Research Areas: Chinese Art and Archaeology; Intellectual History of the Song-Yuan Era; Technology, Technicity, and Reprography in East Asia; Antiquarianism
Professor Moser’s research attends, broadly, to the conceptual and material processes whereby past things are made present, with particular attention to the ways in which these processes intersect in the artistic practices and scholarly techne of medieval China. He is also interested in the problem of historical agency, and the interconnections between ecological, technological, and perceptual change over time. His recent book, Nominal Things: Bronzes in the Making of Medieval China (University of Chicago Press, 2023), examines the role that the rediscovery and decipherment of ancient bronzes in eleventh-century China played in restructuring medieval understandings of the relationship between words, images, and things. Other publications—on such subjects as ceramics, ink painting, antiquarianism, and geography—are linked through a consistent interrogation of the ways in which new modes of attention to the material world, past and present, catalyze new understandings of the past.
Professor Moser is currently at work on a second book project Moral Depths: Making Antiquity in a Medieval Chinese Cemetery, which examines the recently discovered family cemetery of the Neo-Confucian philosopher and antiquarian Lü Dalin (1040–1093). With Jason Protass, he is also co-editing Countless Sands: Buddhists and their Environments in Medieval Asia (forthcoming from University of Hawai’i Press).
Having studied in Taiwan, Japan, and the United States, and taught in China and Quebec before coming to Brown, Professor Moser endeavors to integrate the perspectives of diverse scholarly traditions in his teaching. He teaches an introductory course on the arts of Asia organized around the biographies of exemplary objects, as well as a wide range of other surveys and seminars. He also advises graduate students in all fields of Chinese art history.
He is affiliated with the Department of East Asian Studies, serves on the steering committees for the Program in Early Cultures and Program in Medieval Studies, and has collaborated with faculty in Anthropology, Religious Studies, and the Joukowsky Institute on a variety of teaching and research projects.
For more information on Professor Moser, please go to his University Research page.