Nam C. Kim is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US. He is an anthropological archaeologist interested in sociopolitical complexity, early forms of cities, and the relationship between modern politics, cultural heritage, and the material record. He is especially interested in the cultural contexts and social consequences of organized violence and warfare, as manifested in various cultural and temporal settings.
Much of his recent research has been geographically focused on East and Southeast Asia, and he conducts collaborative fieldwork in Vietnam at the Co Loa settlement of the first millennium BCE. A heavily fortified site located near modern-day Hanoi, Co Loa is purportedly connected to Vietnamese legendary accounts and is viewed by many as integral to the genesis of Vietnamese civilization. Aside from its national significance, the case of Co Loa is salient for archaeological theory as it constitutes one of the earliest cases for both state formation and urbanism in Southeast Asia.
His publications include The Origins of Ancient Vietnam (2015, Oxford University Press) and Emergent Warfare in Our Evolutionary Past (with Marc Kissel, 2018, Routledge).