Faculty Profiles

peng liu

Assistant Teaching Professor


Dr. Liu’s research focuses on the dynamic relationship between vernacular literature and religion in late imperial China. His current book project, The Way of Darkness and Light: Daoist Divine Women in Pre-Modern Chinese Fiction, takes an interdisciplinary approach to Chinese literature, religion, and gender studies, investigating how late imperial Chinese fiction and drama popularized Daoist goddess cults that would otherwise have been marginalized or forgotten. Before joining Rutgers, Dr. Liu taught several courses at Columbia University as a teaching scholar. In the same way that interdisciplinary insights enrich his research, one of his goals in teaching is to help students break down existing disciplinary and cultural boundaries.


  • Ph.D. Columbia University
  • Ph.D. Fudan University

Areas of Specialization

  • Fiction and Drama in Late Imperial China
  • Chinese Buddhist Hagiographies
  • Daoist Magic

Courses Taught

  • East Asian Civilizations: Modern Era (01:214:242 / 01:098:242)
  • History of Chinese Literature: 1300–1900 (01:165:462 / 16:217:521)
  • Classical Chinese Popular Fiction & Drama in Translation (01:165:242)

Selected Publications

  • “‘Conceal My Body So That I Can Protect the State’: The Making of the Mysterious Woman in Daoism and Water Margin,” Ming Studies, 74 (2016): 48–71
  • Review of Mark Meulenbeld, Demonic Warfare: Daoism, Territorial Networks, and the History of a Ming Novel (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2015), Ming Studies, 74 (2016): 87–91

Selected Awards and Distinctions

  • L. Carrington Goodrich Fellowship in Chinese, Columbia University
  • Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation Doctoral Fellowships
  • The Mellon Humanities International Travel Fellowship, Columbia University