Kent Cao

Asia Network/Henry Luce Foundation Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in Asian Art History - Art History - Humanities

Kent Cao
  • Phone: (941) 487-4617
  • Email:
  • Office Location: PME 236
  • Mail Location: ACE 116
Ph.D., Princeton University
M.St., The University of Oxford
B.Sc., University College London (intercollegiate the London School of Economics and Political Science)

Academic/Research Interests

Kent Cao is a specialist in the field of art and archaeology of early China with a broad interest in the interconnections within East Asia. From art historical and technical perspectives, his 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 Cao’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 prestiges and artistic renaissance of Medieval East Asia.

Bronze Age China
Metallurgical Studies
Bronze Inscriptions
Antiquarianism in East Asia

Course Offerings

  • Mainland, Peninsula and Archipelago: Introduction to East Asian Art and Archaeology
  • Court, Studio, Monastery and Market: Art Production and Circulation in East Asia and Beyond
  • Think like a Caster: Art, Archaeology and Technology of Bronze Age China

Selected Publications

Work in Progress
  • Expansion and Retreat: Taijiasi Outpost and the Indigenous Bronze Art in the Lower Yangtze River (c. 1500-1000 BCE)
  • Lavish Banquets, Stacking Vessels: Ritual and Technical Transformations in Chinese Bronzes (c. 500-100 BCE)
  • Engraved Honor: Post-casting Bronze Inscriptions in the Eastern Zhou Period (c. 600-300 BCE)