Universiteit Leiden

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Jiyu Zhang

PhD candidate

Dr. J. Zhang MA
+31 71 527 2119

Jiyu Zhang is a PhD candidate at the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society.

More information about Jiyu Zhang

Fields of interest

  • Critical Theory
  • Film and Media Studies
  • Comparative and World Literature
  • Modern and Contemporary China
  • Sinophone Cultures


No later than the turn of the century, the notion of Chineseness has entered into a crisis. Many theorists and scholars, including Rey Chow, Ien Ang, and Shu-mei Shih, to just name a few, have called into question the seemingly impeccable notion of Chineseness. For them, “Chineseness” reads like a monolithic, compulsory, and dominant presence that almost immediately suggests suppression and elimination. Whereas China as a source of influence suggests connection, exchange, and reciprocation among others, it also incites hierarchy, centralization, and homogenization. Therefore, scholars like Chow and Shih are quick to respond to the alarming risk. Even though it is clear to them that, China used to be and still remains a part of the larger imaginary of Orientalism, they also point out the isomorphism and imposition of China as a cultural hegemony over others. Thus it entails a thorough reflection on the power dynamics within the realm of Chineseness, in order to see how a system of value and practice play out under distinctive circumstances. Thereupon a quest to examine existential conditions individuals and communities both inside and outside China is set in motion. Central to this quest is a line of thinking that aims to fracture the singularity of Chineseness as a monolithic whole. As a result, Chineseness is not a given, but a sustenance of discursive formation. As a result, this project aims to explore the intricacies of knowledges and practices, cinematic representations in particular, in the contexts of China, Chinese, and Chineseness.

Curriculum vitae

PhD candidate, LUCAS, Leiden University (supervisors: Prof.Dr.Ernst van Alphen, Dr.Peter Verstraten and dr. Eliza Steinbock)
Master of Arts, Film and Photographic Studies, Media Studies , Leiden University
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism and Communication, Northwest University

PhD candidate

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Centre for the Arts in Society
  • Literatuurwetenschap

Work address

P.N. van Eyckhof 1
2311BV Leiden
Room number 1.05b



  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Centre for the Arts in Society
  • Literatuurwetenschap


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