Academic Background: I studied Sinology and English Philology/Cultural Studies at Freie Universität Berlin (FU) Berlin (1988-1995), including two years of Chinese language and literature studies at Fudan University, Shanghai. I received my MA-Degree with the thesis “The Long March of Rock ‘n’ Roll: Pop- and Rock Music in the People’s Republic of China.” Afterwards, I continued to explore my interest in modern Chinese history and culture in the PhD project “Between Entertainment and Revolution: Gramophones and the Early Chinese Music Industry in Shanghai, 1878-1937.” Simultaneously, I was employed at the Department of Sinology, FU Berlin, to organize and contribute to a long-term international (archival) research project on the Sino-German Relations, 1897-1997. I received my PhD degree in 2003.
My research in a nutshell: My research focuses on aspects of modern Chinese history, with an emphasis on the cultural industries, especially the entanglements and (global) transfers of (media) technology and (musical) sound. More recently, I began to combine my interest in Shanghai history with the sonic dimension of cultural politics and production, propaganda and memory studies. Eager to learn and explore Chinese sounds in the past and present, I organized the international conference “China Sounds Abroad” (2021) at Aarhus University, amongst others. Together with MSO-Prof. Wulf Kansteiner I also work on the Velux-funded project “Sounds of War: The Memory of World War II in Taiwan, East Germany and Denmark, 1945-2015.”
What is your favorite book? I have not one favorite book, but among those I recently read I really enjoyed Ha Jin’s The Banished Immortal: A life of Li Bai (New York: Pantheon Book 2019). Ha Jin (b. 1956) is a poet and novelist, who lives in the US and teaches at Boston University. I also appreciate his early masterpiece Waiting (1999) and other works, but The Banished Immortal strikes me as a combination of scholarship, interpretation and creative writing. In the book, Ha Jin literally walks with Li Bai (701-762) through China, based on his most famous heritage: the poems (included in both Chinese and English translation). Li was a strong character, a restless person, a heavy wine drinker, who sought government employment all his life. Ha Jin creates a very nuanced and lively portrait of this “pop star,” invites the reader to explore life during the Tang Dynasty, and learn to appreciate Chinese poetry. Beautifully written, one can appreciate it as a biography and as a novel, while contemplating about the artist in Chinese history.
My research in a nutshell: I am a Senior Teaching Associate Professor of Chinese at the University of Aarhus, Denmark. I received her BA in English Literature and Language from East China Normal University, Shanghai, China; MSc in IT, Language Learning and Teaching from the University of Aarhus, Denmark; and PhD in Teacher Education from Aalborg University, Denmark. My recent research interests are in the field of Chinese language education, including applied Chinese linguistics, pedagogy, and Chinese language teachers’ identities. I have published more than twenty research papers in peer-reviewed journals including International Journal of Chinese Language Teaching, Global Chinese (De Gruyter), Sprogforum, Brill Sense, Palgrave Macmillan.
Favorite place in China: My favourite city is Shanghai. It’s my home city, where I was born and grew up. It is a metropolitan city full of dynamics and vitality. It is a popular tourist destination renowned for its historical and contemporary landmarks, such as, The Bund, City God Temple, and Yu Garden, and the extensive Pudong skyline, many skyscrapers and many major museums and musical halls. Another wonderful thing about Shanghai is the food. There are many incredible food restaurants, not only they serve delicious Shanghai food, but many of which are affordable for ordinary people.
Academic Background: Master’s degree in Chinese and international education and PhD in Chinese migration, both from Copenhagen University
My research in a nutshell: My research focuses on migration, diaspora, globalization and international relations in relation to China and the impact in general of mobility and especially in regard to cultural identities. I am interested in the consequences of China’s diaspora policies and their impact on transnational relations. In addition, I do research on Chinese diplomacy expressed on social media like Twitter based on big data analysis. I am also engaged in research on how to strengthen intercultural competence and communication in relation to the globalization of Danish companies.
Academic Background: I obtained a bachelor’s degree from the School of Government at Nanjing University (2011) and a Ph.D. from the Department of Government and Public Administration at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (2017). I also held visiting positions at the East Asian Institute of the National University of Singapore and the Harvard–Yenching Institute. From 2018 to 2021, I was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Vienna.
My research in a nutshell: My first area of research focuses on state–society relations in contemporary China. Drawing on a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods, I look at the ways in which Chinese citizens express demands without voting. I also probe into the reasons for a government that is not popularly elected to respond to citizens’ demands.
My second project reveals how the Chinese government has attempted to secure a safe and adequate blood supply and why it has repeatedly fallen short of doing so. More broadly, I am interested in worldwide political efforts to provide human blood and other public goods that rely on individuals’ voluntary compliance.
What is your favorite place in China? My favorite place in China is my hometown of Suzhou. Though its current population is over 10 million, when I was a child, I believed it was a small city outside Shanghai. At age 18, therefore, I decided to venture out into the bigger world. I’ve since lived on different continents and no longer call Suzhou home.
Suzhou is brimming with cultural heritage and scenic beauty. My cherished memories of the city include exquisite classical gardens, elegant ballad singing (pingtan), and the misty Tai Lake. I also miss the savory goodness of the city’s signature meat-filled mooncakes.
Academic Background: I have my B.A in Library and Information Science and M.A in Musicology, both in National Taiwan University (2008-2016). In my master degree I wrote my thesis on Taiwan’s sound history: “A Preliminary Study on Taiwan’s Radio Program Kodomo No Jikan ”Children”s Time” in Colonial Taiwan”. Two years later, I have the opportunity to further explore the history of Taiwan through sounds with my exciting PhD project.
My research in a nutshell: My PhD project: “Sounds and Memories: Tracing the Sounds of War in Post-War Taiwan” aims to discover Taiwan’s essential sound memories in postwar Taiwan through a series of different resources and approaches. By analyzing documents and sounds as well as interviewing citizens of Taiwan who had experienced the war period, this project tries to identify the most important post-WWII sounds and their acoustic echoes in people’s cultural memories.
What is your favorite place in Taiwan? I am from Taiwan and my favorite place in Taiwan is Hualien (花蓮). It sits in the East Taiwan and is surrounded by both spectacular mountains and beautiful coastlines. I regularly visit Hualien and enjoy the scenery by bike.
Academic Background: I have a BA and MA degree in China Studies and Anthropology from Aarhus University. Besides, I have been studying parts of my degree in China, among others at Peking University in Beijing and Fudan University in Shanghai.
My research in a nutshell: In my ongoing PhD project, I investigate how an official Chinese policy of innovation and entrepreneurship education migrates into the educational settings at Chinese universities. I work with policymaking as an anthropological concept and examine how social actors across diverse contexts (including Chinese university students and academics) enact the policy of innovation and entrepreneurship education in their daily lives. For this purpose, I have been doing a year of ethnographic fieldwork, mainly in Shanghai. The questions I ask include what motivates Chinese students to engage in entrepreneurship, and how role models within entrepreneurship present the meaning of being entrepreneurial in the classrooms.
What is your favorite word in Chinese? One of the first colloquial Chinese words I learned was “qipa” (奇葩), which literally means a peculiar, exotic flower. This word is used to talk about people who are out of the ordinary; who like an exotic flower stand out in the landscape. In the recent years, a popular TV program has emerged in China called “qipa shuo” (奇葩说), meaning “The Qipa Says”. It features some of the best Chinese debaters, who present pros and cons to various questions like whether a man should be full time dad when his wife earns a high salary etc. The individuals who debate in the program often have very outstanding personalities, and some would perhaps call them “qipas”.