Avital Rom

Dr. Avital Rom

Frieberg Post-Doctoral Fellow, 2021-2022


Avital Rom is a Louis Frieberg Postdoctoral Fellow during the autumn-winter semester of the academic year 2021-22. She earned her BA in East Asian Studies (2013) from Tel-Aviv University; and her MPhil (2015) and PhD (2020) in Chinese Studies from the University of Cambridge. 


Her research focuses on the social and political aspects of hearing, sound, and silence in early China (particularly the Warring States and Western Han periods). Her doctoral dissertation, titled Polyphonic Thinking: Music and Authority in Early China, examined the rhetorical and political functions of music in the Warring States (453-221 BCE) and Western Han (206 BCE – 9 CE) periods. Currently, she researches 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. She is also finalising the manuscript of a monograph based on her doctoral dissertation. 


Dr Rom has been teaching Classical Chinese at the University of Cambridge since 2016. This semester, she is teaching an MA course titled ‘Music and Political Authority in Chinese History – From the Warring States to Early Medieval Times.’ Her publications include the articles ‘Echoing Rulership: Understanding Musical References in the Huainanzi’ (Early China, 2017) and ‘Beat the Drums or Break Them: Bells and Drums as Communication Devices in Early Chinese Warfare’ (Journal of Chinese Military History, 2020).