and religious history.
Essays in Edited Volumes
- "The Ding Tripods," in C.Y. Liu, M. Nylan, A. Barbieri Law, Recarving China's Past (New Haven,
CT: Yale University Press, 2005), pp. 246-57.
- "The Myth of Huangdi, the Ding vases and the Quest for Immortality in the Shiji: Some Aspects of
Sima Qian's ‘Laicism,'" Rivista degli Studi Orientali 77, 1,4 (2003): 201-38.
Fellowships and Awards
- Haas Junior Scholars Award, Center for Chinese Studies, Berkeley, 2010-2011
- Doris G. Quinn Foundation Grant, 2010-2011
- Dissertation Grant, Center for Chinese Studies, Berkeley, 2010-2011
- Liu Fellowship, Center for Chinese Studies, Berkeley, 2008-2009
- Dean's Normative Time Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley, 2007
- History Department Full Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley, 2003-2006
- Award from the Italian Foreign Department for studying in China, Italian Foreign Department, Rome, Italy, 2000
- "Borsa di collaborazione presso la Biblioteca del Dipartimento di Studi Orientali" (competitively awarded research assistantship at the Oriental Library), Università di Roma, "La Sapienza," Dipartimento di Studi Orientali