Headshot of Glenda Chao
Headshot of Glenda Chao

Glenda Chao




  • B.A., Archaeology, Boston University
  • M.A., East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University
  • Ph.D., East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University 


  • #ChineseAmericanProblems: Bruce Lee, Bodies, and the History of Chinese People in the United States
  • Emperors, Warlords, and “Commies:” China from 1644 to the Present
  • Environment and History in China and Japan from Earliest Times to the Present
  • The History of Stuff: East Asia and the World in 10 Objects
  • Monsters in East and Southeast Asia
  • Personhood in East Asian Literary History
  • Death in Chinese Society and Culture
  • Ancient China: Myth and Material Culture

Research Interests

Late Bronze Age and early imperial Chinese history
States and empires in the ancient world
Regional histories of early China
Postcolonial archaeology and history
Semiotics and materiality of early Chinese death rituals
Quantitative methods in archaeology
The politics of archaeology in modern East Asia and the world

Recent Work



“Researching the Cultural History of Xiangyang through Archaeological Remains ?????????????????????,” in Conference Proceedings of the International Conference on Chu Culture and the Archaeology of the Middle Yangzi River Valley (Wuhan: Hubei Renmin Press). 


Review of ‘Excavating the afterlife: the archaeology of early Chinese religion’ by Guolong Lai. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2013: 297p. Choice Magazine, Volume 53, No. 2


Review of ‘On the Periphery of a Great ‘Empire’: Secondary State Formation in Shandong during the First Millennium BCE’ by Minna Wu. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University, 2013: xvi, 320p.

Dissertation Reviews, February 25, 2015 (http://dissertationreviews.org/archives/10965)


Recent Conference Presentations

November 2019

Workshop on ceramic anthropology in early China, Columbia University, Nov 14-15, 2019

November 2019

“Ancient Settlements and Early States in the Xiang-Yi Plain: An Argument for Regional History as Method in the Study of Early China” 

The City and the State in the Ancient World: Perspectives from Archaeology and History ????????????????????? Workshop to be held at Hong Kong Baptist University, November 8-9, 2019.

April 2019

“Archaeology and Regional History in Ancient Hubei: Debunking Myths of Early China”

Keynote Lecture, presented at Myth Management and Materiality in East Asia, University of Pennsylvania, East Asian Languages and Cultures Graduate Conference, 2019

September 2018

“Determining Cultural History from Archaeological Remains: Ancient Xiangyang as a Case Study”

The 2018 Biennial International Conference on Chu Culture and the Ancient Middle Yangzi River Valley at Wuhan University

May 2018

“Cultural Reproduction in Early China: Material Approaches to the Study of Ceramic Funerary Assemblages”

North America Theoretical Archaeology Group Annual Conference at the University of Florida – Gainesville