Natascha Gentz


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Personal profile


Natascha Gentz (Vittinghoff), took up the position as Chair of Chinese at the beginning of May, 2006.

She studied in Germany at Heidelberg University, where she took her MA (1994) and PhD (1998) degrees. Her studies included residences at Fudan University, Shanghai (1988-1990), People’s University, Beijing (1995-6), and Tokyo University (1997). After her PhD she was engaged in various funded research projects and in teaching in the Chinese Departments at Heidelberg and Göttingen University. In 2002 she became Junior Professor at Frankfurt University, from where she came to Edinburgh.

Her publications include a monograph on the history Chinese journalism and two edited volumes, on transcultural knowledge transfer in Late Qing China , and on how global media are shaping cultural identities. She has also published a book on contemporary Chinese historical drama as well as dozens of articles on Late Qing and contemporary Chinese drama, literature and media. She has also translated a novel and two volumes of short stories by the Chinese nobel laureate Gao Xingjian.

Research Interests

In general, Dr Gentz is interested in the processes of cultural exchanges between China and other cultures and nations in texts and media as well as modern literature and drama.

She has written on the history of Chinese media, the global transfer of scientific knowledge in the 19th and early 20th century, modern Chinese historical drama and contemporary literature and also translated works by the first Chinese nobel laureate Gao Xingjian.

She is currently writing a book on the introduction of tragedies to Chinese stages, discussions on this "foreign" concept and its integration into modern drama discourse; and on press law discourses in Late Qing China.

In Edinburgh, Dr Gentz will further develop the field of modern and historical Chinese media studies and knowledge transfer studies.

Research Collaborations

2006 - 2012: Chinese Encyclopedias. D5 Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context: Shifting Asymmetries in Cultural Flows" at Heidelberg University.

2004 - 2008: Akteure der kulturellen Globalisierung, 1860 - 1930 (Actors of cultural globalisation), Berlin, Wissenschaftskolleg (DFG).

2002 - 2003: The Birth of Tragedy in China Global Negotiations of a Local Genre (DFG).

1999 - 2000: Chinese Technical Terms- Western Knowledge and Lexical Change in Late Imperial China (VW Foundation).

1996 - 1998: Transformation of European Expansion - The Chinese Language Press in Shanghai (DFG).


From Sept 2012 to August 2013 Natascha Gentz is on research leave, spending five months at the International Consortium for Research in the Humanities (IKGF) in Erlangen, from November 2012 to April 2013.


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