Robin McNeal

Associate Professor


Robin McNeal received both his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Washington (1995, 2000), majoring in ancient Chinese history. His teaching at Cornell includes classical Chinese language, text studies, and history and thought of the pre-imperial and early imperial eras.

Robin McNeal's current research focuses on myth and narrative in traditional and contemporary China. He is currently the Director of the Cornell Contemporary China Initiative (CCCI).

Research Focus

  • Chinese Literature
  • Early Chinese intellectual history
  • Chinese archaeology


  • Conquer and Govern: Early Chinese Military Texts from the Yi Zhou shu. University of Hawaii Press, June, 2012.
  • "Spatial Models of the State in Early Chinese Texts: Tribute Networks and the Articulation of Power and Authority in Shangshu 尚書 "Yu gong" 禹貢 and Yi Zhou shu 逸周書 "Wang hui"  王會"in Origins of Chinese Political Thought: Studies in the Classic of Documents, Martin Kern and Dirk Meyer, ed. Expected 2016.
  • "Moral Transformation and Local Identity: Reviving the Culture of Shun at Temples and Monuments across China," Modern China 2014 (Online First: DOI: 10.1177/0097700414550145), 1-30.
  • "Erligang Contacts South of the Yangzi: The Expansion of Interaction Networks in Early Bronze Age Hunan," in Art and Archaeology of the Erligang Civilization, ed. Kyle Steinke with Dora C.Y. Ching. P.Y and Kinmay W. Tang Center for East Asian Art, in association with Princeton University Press, 2014, 173-187.
  • "Constructing Myth in Modern China," Journal of Asian Studies Volume 71 issue 3 (August), 2012, 679-704.
  • "Returning to the Canon: A Review of Michael Nylan, The Five "Confucian" Classics," Early China 29 (2004), 213-245.
  • "The Development of Naturalist Thought in Ancient China: A Review of Allyn Rickett's Guanzi," Early China 28 (2003), 161-200.
  • "The Body as Metaphor for the Civil and Martial Components of Empire in Yi Zhou shu 32; with an Excursion on the Composition and Structure of the Yi Zhou shu." In Journal of the American Oriental Society vol. 122.1 (January - March 2002), 46-60.

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