Popular Culture Group

Doctoral Caps

Introduction | Members | Activities | Visiting Scholars | Doctoral Caps | Furter completed dissertations


The Popular Culture Group, founded in 2005, consists of some two dozen members, doctoral and postdoctoral students at the Institute of Chinese Studies and the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies. They have in the past researched a vast range of different topics from propaganda posters and songs to quotes and plagiarism in China's political media (Renmin Ribao) after 1949 and trivial literature after 1989, to advertisements in the 19th and early 20th century and TV commercials around the turn to the 21st century, from the only seemingly clearcut institutional history of an early leftist Chinese film company to the only seemingly clearcut institutional change from rite to law in marriage; from the successful figure of the (single) new woman and the new man to the successful figure of the new business(wo)man. Members have addressed elite and popular discourses around building large dams and beautiful bodies in Chinese history and literature, they deal with game-playing in Japan, music-playing in Taiwan and fashion-playing in India; they are researching various manifestations of translation: in Chinese web-communities in Germany, in formations of language, i.e. Chinglish, in the works of Musil in China, in reconfiguring the author as hero in the museum space. All of these studies are built on the premise that paying attention to a diversity of material evidence in a global context will help rewriting the history of social change in modern and contemporary China and Asia.

How? Our definition of popular culture hinges on the apparently popular texts we peruse: newspapers, encyclopedias, women's magazines, comics, folksongs, legal proclamations, commercial films, street signs, blogs and new media sites, advertisements. The question of whether or not these texts actually are popular, in the sense that a great number of people enjoys perusing them or believes in their use, is one we continually pose. Producers of popular texts try precisely to make them popular. The tension between imagined and real popularity of particular texts is one which actually creates/makes these texts. Their success or failure can tell us a lot about society at large at that moment in time. Their success or failure hinges on historical contingencies. It is worthwhile to uncover these.

Some members of the Popular Culture Group - Heidelberg 2015

Members of the Popular Culture Group

PhD project
Trends project
Almeida, Rosa Vieira (PhD) Adobe Abstract -- -- -- Email
Altehenger, Jennifer (BA, MA) Adobe Abstract Adobe Abstract -- -- Email
Baghel, Ravi (MA) -- -- SAI 103 54 - 8928 Email
Caviglia, Lisa (MA) Adobe Abstract -- -- -- Email
Chen, Cheng-wei (MA) Adobe Abstract -- KJC 021 -- Email
Cheng, Chun-Chieh (MA) Adobe Abstract -- -- -- Email
Enzweiler, Kai (M.A.) Adobe Abstract -- -- -- Email
Frisch, Nora (M.A.) Adobe Abstract Adobe Abstract -- -- Email
Fuhr, Michael (M.A.) Adobe Abstract -- -- -- Email
Gehrig, Sebastian (M.Phil.) Adobe Abstract Adobe Abstract -- -- Email
Graf, Emily Mae (M.A.) Adobe Abstract -- Sino 207 -- Email
Henningsen, Lena (JunProf. Dr.) Adobe Abstract Adobe Abstract -- -- Email
Huang, Xuelei (M.A.) Adobe Abstract Adobe Abstract -- -- Email
Joest, Annika (M.A.) Adobe Abstract Adobe Abstract -- -- Email
Jungbluth, Cora (M.A.) Adobe Abstract Adobe Abstract -- -- Email
Kamm, Björn-Ole (M.A.) Adobe Abstract -- --   Email
Li, Hsin-yi (M.A.) Adobe Abstract -- -- -- Email
Liu, Chang (M.A.) Adobe Abstract -- KJC 017 -- Email
Lu, Ying (PhD) -- -- -- -- Email
May, Jennifer (M.A.) Adobe Abstract Adobe Abstract -- -- Email
Mittler, Barbara (Prof. Dr.) Adobe Abstract -- Sino 228 54 - 7638 Email
Nan, Haifen (MA) Adobe Abstract -- -- -- Email
Padmanabhan, Sridevi (MA) -- -- -- -- Email
Pi, Chenying (MA) -- -- -- 54 - 3440 Email
Rudyak, Marina (M.A.) Adobe Abstract -- Sino 312 54 - 7635 Email
Sander, Marie (M.A.) Adobe Abstract -- -- -- Email
Schneider, Julia (M.A.) Adobe Abstract -- -- -- Email
Schillinger, Nicolas (M.A.) Adobe Abstract -- -- -- Email
Seeger, Miriam (M.A.) Adobe Abstract -- -- -- Email
Sun, Liying (M.A.) Adobe Abstract Adobe Abstract -- -- Email
Thiel, Petra (M.A.) Adobe Abstract Adobe Abstract -- -- Email
Tian, Yuan -- -- -- -- Email
Vinci, Renata (PhD) Adobe Abstract Adobe Abstract -- -- Email
Wu, I-Wei (M.A.) Adobe Abstract -- -- -- Email
Xiong, Jingjing (M.A.) Adobe Abstract Adobe Abstract -- -- Email


