Universiteit Leiden

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Stefan Landsberger

Guest employee

Prof.dr. S.R. Landsberger
+31 71 527 2727

Stefan Landsberger is a visiting staff member at the Institute for Area Studies.

More information about Stefan Landsberger


  • Emeritus Professor of Contemporary Chinese Culture (University of Amsterdam) (2005-present)
  • Honorary Fellow at International Insitute of Social History (2011-present)
  • Invited researcher at Public Service Advertising Research Center, Communication University of China (2008-present)

Fields of interest

Contemporary China, social and political; political communication; (visual) propaganda; televised public service advertising.

Owner of the – possibly largest – private collection of Chinese propaganda posters in the world – outside of China (ca. 1937-present).



1974-75 Law Faculty, Leiden University (UL)
1975-82 Sinology, UL
1984-94 PhD research


  • Communication studies (University of Amsterdam UvA)
  • Japanese (UL)
  • Modern Asian History (UvA)
  • Mass Psychology (UvA)
  • Cultural Antropology (UL)

MA thesis (1982): “After the Bumper Harvest”: China’s Socialist Education Movement as seen through short stories from the Sixties
PhD (1994): Visualizing the Future: Chinese Propaganda Posters from the ‘Four Modernizations’ Era, 1978 - 1988


  • Research Assistant with the research project Sneevliet [Maring] in China (in cooperation with the International Institute of Social History) (1983‑1986)
  • Researcher, Documentation and Research Centre for Modern China, Sinological Institute UL (1984-1991, 1994-1996)
  • Researcher with the research project Science and Technology Policy of the PRC, Sinological Institute and the Ministry of Education and Sciences (1985-1986)
  • Editor-in-chief China Information, published by the Documentation and Research Centre for Modern China, Sinological Institute UL (1986-1991)
  • Project leader, Visual Documentation and Presentation of Chinese History, Sinological Institute (1991-1994
  • Associate Professor, Dept. of Chinese Studies, UL (1 February 1996-present)

Key publications

Authored monographs

  • Chinese Posters - The IISH/Landsberger Collections. München: Prestel Verlag 2009. 285 pp.
  • Paint it red – Fifty years of Chinese Propaganda Posters (Groningen: Uitgeverij Intermed 1998), 80 pp
  • Chinese Propaganda Posters – From Revolution to Modernization (Amsterdam, Singapore; Armonk: The Pepin Press; M.E. Sharpe 1995, 1998, 2001), 240 pp.


  • “Die Vergötterung Maos: Bilder und Praktiken in der Kulturrevolution und darüber hinaus”, in: Helmut Opletal. (Ed.), Die Kultur der Kulturrevolution - Personenkult und politisches Design im China von Mao Zedong (Gent: Snoeck Publishers, 2011), pp. 93-103
  • “National Image Management Begins at Home: Imagining the New Olympic Citizen”, in Jian (Jay) Wang (ed), Soft Power in China - Public Diplomacy through Communication (Global Public Diplomacy) (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 117-133, with Jeroen de Kloet and Gladys P.L. Chong
  • “Harmony, Olympic Manners and Morals – Chinese Television and the ‘New Propaganda’”. European Journal of East Asian Studies(2009), 8 (2), pp. 331-355
  • “Encountering the European and Western Other in Chinese Propaganda Posters”, in Michael Wintle (ed), Images of Europe: Europe and European civilization as seen from its margins and by the rest of the world, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Brussels: P.I.E. Peter Lang S.A., 2008, pp. 147-175
  • “Designing Propaganda: The Business of Politics”. In H.X. Zhang & L. Parker (Eds.), ChinaDesign Now. London: V&A Publishing, 2008, pp. 53-56
  • “Propaganda Posters in the Reform Era: Promoting Patriotism or Providing Public Information”, Frank Columbus (ed.), Asian Economic and Political Issues vol. 10 New York: Nova Science Publishers Inc., 2004), pp. 27-57
  • “The Deification of Mao: Religious Imagery and Practices during the Cultural Revolution and Beyond”, Woei Lien Chong (ed.), China's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution: Master Narratives and Post-Mao Counternarratives (Boulder, CO: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2002), pp. 139-184
  • “Learning by What Example? Educational Propaganda in Twenty-first-Century China”, Critical Asian Studies, vol. 33, No. 4 (December 2001), pp. 541-571
  • “Role Modelling in Mainland China During the ‘Four Modernizations’ Era: The Visual Dimension”, Chun‑chieh Huang and Erik Zürcher (eds), Norms and the State in China (Leiden, etc.: E.J. Brill, 1993), pp. 359‑376
  • “A Chinese Future with Western Characteristics: Chinese Visual Propaganda During the ‘Four Modernizations’ (1978‑1988)”, K.W. Radtke and A.J. Saich (eds), China’s Modernisation: Westernisation and Acculturation (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1993), pp. 177-194.

Editorial work

  • Editor-in-chief China Information, published by the Documentation and Research Centre for Modern China, Sinological Institute UL (1986-1991; 1994-1997)
  • Member Editorial board China Information (1997-present)
  • Member Editorial board Parthenon Press (2011-present)


A range of courses related to (social developments in) contemporary China, including

  • Introduction to Modern Chinese History
  • Introduction to Contemporary China
  • Modern Chinese Society – social developments
  • Shop till u drop – buy till u die – emerging urban consumer culture in China
  • Contemporary Chinese Culture
  • China Unlimited – contemporary Chinese culture s - Chinese Foreign and Security Policy

PhD supervision

  • Chunyan Shu, Behind China’s Self-portrait: Contesting Perceptions of a Reforming Nation, degree expected in 2012 (with Axel Schneider)
  • Qiaoqi Zhang, Chinese National Identity and Propaganda, degree expected in 2014 (with Florian Schneider)

Administration and service to the profession

  • 1978‑80, member subfaculty board Non-Western Cultures and Societies (UL);
  • 1979‑80, member standing committee subfaculty board Non-Western Cultures and Societies (UL);
  • 1980‑82, member Education Committee, Humanities Faculty Board UL;
  • 1986‑1991, member department board China Studies (UL);
  • 1987‑1991, member standing committee department board China Studies (UL);
  • 1995-1998, member standing committee department board China Studies (UL);
  • 1995-1996, 1997-2001, secretary standing committee department board China Studies (UL);
  • 2001-2003, member Education Committee department China Studies (UL);
  • 2003-2005, secretary Examinations Committee department China Studies (UL);
  • 2007-2009, member Education Committee department China Studies (UL)
  • 2009-2010, head Modern China section, department China Studies (UL)
  • 2009-2010, member exploratory committee EAS BA (UL)
  • 2009-2010, member exploratory committee BAIS (UL);
  • 2009-2015, chair Examinations Committee department China Studies (UL).


  • Webmaster of Stefan Landsberger’s Chinese Propaganda Poster Pages () (1997-2010); over 2 million visitors;
  • Webmaster of chineseposters.net ( http://chineseposters.net) (1 January 2008-present)
  • Secretary, Chinese Posters Foundation (2010-present)

Guest employee

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies
  • SAS China



  • No relevant ancillary activities
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