Guo Jue

Jue Guo (郭珏)

Assistant Professor of Pre-Modern Chinese Civilization and Humanities; Co-Chair, Columbia Early China Seminar


Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures


Zoom Personal ID 212 854 9538
MW 1-2pm and by appointment


I am a social and cultural historian of Early China and my scholarly work lies at the intersection of history and archaeology. I use both historical sources and archaeological materials (settlement data and material culture, entombed objects, and excavated manuscripts) to understand past complex societies (terminus ante quemca. 3rd century CE), with a geographical focus on southern China. My research interests include regional history, social and identity formation, social and cultural memory, divination and sacrifice, conceptions of the dead, mortuary rituals, and everyday life in early societies, as well as how social and historical processes are theorized.

  • M.A. 2003 and Ph.D 2008, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Early China
  • B.A. 2001, Beijing University, Philosophy

At Barnard and Columbia, I teach undergraduate courses on Chinese civilization, major texts from East Asian traditions, and graduate courses on early Chinese history and excavated manuscripts.

  • BC1339 FYS        Buried Past: Object and History
  • ASCE UN1359     Introduction to East Asian Civilizations: China
  • AHUM UN1400   Colloquium on Major Texts: East Asia
  • EAAS UG4202    The Dead in Ancient China: Conceptions and Practices
  • HSEA GR5013     Readings in Early Chinese Texts and Manuscripts 
  • HSEA GR 6832   Theorizing Pre-modern China: Topics and Approaches
  • HSEA GR9844    Archaeology of Everyday Lifeworld in Early China


Becoming Chu: A Deep History of Identity Formation in Early China (forthcoming

“The Life and Afterlife of a Western Han “Covered Mirror” from the Tomb of Marquis of Haihun (59 B.C.E.).” Special Issue on History of Material Culture, guest edited by Dorothy Ko, Journal of Chinese History中國歷史學刊3.2 (2019), 203-232. 

“Western Han Funerary Relocation Documents and the Making of the Dead in Early Imperial China.” Bamboo and Silk2.1(2019): 141-273. 

“The Spirit World.” Routledge Handbook of Early Chinese History, edited by Paul R. Goldin. New York: Routledge, 2018, 229-261. 

“A Hybrid Talismanic Manuscript: the 340 CE ‘Pine Man’ Wooden Tablet.” “Manuscript of the Month” for the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures (CSMC) at Universität Hamburg, Germany, January, 2015.

“Qin Han chutu wenxian zhong de ‘zhisi’ yu ‘shisi’: yige jiyu “xingcheng kuangjia’ de shi fenxi ji fangfalun shang de sikao” 秦漢出土文獻中的知死事死”—一個基於形成框架的試分析及方法論上的思Jianbo簡帛, vol.8 (2013): 49-67. 

 “Divination.” The Blackwell Companion to Chinese Religions, ed., Randall L. Nadeau. Blackwell, 2012: 419-440. 

 “Concepts of Death and the Afterlife Reflected in Newly Discovered Tomb Objects and Texts from Han China.”  In Amy L. Olberding and Philip J. Ivanhoe, eds., Mortality in Traditional Chinese Thought. Albany: SUNY, 2011, 85-115. 

Review of Catherine Churchman, The People between The Rivers: The Rise and Fall of a Bronze Drum Culture, 200-750 CEChoice, Vol. 54 No. 10 (June 2017).

Review of Wiebke Denecke, The Dynamics of Masters Literature: Early Chinese Thought from Confucius to Han FeiziPhilosophy East and West 64:1 (January 2014), 240-249.

Review of Michael Nylan and Thomas Wilson, Lives of ConfuciusPhilosophy East and West, 62:3 (July, 2012): 429-433.

Review of Yuri Pines, Foundations of Confucian Thought: Intellectual Life in the Chunqiu Period, 722-453 B.C.E.Pacific Affairs (Summer 2003): 292-4.

EALAC, Columbia (

The Early China Seminar at Tang Center for Early China at Columbia (http://tangcenter-

Publications in PDFS available at