Visiting Scholars

  • Xiaohong Xiao-Planes, Paris
  • Si-yen Fei, University of Pennsylvania 
  • Leon Rocha, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge
  • Joscha Chung, Taipei
  • Aihwa Ong, Berkeley,
  • Paola Zamperini, Northwestern
  • Christian Henriot, Lyon 
  • Yeh Wen-hsin, Berkeley
  • Susan Brownell, St. Louis
  • He Min, 
  • Ji Lingxiao, Fudan University
  • Kam Louie, Australian National University 
  • Louise Edwards, Australian National University

The Popular Culture Group welcomes visitors to join. If you need to use the Heidelberg library and work on a topic related, please let us know and we will try to accommodate you in our activities!

Doctoral Caps

Petra Thiel, 2018

"Ein Adoleszenzroman für China:
Gattungsdebatten und Genderdarstellungen in ausgesuchten Werken von Cao Wenxuan, Yang Hongying und Guo Jingming (1997-2008)"


Emily Mae Graf, 2018

"Lu Xun on Display: Memory, Space and Media in the Making of World Literary Heritage or The Materiality of World Literary Heritage: Memory, Space and Media in the Making of Lu Xun"

Laila Abu-Er-Rub, 2015

"Indische Mode"

Sun Liying, 2015

"Body Un/Dis-covered: Luoti, Editorial Agency and Transcultural Production in Chinese Pictorials (1925-1933)"


Björn-Ole Kamm, 2015

"Playing with Uncertainty – Role-Playing Games and the Construction and Crossing of Boundaries between Japan, Germany and the U.S."

Cora Jungbluth, 2011

"Intercultural Aspects in the Internationalization Strategy of Chinese Enterprises and its Influence on Chinese Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)"


Jenniger Altehenger, 2010

"Love, Law and Legality: Marriage Law Campaigns in the Early People’s Republic of China"


Nora Frisch, 2010

“Coca-Cola—ein chinesischer Mythos. Über Erscheinungsformen und ideologische Aussagekraft politischer Mythen in kommerzieller Fernsehwerbung in China (1989-2009)”


Huang Xuelei, 2009

"Commercializing Ideologies: Intellectuals and Cultural Production at the Mingxing (Star) Motion Picture Company, 1922-1937" (ausgezeichnet mit dem Ruprecht-Karls-Preis der Universität Heidelberg 2011)


Lena Henningsen, 2008

"Copyright Matters - Imitation, Creativity and Authenticity in Contemporary Chinese Literature"


More completed dissertations by group members

  • Jennifer May: "Sources of Authority. Quotational Practice in Chinese Communist Propaganda", 2010
  • Miriam Seeger: "Zähmung der Flüsse. Staudämme und das Streben nach produktiven Landschaften in China im 20. und beginnenden 21. Jahrhundert", 2011
  • Birte Herrmann: " Wahrnehmung des 4. Juni 1989", 2012
  • Marie Sander: "Third Culture Kids in Shanghai", 2013
  • Nicolas Schillinger: "Körperformationen in der frühen chinesischen Republik", 2013
  • Michael Fuhr: "Sounding out the K-Wave Globalization, Shifting Asymmetries and Popular Music in South Korea", 2013
  • Barbara Wall: "Verwendung der 'Reise nach dem Westen' in der koreanischen Kultur", 2014
  • Li Hsin-yi: "學琴的孩子不會變壞”( „Children who learn piano won't become bad“) - A Case Study of Taiwanese Students of Music in Germany and Taiwan", 2016
Zuletzt bearbeitet von: SV
Letzte Änderung: 26.03.2019
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