Constance Cook

Williams Hall, Room 484
PhD, University of California, Berkeley


The study of excavated texts from ancient China.

Professor Constance Cook, PhD University of California, Berkeley, specializes in the study of excavated texts from ancient China. Her books and articles focus on the examination of these texts in the context of material culture and what they can tell us about belief systems and local practices. She teaches courses on Chinese language, literature, and culture. She was awarded the Class of 1961 Professorship as well as fellowships from International Consortium for Research in the Humanities"Fate, Freedom and Prognostication. Strategies for Coping with the Future in East Asia and Europe"at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Selected recent publications:

Forthcoming, Birth in Ancient China. Co-authored with Luo Xinhui. SUNY Press

Forthcoming, Stalk Images: An Alternative to the I-ching. Co-authored with Zhao Lu. Oxford University Press.

Ancestors, Kings, and the Dao. Harvard University Asian Center. 2017

 History of Ancient China. With J. Major. Routledge Press. 2016

A Sourcebook of Ancient Chinese Bronze Inscriptions. Ed. & written with P. Goldin. Society for the Study of Early China Monograph 7. 2016

Forthcoming, “A Case of Gu 蠱Poisoning in the Fourth Century BCE?”  East Asian Science Technology and Medicine.

“Mu yu Dao de juxiang” 母与道的具象. Guanzi xuekan 管子学刊 2015.1: 80- 82.

“Pre-Han Healing.” T.J. Hinrichs & Linda L. Barnes, eds. Chinese Medicine and Healing An Illustrated History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, 2013. Pp. 5-29.

“Wenben de qi yi, ‘sheng’ yu ‘xing’” 文本的歧義, ‘生’與‘性’, Jianbo, gudian, gushi. Chen Zhi, ed.  Shanghai: Shnghai guji, 2013. Pp. 329-344.

“Chu xianzu de dansheng gushi” 楚先祖的誕生故事. Xian Qin shi yanjiu dongtai 先秦史研究動態 2013.2: 28-45. Revised version in Luo Yunhuan, ed. Chu jian Chu wenhua yu xian Qin lishi wenhua guoji xueshu yantaohui lunwenji 楚簡楚文化與先秦歷史文化國際敘述研討會論文集. Wuhan: Hubei jiaoyu, 2013, 134-155.

 “The Ambiguity of Text, Birth and Nature.” Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 12 (June 2013) 2: 161-178.

“Qinghua jian ‘Baoxun’ zhong de ‘xun’ ji gudai zhuanbo ‘xun’ de fangfa” ‘保訓’中的‘訓’及古代轉播‘訓’的方法.Qinghua daxue zang Zhanguo zhujian (yi) guoji xueshu yantaohui huiyi lunwenji 清華大學藏戰國竹簡 (壹)國際學術研討會會議論文集 . Qinghua jian 1 (2012): 74-83. 

“Sage King Yu & the Bin Gong xu.” Early China 35 (2012-2013):  69-103.“Education and the Way of the Former Kings.” F. Li & D. Branner, eds. Literacy in Ancient China. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2011. Pp. 302- 336.

“Ancestor worship during the Eastern Zhou.” Early Chinese Religion: Part One: Shang through Han (1250 BC-220 AD). J. Lagerwey and M. Kalinowski. Leiden: Brill. Pp. 237-79.

Death in Ancient China: The Tale of One Man’s Journey. Leiden: Brill Press (2006).

“From Bone to Bamboo: Number Sets and Mortuary Ritual.” Journal of  Oriental Studies 41.1: 1-40. (2006)

“Moonshine and Millet: Feasting and Purification Rituals in Ancient China.” Chapter One in Of Tripod and Palate: Food and Religion in Traditional China.  Roel Sterckx, ed. New York: Palgrave. Pp. 9-33. (2005)

Defining Chu: Image and Reality in Ancient China. Ed. with J. Major, University of Hawaii Press. (1999)

“Myth and Fragments of a Qin Yi text: A Research Note and Translation.”  Journal of Chinese Religions 26 (1998): 135-143.

“Wealth and the Western Zhou.” The Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 60 (1997) 2: 253-294.

Besides Chinese language courses, Cook teaches:

ASIA/MLL/WS 73 “Film, Fiction, and Gender in Modern China"

ASIA/HIST/MLL 75 "Chinese Civilization"

ASIA/MLL 90 "Dreaming in Premodern China"

ASIA/MLL/REL 97 "Monkey Business"

ASIA/MLL 165 “Love and Revolution in Shanghai”

ASIA/MLL 125 “Immortal Images: Traditional Chinese Literature”