• Peng Liu
  • Peng Liu
  • Assistant Teaching Professor
  • Specialty: Chinese
  • Office: Scott Hall 337

Before coming to the United States, Dr. Liu received his first doctorate in medieval Chinese Buddhism and literature from Fudan University in China. His first dissertation, Discursive Powers in Liang Dynasty Biographies of Eminent Monks and Nuns, reveals the presence of multiple voices in two Buddhist hagiographies from the Liang dynasty (502–557). By demonstrating how the sovereign, literati class, and monk historians exerted their writing powers to influence the formation of these works, his study highlights the collective nature of authorship undergirding Chinese Buddhist hagiographic literature.

At Columbia University, Dr. Liu’s research focus shifted to the dynamic relationship between vernacular literature and religion in late imperial China. His current book project, based on his second dissertation, is tentatively titled The Way of Darkness and Light: Daoist Divine Women in Pre-Modern Chinese Fiction. It takes an interdisciplinary approach to literature, Daoism, as well as women’s and gender studies, investigating how late imperial Chinese fiction and drama popularized Daoist goddess cults that would otherwise have been marginalized or forgotten. 

Prior to joining Rutgers, Dr. Liu taught several courses, including “The Fantastic in Pre-Modern China: Ghosts, Animals, and Other Worlds” and “East Asian Buddhism,” at Columbia 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, cultural, and temporal boundaries.


  • Ph.D. Columbia University
  • M.Phil. Columbia University
  • Ph.D. Fudan University
  • M.A. Soochow University
  • B.A. Soochow University

 Areas of Specialization

  • Daoist Ritual
  • Late Imperial Chinese Fiction and Drama
  • Medieval Chinese Buddhist Hagiographies

Courses Taught

  • Byrne Seminar: East Asian Buddhism (01:090:101:29)
  • Byrne Seminar: The Supernatural in East Asia (01:090:101:29)
  • Chinese Classics & Thought: Confucianism, Daoism & Buddhism (01:165:220)
  • Classical Chinese Popular Fiction & Drama in Translation (01:165:242)
  • East Asian Civilizations: Pre-Modern Era (01:098:241)
  • East Asian Civilizations: Modern Era (01:098:242 / 01:214:242)
  • History of Chinese Literature: Beginnings to 1300 (01:165:461 / 16:217:520)
  • History of Chinese Literature: 1300-1900 (01:165:462 / 16:217:521)
  • Introduction to Chinese Civilization (01:165:215)
  • Pro-Seminar I: Critical Approaches to East Asian Studies (16:217:501)
  • Pro-Seminar II: Research Methodology (16:217:502)
  • Seminar on East Asian Societies (01:098:444)
  • Special Topics in East Asian Languages and Cultures (16:217:598)

Selected Publications

Book Chapter:

  • “Religion in Liaozhai zhiyi,” in Approaches to Teaching Liaozhai’s Chronicles of the Strange, edited by Rania Huntington and Roland Altenburger, Modern Language Association, under review

Journal Articles:

  • “Seeking the Dharma on the World Stage: Lü Bicheng and the Revival of Buddhism in the Early Twentieth Century,” Religions 2019, 10 (10), 558 (20 pages); doi: 10.3390/rel10100558
  • “‘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
  • “Chinese Buddhist Writings on Vegetarianism in the Fifth and Sixth Centuries” 五、六世紀中國佛教徒的素食觀及其書寫, Zhongguoxue yanjiu 中國學研究 (Chinese Studies), 11 (2008): 296-303
  • “The Reception of Bodhisattva Guanyin Among the Literati in the Wu and Yue Regions During the Six Dynasties” 論六朝吳越本土士人對觀音信仰的接受, Zhongguoxue yanjiu 中國學研究 (Chinese Studies), 10 (2007): 63-70
  • “Chanting With Rigor: Monk Poetry During the Mid- to Late Tang Dynasty” 中晚唐苦吟格局中的僧詩, Chongqing youdian daxue xuebao 重慶郵電大學學報 (Journal of Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications), 2 (2007): 102-107
  • “Inheritance and Departure: Interpretations of Huang Tingjian’s Song Lyrics on Fishermen” 繼承與背離:黃庭堅“漁父家風”詞闡釋, Guji yanjiu 古籍研究 (Studies of Pre-Modern Chinese Texts), 1 (2006): 232-239 (first author with Shijin Luo)
  • “On Tang-Song Examination Essays” 唐宋時文考論, Wenyi lilun yanjiu 文藝理論研究 (Theoretical Studies in Literature and Art), 4 (2004): 63-71 (authored with Shijin Luo)
  • “On the Authorship of Collection of the Dressing Case” 《香奩集》歸屬問題考論, Jiangsu daxue xuebao 江蘇大學學報 (Journal of Jiangsu University), 3 (2004): 56-60
  • “Poetic Exchanges Between the Songling Poets in the Xiantong Reign of the Tang Dynasty” 咸通松陵詩人群酬唱述論, Zhanjiang haiyang daxue xuebao 湛江海洋大學學報 (Journal of Zhanjiang Ocean University), 2 (2004): 63-70

Book Reviews:

  • Review of Maram Epstein, Orthodox Passions: Narrating Filial Love during the High Qing (Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2019), The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 82, No. 3 (August 2023), 441-444
  • Review of I-Hsien Wu, Eroticism and Other Literary Conventions in Chinese Literature: Intertextuality in The Story of the Stone (Amherst: Cambria Press, 2017), The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 78, No. 3 (August 2019), 665-667
  • 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

Edited Volume:

Translations (from English into Chinese):

  • 艾朗諾 (Ronald Egan), 海底數沙:兩宋之際對於書籍和學問的認知改變 (“To Count Grains of Sand on the Ocean Floor: Changing Perceptions of Books and Learning in the Song Dynasty”), Zhongguo yunwen xuekan 中國韻文學刊 (Journal of Chinese Verse Studies), 3 (2023), 108-118
  • 艾朗諾 (Ronald Egan), 美的焦慮:北宋士大夫的審美思想與追求 (The Problem of Beauty: Aesthetic Thought and Pursuits in Northern Song Dynasty China), Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 2013, Chapters 2 & 3, 45-119

Selected Awards and Distinctions

  • Open and Affordable Textbook Program Award, Rutgers University
  • L. Carrington Goodrich Fellowship in Chinese, Columbia University
  • Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation Doctoral Fellowships
  • The Mellon Humanities International Travel Fellowship, Columbia University