Assistant Professor; Co-Chair, Columbia Early China Seminar
Office: 317 Milbank Hall
Office Hours: W 4:00-6:00 or by appointment
Phone: (212) 854-9538
BA: Beijing University (’01)
MA: University of Wisconsin-Madison (’03)
PhD: University of Wisconsin-Madison (’08)
ASCE UN1359 Introduction to East Asian Civilizations: China
AH UN1400 Colloquium on Major Texts: East Asia
HSEA GR9844 Archaeology of Everyday Lifeworld in Early China
Cultural Archaeology, Religion, Society, and Material Culture in Early and Medieval China, Funerary Rituals and Burial Practices, Microhistory and Object Biographies
I specialize in Early China, especially from the Warring States period to Han times (5th century B.C.E.-3rd century C.E.). My research interests are primarily in ritual practices, material culture, and social, religious, and cultural history of early societies. Using both received history and archaeological sources, I am interested in looking at the intersection and interaction between writing and object, and studying topics including divination, sacrifice, spirits, the dead and death rituals, tombs and burials, and everyday life in early to medieval China from anthropological and historical perspectives, as well as the way they are theorized in comparative studies.
I am currently finishing my first book manuscript, titled A Life on Display: Reconstructing the Worlds of a Chu Official in Early China, an attempt at providing a microhistorical and biographical account of an individual from Early China. I examine how this fourth-century B.C.E. high-ranking minister of the Warring States Kingdom of Chu, Shao Tuo, navigated and negotiated the social, political, personal, and religious realms of his lifeworlds, using the materials excavated from his intact tomb, known as the Baoshan Tomb 2 (dated to 316 B.C.E.) in combination with other archaeological sources and received literature.
Concurrently I am also working a few article-length studies of figurative representations from Neolithic to Medieval China; funerary talismanic objects from 5th century B.C.E. to 5th century C.E. China, and the concepts of and practices regarding the dead in ancient China.
A Life of Display: Reconstructing the Worlds of a Chu Official in Early China (forthcoming)
“‘Knowledge of Death’ and ‘Serving the Dead’ in Qin and Han Excavated Texts: A Preliminary Analysis Based on ‘Frame works’ and a Methodological Discussion” (2013, in Chinese)
“Concepts of Death and the Afterlife Reflected in Newly Discovered Tomb Objects and Texts from Han China” (2011)