Department of Chinese Studies 中文系

Print Culture and Popular Culture


The research group “Print Culture and Popular Culture” aims at stimulating discussion and research on the popular and material dimensions of culture, broadly perceived, in the Chinese-speaking world, from late imperial times to the contemporary era.

Inspired by both theoretical discussions and a growing international research output over the past two decades, interest in the intellectual trajectory of the Sinophone world has gradually shifted to include print culture, cinema, modern and traditional popular forms, visual and audio culture, pulp fiction, and everyday culture. This conceptual opening has led to an explosion of source materials considered legitimate and relevant for research, as well as a profusion of methodologies and approaches of inquiry. With its deliberately broad theme, the research group “Print Culture and Popular Culture” takes into account these developments; stressing inclusiveness, it defines itself as cross-disciplinary, cross-regional, and crossing traditional periodizations. Cutting across boundaries in space, time, and discipline, the group welcomes scholars and students from the fields of history, literature, theatre, cinema studies, art history, and other related disciplines, working on the Chinese speaking areas from the far Northeast (one-time Manchuria) to South-East Asia, from Beijing and Shanghai to Hong Kong and Taipei; we embrace work covering late imperial, modern and contemporary times, thus consciously trying to overcome the bifurcation between the modern and pre-modern eras.

Research Areas

The research group “Print Culture and Popular Culture” focuses on a number of core themes, including:

  • Printing, press, and public sphere
  • Cinema, visual and audio culture
  • Education and dissemination of culture
  • Cultural production and cultural consumption
  • Travel and voyages of cultural products and ideas

What is the significance of printing and the press for the cultural trajectory of the Sinophone world? How do elite culture and popular cultural forms intersect in the audio-visual fields, and what are the implications of such a perspective for our understanding of the concept of culture itself? How can textbooks, assigned reading, and teaching patterns affect the formation and transmission of cultural values? What is the role of producers – writers, editors, directors, printers, booksellers, distribution companies – on the one hand, and audiences – readers, viewers, buyers, netizens – on the other, in the development of cultural expressions at different times in different places? How does the increasing physical mobility of both creative artists and their audiences, and their sometimes long sojourns in alien places, affect the nature of the cultural products themselves?

The research group “Print Culture and Popular Culture” tries to stimulate research on these and other questions that may arise in the course of our discussions. While we do not want to come up with definite conclusions on any of the above topics, we hope to raise awareness of these and other problems, and thus to encourage thinking in broader categories and more sophisticated research efforts.



Name/姓名 Research Area/研究课题
A/P XU Lan Jun
Modern Chinese Literature / Film; Chinese Youth and Children; Cultural Transnationalism and Chinese Cold War Cultures in Southeast Asia
A/P YUNG Sai-Shing
Premodern and Modern Chinese Print Culture; Film; Audio Culture; Drama

Staff Members:

Name/姓名 Research Area/研究课题
Prof ONG Chang Woei
Intellectual History; Chinese Local History; Women in Chinese History
A/P WONG Sin Kiong
Nanyang Chinese in Modern Chinese History; Political Culture in Modern China
A/P YUNG Sai-Shing
Premodern and Modern Chinese Print Culture; Film; Audio Culture; Drama
Popular Culture Theory and Popular Culture in Late Imperial China
A/P KOH Khee Heong
Ming-Qing Intellectual History; State-Society Relations in Late Imperial China
A/P XU Lan Jun
Modern Chinese Literature / Film; Chinese Youth and Children; Cultural Transnationalism and Chinese Cold War Cultures in Southeast Asia
Dr CHAN Cheow Thia
Singapore and Malaysian Chinese Literature; Modern Chinese Literature

Graduate Students

Ana Catarina De Sousa Goncalves De Almeida Leite
An Shiyi 安诗一
Liao Yiran 廖依然
Yan Shizhe 严诗喆
Ye Haoling 叶皓凌
Zhu Daoning 朱道宁
Apiradee Charoensenee 吴燕英
Zeng Qilin 曾麒霖

