skip to content

Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

East Asian Studies
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in Chinese Studies
Gulbenkian Junior Research Fellow, Churchill College
Email address: 
Fellow of: 
Churchill College
Avital Rom, Dr Avital Rom
I research early Chinese cultural history, with a focus on the social and political aspects of hearing, sound, and silence in early China (roughly 4th century BCE – 2nd century AD).
I earned my BA in East Asian Studies (2013) from Tel-Aviv University; and my MPhil (2015) and PhD (2020) in Chinese Studies from the University of Cambridge, under the supervision of Professor Roel Sterckx. Following my graduation, I held postdoctoral positions at the Needham Research Institute, Cambridge (2021) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2021-22). My research to date has been published in the peer-reviewed journals Early China (CUP, 2017) and the Journal of Chinese Military History (Brill, 2020, winner of the Edward L. Dreyer prize for the best article in Chinese military history by an early career-scholar). 
Currently, I am finalising the manuscript for a monograph based on her doctoral dissertation, titled Polyphonic Thinking: Music and Authority in Early China (upcoming, Brill). The study examines the rhetorical and political functions of music in the Warring States (453-221 BCE) and Western Han (206 BCE – 9 CE) periods. I am further researching the social history of deafness in early China; and editing a volume on the history of disability in ancient China, titled Other Bodies: Disability and Bodily Impairment in Early China (upcoming, Routledge). 
Teaching responsibilities: 

I have been supervising and teaching courses at the Department of Chinese, University of Cambridge, since 2016. During the 2022-23 academic year, I will teach and supervise Classical Chinese (first and second year), Chinese Art and Material Culture, and Chinese Dynastic History.

Research interests: 

Various topics in early Chinese historiography (esp. Warring States and Han periods), including intellectual history, cultural history, disability history, music and politics, and philosophical thought. 

Undergraduate courses taught