East Asian Studies
Department Chair:
Sheila Miyoshi Jager

Administrative Assistant:
Amy Redden

Department Email:

Phone: (440) 775-8313
Fax: (440) 775-6565

Peters Hall, Room 316
50 N. Professor St.
Oberlin, OH, 44074

Bonnie Cheng

Bonnie Cheng

Department Co-Chair, Associate Professor of Art History and East Asian Studies

Contact Information


Allen Art Building 131
(440) 775-8673

Personal Office Hours:
Tuesday & Thursday 11:00-12:30pm

Educational Background

  • Bachelor of Arts, Bryn Mawr College, 1991
  • Master of Arts, University of Chicago, 1996
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Chicago, 2003

Bonnie Cheng is a joint appointment in the Department of Art and Department of East Asian Studies. She teaches courses in Chinese and Japanese art, from ancient to modern. Topical classes include courses on imperial Chinese painting and ceramics, ukiyo-e, and modern Chinese Art. Thematic courses explore Monuments, Death and Dying in East Asia, and perspectives on Cultural Property. She has also taught a course for the FYSP entitled, "Contested Sites: the Politics of Art and Space."


Her research explores innovative modes of production, materiality, artistic exchange, and the construction of political and social identities in early medieval Chinese funerary art. She focuses primarily on the intersection of competing media and motivations of the living and dead within tomb space. She has published several articles on tomb figurines, architecture, and murals, including an article on the mid-6th century tomb of a Rouran princess in Archives of Asian Art (2007); an invited essay on circumventing imperial burial prescriptions in the tomb of Li Xian in Yishu yu kexue [Art and Science] (2007); an article theorizing artistic exchange in Ars Orientalis (2010); an invited chapter on mingqi for the Blackwell Companion to Asian Art (2011), and an essay on a renewed perspective on stone in Studies in Ancient Tomb Art (2011), among others. She is completing a manuscript entitled, The Status of Authority: Tombs and Political Spaces of the Northern Dynasties, which explores tombs of rulers and military officials and considers the role of ethnicity and political expediency in the appropriation and adaptation of cultural traditions. Her work has been supported by grants from the Fulbright-Hays DDRA, the Committee for Scholarly Communication with China, the National Endowment for the Humanities and American Council of Learned Societies.


2013-2014 Courses:

Arts 152 - Approaches to Chinese & Japanese Art

Arts 355 - The Art of Japanese Prints

Arts 466 - Cultural Property




Sign up for office hours here!