Nam Kim
Nam C. Kim

Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago, 2010
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
At UW-Madison since 2010


Affiliations: Center for East Asian Studies; Center for Southeast Asian Studies


As an anthropological archaeologist, my research focuses on social evolution, political centralization and factors leading to sociopolitical complexity. As such, I am concerned with how different variables operate in the formation of complex polities and ancient states, factors such as ecology, trade interaction, agent-based strategies, ideology, coercive power, and warfare. With an additional background in political science and international affairs, I am also interested in using interdisciplinary approaches to elucidate the causes and social consequences of warfare and organized violence in various spatial and temporal settings. Currently, my research is geographically focused on Southeast Asia and specifically Vietnam. Since 2007, I have been conducting ongoing archaeological fieldwork at the Co Loa site of Vietnam's Red River Delta. A heavily fortified, proto-urban site located near modern-day Hanoi, Co Loa is one of the largest prehistoric sites in Southeast Asia, and it may have been the seat of an early state-level society during the Iron Age. Ultimately, I plan to use the Co Loa case study as a starting point for cross-cultural research regarding warfare and social evolution both in Southeast Asia and worldwide.


Anth 100: General Anthropology Anth 102: Archaeology and the Prehistoric World
Anth 310: Topics in Archaeology

Anth 490: Undergraduate Seminar

Anth 942: Graduate Seminar
Select Publications

Kim, Nam. 2013. Lasting monuments and durable institutions: Labor, urbanism, and statehood in northern Vietnam and beyond. Journal of Archaeological Research 21(3), pp. 217-267.

Kim, Nam. 2012. Angels, Illusions, Hydras, and Chimeras: Violence and Humanity. Book review essay of The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker and The Western Illusion of Human Nature by Marshall Sahlins. Reviews in Anthropology 41(4), pp. 239-272.

Kim, Nam, Lai Van Toi, and Trinh Hoang Hiep. 2010. Co Loa: An investigation of Vietnam's ancient capital. Antiquity 84, pp. 1011-1027.

Kim, Nam and Chapurukha Kusimba. 2008. Pathways to Social Complexity and State Formation in the Southern Zambezian Region. African Archaeological Review 25, pp. 131-152.

Kim, Nam and Lawrence Keeley. 2008. Social Violence and War. In Encyclopedia of Archaeology, edited by Deborah Pearsall, San Diego, Elsevier Academic Press, pp. 2053-2064.

Curriculum Vitae

Nam C. Kim CV


Office: 5438 Sewell Social Science Bldg.
Office phone: (608) 262-2187
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