Nam Kim

Professor of Anthropology, Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies

College of Letters and Science | Department of Anthropology

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Dr. Nam C. Kim is an anthropological archaeologist interested in early forms of governments, states, and cities. His work also explores the complex relationships between modern politics, descendant communities, cultural heritage, and the material record. He is also interested in the cultural contexts and social consequences of organized violence and warfare, as manifested in various cultural, spatial and temporal settings. Much of his recent fieldwork has been geographically focused on East and Southeast Asia, including excavations at the legendary capital of ancient Vietnam (known as Co Loa).


The Origins of Warfare

Is warfare as old as humanity? This lecture highlights anthropological research on warfare’s origins, providing a glimpse into past contexts in the deeper recesses of humanity’s past. It provides a tour around the world, considering select cases across space and time, from the Ice Ages to the present day.

The Origins of Ancient Vietnam

This lecture details ongoing archaeological fieldwork at Co Loa, one of the earliest cities of ancient Vietnam. Connected to colorful folk tales and legends describing it as an ancient capital, Co Loa dates to over two thousand years ago and is viewed as a pivotal foundation for Vietnamese civilization.

Politics, Archaeology, and Reconstructions of History

The past, whether real, tangible, embellished, or imagined, can be a powerful and alluring source of symbols, narratives, and ideas. This lecture explores the social contexts and political dimensions of practicing archaeology and reconstructing histories. It features research on ancient Vietnam as a backdrop.