Events and Activities

Date Event Speaker
18 Oct 2019 華夷之變: 華語語系研究的新視界 王德威教授,哈佛大學
23 Sept 2019 Chinese Cinema in Singapore: From the Eyes of
Local Collectors 华语电影在新加坡:收藏家的视角
Jointly Organized with Wan Boo Sow Research
Centre for Chinese Culture and Southeast Asian
Chinese and Modern China Research Group)
黄汉民 (私人收藏家), 杜汉彬 (艺术家、
电影研究员), 苏章恺 (电影研究员),
林明珠副教授 (电影研究员)
Wong Han Min (Private collector),
Toh Hun Ping (Video Artist and Film Researcher),
Su Zhangkai (Film Researcher),
A/P Lim Beng Choo (Film Researcher)
6 Sept 2019 华语电影歌舞类型与华语电影里的歌舞 陈炜智先生,前台北电影中心研究出版组组长
23 Apr 2019 中元普度與盂蘭盆會:神戶、香港、
15 Apr 2019 白蛇戲曲之續集與變體:清中葉《後雷峰塔》傳奇略論
2 Apr 2019 冷戰時期的抒情傳統和地域政治——香港調景嶺
18 Jan 2019 Revolutionary Bodies: Chinese Dance and the Socialist Legacy Assistant Professor Emily Wilcox, University of Michigan
6 Dec 2018 从电懋公司《星洲艳迹》看星港电影文化环的生成
Romance in Singapore: A Cinematic Cultural Ring between Hong Kong and Singapore
20 Aug 2018 (后)遗民,(新)游民,侠义心理地理
(Post)Loyalists, (New)Wanderers, Chivalric Psychogeography
A/P Weijie Song, Rutgers University
9 Mar 2018 中国戏曲与移民社会:以澳洲为个案 杨永安副教授,香港大学中文学院名誉副教授
3 Mar 2017 聆听史料:粤曲的“历史人类学”
Listening to Historical Sources:
A "Historical Anthropology" of
the Cantonese Operatic Songs
Jointly organised with Southeast Asian
Chinese & Modern China Research Group)
Professor Cheng Meibao, Department of Chinese
and History, City University of Hong Kong
14 Oct 2016 (1) 间谍生涯:双面人的内外世界
To Avoid Detection: the Double Life of A Spy
(2) 要命的身体:中国抗战电影女性形象的意义与演变
Bodies that can kill: the female body in post-war
Chinese Anti-Japanese War movies
30 May 2016 Literature Across Borders in Cold War China A/P Xiaojue Wang,Rutgers University
18 Mar 2016 打造马来亚——论马来亚制片组的冷战影像 许维贤博士,南洋理工大学中文系
16 Oct 2015 Voice as Ephemera: Reconstructing a
Culture of Listening in 1970s China
(Jointly organized with Island Society)
Prof Nicole Huang, University of Wisconsin, Madison
28 Sept 2015 Between Hong Kong and Southeast
Asia: Youlian’s Cultural
Transnationalism in the Cold War
A/P Shuang Shen, The Pennsylvania State
University (沈双副教授,美国宾夕法尼亚州立大学)
3 Sept 2015 座谈会:现代中国印刷文化及当代
贺麦晓教授(Professor Michel Hockx)
6 Aug 2015 (1)新加坡国立大学所藏“外江戏”
The Study of Guangdong Han Opera
Scripts: Content and Research Interest
The Origin and Narratives of the
Story “Yang Silang Visits His Mother”
jointly organized with Southeast Asian
Chinese Research Group)
Professor Kang Baocheng,
Professor Chen Zhiyong,
Dr. Chen Yanfang
(Sun Yat-sen University,
China, Department of Chinese Studies)
6 May 2015 香港电影资料馆和华语电影研究 王丽明女士,