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Assistant Professor of Chinese History and Religion

Scott Hall, Room 341
College Avenue Campus

Office Hours: T and F   10:45-11:15 AM | by appointment

Office Phone Number: 848-932-6478



Professor Choo is a cultural historian specializing in medieval China (ca. 200–1000 CE). She began teaching Chinese History and Religion at Rutgers in 2012 and has previously taught at Villanova University and University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her recent research centers on four interrelated areas: death and commemorative rituals, epigraphy (especially the entombed epitaphs also known as muzhiming), memory and identity, and gender and religion. She is currently finishing two book length monographs. The first, “Inscribing Death: Burials, Texts and Remembrance in Late Medieval China, 500-1000 CE”, examines the transformations of ancestor worship and the constructions of identity and memory that resulted from the wide dissemination of Buddhist ideas. The second, “Blood Debts: Childbirth, Filial Piety, and Women’s Salvation in Chinese Religions, 500–1500 CE,” traces the development and popularization of various soteriologies centered on women’s menstruation and partuation blood and their social impacts. She is also a co-editor of Early Medieval China: A Sourcebook (Columbia University Press, 2014) and The Taiping Guangji 太平廣記 (Extensive Records of the Taiping Reign): A Reader in Tang Sources (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co., forthcoming).


  • Ph.D. Princeton University, 2009
  • M.A. Princeton University, 2003
  • M.A. University of Toronto, 1998
  • B.A. University of Rochester, 1997

Areas of Specialization

  • Cultural Memory
  • Medieval Epigraphy
  • Ritual Theory and Practice
  • Women and Gender



Selected Articles and Book Chapters

  • “That 'Fatty Lump': Discourses on the Fetus, Fetal Development, and Filial Piety in China Before the Eleventh Century CE” in Nan Nü: Men, Women and Gender in Early and Imperial China 14.2 (2012): 177-221.
  • “Return to the North? — The Debate on Moving the Capital Back to Luoyang” in Early Medieval China: A Sourcebook, edited by Wendy Swartz, Robert F. Campany, Yang Lu, and Jessey J.C. Choo (Columbia University Press, 2014), 17-31.
  • “Between Imitation and Mockery: The Southern Perspectives on the Northern Cultures” in Early Medieval China: A Sourcebook, edited by Wendy Swartz, Robert F. Campany, Yang Lu, and Jessey J.C. Choo (Columbia University Press, 2014), 60-76.
  • “Adoption and Motherhood: The Petition Submitted by Lady [neé] Yu” in Early Medieval China: A Sourcebook, edited by Wendy Swartz, Robert F. Campany, Yang Lu, and Jessey J.C. Choo (Columbia University Press, 2014), 511-529.
  • “Shall We Profane the Service of the Dead?— Burial Divination and Remembrance in Late MedievalMuzhiming” in T’ang Studies 33 (2015): 1-37.

Courses Taught

  • Chinese Classics and Thought (01:165:220)
  • Interdisciplinary Topics in East Asia (01:165:322)
  • Introduction to Chinese Civilization (01:165:125)
  • Religious Themes in East Asian Literature (01:165:322)
  • Early “China” in the World: Cosmography, Epistemology & Encountering the Strange (01:165: 471/01:214:529 )
  • Silk Road: A History of Cultural and Material Exchanges (01:165:473 / 16:217:511)
  • Pro-Seminar II: Research Methodology (16:217:502)
  • Pro-Seminar I: Critical Approaches To East (16:217:501)

Selected Awards and Distinctions

  • University of Missouri Research Board Grant, 2011-2012
  • Research Grant for Foreign Scholar in Chinese Studies, Center for Chinese Studies at Taiwan National Central Library, 2012, 2008
  • Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, 2005-2006

Contact Us

changduk palace v1Asian Languages and Cultures

Scott Hall
Room 330 43 College Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Phone: 732-932-7605
Fax: 732-932-7926
E-mail: Susan Humphrey, Program Coordinator