Xuelei HUANG


Modern History, Institute of Chinese Studies, Heidelberg University, Germany

Xuelei HUANG

Octobre 2012 à février 2013


Xuelei Huang was born in Shanghai and was educated in Shanghai and Beijing before going to Germany for doctoral studies. She received her PhD in Chinese Studies from Heidelberg University in 2009. Her dissertation, which provides a detailed analysis of the cultural production at a pioneering Chinese film company, won the Ruprecht Karls Prize for outstanding dissertations in Heidelberg in 2011. In summer 2009, Xuelei Huang moved to Taiwan and worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Modern History at Academia Sinica, the leading research institute of the field. Her major field of research is Chinese film history, print culture and popular culture and she is also interested in broader issues of cultural and social history of modern China and their connection to the world.

Search project

"The Cesspool and the Rose Garden : The Social Life of Smell in Modern China (1840-1940)"

Smell is immensely meaningful to humans. Often considered elusive, ephemeral, and volatile, it has long been excluded from scholarly accounts on culture and history. My proposed project explores the social history of smell in late imperial and Republican China (from ca. mid 19th century to mid 20th century) and inquires into the diverse meanings of odours within the wider historical context of drastic social change, increasing trans-cultural contact, and the shaping of modern social imaginaries. Smell is not only a biological and psychological phenomenon but also carries culturally and historically constructed values. This project examines both the physical and cultural dimensions of olfaction and argues that odour produced its own form of social power in the making, mediating, and experiencing of Chinese modernities in China's recent history.


HUANG, Xuelei. Through the Looking Glass of Spatiality: Spatial Practice, Contact Relation and the Isis Theater in Shanghai, 1917-1937.

Modern Chinese Literature and Culture. Fall 2011,

vol. 23, no. 2, p.1-33.

HUANG, Xuelei, ZHIWEI, Xiao. Shadow Magic and the Early History of Film Exhibition in China. In SONG HWEE, Lim, WARD, Julian, (éds). The Chinese Cinema Book. London : British Film Institute, 2011, p. 45-55.

HUANG, Xuelei. Commercializing Ideologies: Intellectuals and Cultural Production at the Mingxing (Star) Motion Picture Company, 1922-1938. 310 p., Dissertation, Sinologie, Université de Heidelberg, 2009.

HUANG, Xuelei. Zhongguo diyi? Nanfu nanqi yu ta de jingdian hua" (China's First Film? The Canonization of The Difficult Couple). Dianying xinshang xuekan (Film Appreciation Academic Section), Spring 2009, vol. 27, no. 2, p. 161-175.