Chinese Studies

Junior Professor Dr. HUANG Fei 黄菲

Junior Professor of Chinese History and Society, Department of Chinese Studies, University of Tübingen

Academic Career

  • 2014- Junior Professor of Chinese History and Society, Department of Chinese Studies, University of Tübingen
  • 2012-2013 Teaching Associate, School of Humanities and Social Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • 2012 PhD Chinese Studies, Leiden University
  • 2005 BA History, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou

Research Focus
Junior Prof. Huang’s research interests are interdisciplinary, combining landscape studies, cultural geography, historical anthropology, art history and material culture studies in late imperial China, with a special focus on the southwest frontier area. She believes that tracing history is always about people – how people have remembered and told stories that reflect their understanding of their inner and outer worlds, as well as the ways in which their imaginations shape the environment around them. Taking landscape as both objective nature and subjective culture, she is interested in bridging the divide between “reality” and “imagination” in the process of mutual influence between human agency and landscape. She explores this avenue by considering the place of landscape in everyday social life.

Major Publications
Junior Professor Huang's latest publication is Reshaping the Frontier Landscape: Dongchuan in Eighteenth-century Southwest China (Brill 2018). Through intensive archival research and contemporary ethnographic fieldwork, this work details the process of building the new walled city of Dongchuan 東川 in the southwest frontier area which was the most important copper mining region of the Qing empire in the eighteenth century. It examines how an imperial landscape was constructed under official auspices, thereby transforming the area from a "barbarian den" into a "beautiful brocade" as part of the tremendous social and economic transformation brought about by the Qing empire's expansion into frontier lands. Furthermore, new spaces and landscapes were created not only by the state builders, but also by a diversity of people who interacted in their everyday lives in myriad ways, which can be traced and uncovered by analysing their memories of the olden days. This book endeavours to provide a dense and detailed account of this intense historical process of mutual reflections and contested interactions between various people and their landscapes in the southwestern frontier region of the Qing empire. Fei Huang has furthermore published articles in the peer-refereed journals Late Imperial China, New History Journal and the Journal of History and Anthropology.