Xinru Liu is currently employed at The College of New Jersey as an associate professor of early Indian history and world history, and has held since 1993 a full professorship at the Institute of World History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Born in 1951 she had little formal schooling but instead worked as a peasant farmer and then as a factory worker during the cultural revolution. She taught herself English and history and gained admittance to the University of Pennsylvania where she earned a PhD in 1985 for work on Ancient Indian and Chinese History. Her PhD was published by Oxford University Press as Ancient India and Ancient China: Trade and Religious Exchanges, A.D. 1-600 (1988). She has written many books on Indian and Chinese history.
Xinru Liu has won a Grant from American Association of University Women, 1984, a Grant from Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1990. Her book, "Ancient India and Ancient China: Trade and Religious Exchanges, A.D. 1-600" won the award for Outstanding Research Works done between 1977-1991 from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. She is a member of the American Association of Asian Studies, The American Historical Association, and the World History Association.
Her most recent work is Dionysus and drama in the Buddhist art of Gandhara written jointly with Pia Brancaccio and published in the Journal of Global History.
- Ancient India and Ancient China: Trade and Religious Exchanges, A.D. 1-600 (1988)
- A Social History of Ancient India, Beijing: the Publisher of Chinese Social Sciences (1990)
- Studies on Monarchism and Despotism in the Ancient World (1993)
- Silk and Religion—An Exploration of Material Life and the Thought of People in A.D. 600-1200 (1996)
- The Silk Road, in the series of Essays on Global and Comparative History (1998)
- Connections Across Eurasia: Transportation, Communication, and Cultural Exchange on the Silk Roads (2007)
- “Republics in Ancient India,” World History, Beijing, 1996, no.3.
- “A Study of Primitive Democracy,” Historiography Quarterly, Beijing, 1997 no.2.
- “Origin of the Caste System in South Asia,” Historiography Quarterly, Beijing, 1998, no.2.
- “Social Mobility in the Caste System in South Asia,” Historiography Quarterly, Beijing, 1999, no. 4.
- “Silk, Robes and Relations between Early Chinese Dynasties and Nomads beyond the Great Wall,” in Robes and honor: the Medieval World of Investiture, ed. Steward Gordon, St. Martin’s press.
- “Migration and Settlement of the Yuezhi-Kushan : Interaction and Interdependence of Nomadic and Sedentary Societies,” the Journal of World History, Fall 2001.
- “Trade and Pilgrimage Routes from Afghanistan to Taxila, Mathura and the Ganges Plains,” Hindistan Turk Tarihi Arastirmalari, The Journal of Indo-Turcica, no.1, 2001, 113-140.
- Book Review of Ancient India and Ancient China: Trade and Religious Exchanges, A.D. 1-600 by Jagdish P. Sharma The American Historical Review, Vol. 96, No. 1 (Feb., 1991), pp. 229-230
- Book Review of Ancient India and Ancient China: Trade and Religious Exchanges, A.D. 1-600 in Indian Economic Social History Review 1989; 26; 121 Book Review by Shereen Ratnagar
- Dionysus and drama in the Buddhist art of Gandhara Pia Brancaccio and Xinru Liu Journal of Global History, Volume 4, Issue 02, July 2009, pp 219-244