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
Fellowships and Awards
For more information and upcoming scheduled speakers, visit the website, http://matteoricci.slu.edu/