Roel Sterckx

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Roel Sterckx FBA FRHistS (Chinese name 胡司德, pinyin Hú Sīdé) is a British/Flemish sinologist. He is the Joseph Needham Professor of Chinese History, Science, and Civilization in the University of Cambridge, and fellow and Director of Studies at Clare College. Sterckx was a pupil at Sint-Jan Berchmanscollege Mol (Belgium) and was educated at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, National Taiwan University, University of Cambridge (Clare Hall; Ph.D 1997) and University of Oxford (Wolfson College). He served as Secretary-General of the European Association for Chinese Studies (2006-2012). In 2013 he was elected Fellow of the British Academy.

Sterckx's research deals with the study of the classical and literary Chinese language; the cultural history, religion and thought of pre-imperial and early imperial China; and the history of Chinese agriculture. He has written on culinary culture, perceptions of the animal world and natural history in pre-modern China.


  • The Animal and the Daemon in Early China. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002.
  • Of Tripod and Palate: Food, Politics and Religion in Traditional China. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005.
  • A Bronze Menagerie: Mat Weights of Early China (Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum & University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006), with Michelle C. Wang, Eugene Wang, and Guolong Lai.
  • De l'Esprit aux Esprits: Enquête sur la notion de shen en Chine. Extrême-orient, Extrême-occident 29. Saint-Denis: Presses Universitaires de Vincennes, 2007; with Romain Graziani.
  • In the Fields of Shennong. Cambridge: Needham Research Institute, 2008.
  • Food, Sacrifice, and Sagehood in Early China. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011.
  • Energia vitale. Il cosmo nel pensiero cinese antico. Modena: Consorzio Festivalfilosofia, 2012.

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