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Cheng Zhang, M.A.


Cheng Zhang, M.A.


Über Cheng Zhang

Growing up in North China, one of the childhood memories that Cheng Zhang (張誠) has is being jealous of Young Pioneers who were allowed to wear a red scarf to school. While he was enjoying "correcting" his fellow students' Cantonese accents at college in Guangzhou, South China, his mother was very much worried about her son living in the "city of crime", a reputation gained from its large Uyghur immigrants. After having been living in the Netherlands for three years, he was still suffering from the nasty Dutch "r", hutspot, and being a "klein Aziatisch mannetje." The twenty-six-year long participant observation has shown him various ways how people deal with the different and triggered his interest in digging into these phenomena as a career.

Fields of Interest

  • Global History, with a focus on early modern globalisation;
  • Chinese Imperial History, with a focus on Ming-Qing China;
  • Dutch Colonial History, including the history of the Dutch East India Company (VOC);
  • History of Science, with an emphasis on knowledge exchange process;
  • Global Art History, with a focus on "Chinese art", both ancient and modern, in a global context;
  • Theories in the fields of Cultural Studies, Visual Studies, and Material Culture Studies.


  • Visual and material culture at the High Qing court;
  • Pictorial legitimation and visual validity in Qing China;
  • Appropriating the Past in Contemporary Chinese Architecture: Historicity and Materiality in Wang Shu's Architectural Practice;
  • From the Exotic to the Avant-Garde: Vogue Illustrations in the Early Twentieth Century.



Since 2011: Ph.D. Candidate, Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context,” Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany.

2009-2012: Research M.A., Institute for History, Leiden University, Leiden, the Netherlands.

2008-2009: B.A., Institute for History, Leiden University, Leiden, the Netherlands.

2004-2008: B.A., Department of History, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.


2011-2014: Doctoral Scholarship, German Research Foundation (DFG), Germany.

2008-2011: Encompass Scholarship, Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), the Netherlands.

2004-2008: University Scholarship, Sun Yat-sen University, China.