Kent Cao is the 2019–2021 Asia Network | Henry Luce Foundation Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in Asian Art History hosted by Florida State (New College, State Honors College). Kent graduated with a Ph.D. in Chinese art and archaeology under the supervision of Professor Emeritus Robert Bagley. Prior to Princeton, he received M. St. in Archaeology from the University of Oxford, and read Archaeology and Anthropology at University College London and the London School of Economics and Political Science. Kent's work has recently been supported by the Smithsonian and the American Council of Learned Societies.
From art historical and technical perspectives, Kent's first monograph manuscript examines the rise of indigenous bronze industry in the middle Yangtze River region in the latter second millennium BCE. In the fifteenth century BCE, the Erligang state expanded from the Central Plain, and along the way disseminated its highly established of bronze art and metallurgy. Understanding how the Yangtze region digested this exotic art form and independently developed its own bronze art allows us to better understand the formation of China from a frontier perspective. This work reveals how ideas and technologies were transregionally transmitted in early complex societies.
Kent's next book project explores the revival of bronze archaism and antiquarianism in Song China and Kamakura Japan, and aims to offer a deeper insight into the political aspirations, ritual prestige and artistic regeneration of Medieval East Asia.