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Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies

Jessica Imbach

Jessica Imbach, Dr.

  • Teaching and Research Assistant Chinese Studies
Room number
ZUB 4-407


09/2020 – 02/2021 Research fellow at the European Institute of Chinese Studies, Paris
11/2015 – 10/2016 PhD studies with a research grant from the University of Zurich
04/2012 – 10/2015 PhD studies with a Marie Heim-Vögtlin fellowship of the Swiss National Science Foundation
01/2014 – 05/2014 Visiting scholar, Shanghai University
02/2011 – 03/2012 Lecturer in Chinese Studies, University of Zurich
09/2008 – 01/2009 Student Assistant, University of Zurich

Grants and Awards

2020 GRC-Grant (UZH) for the Workshop: Wired China: Digital Media and Online Culture
2018 Annual dissertation award of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Zurich
11/2015 – 10/2016 Forschungskredit, University of Zurich
04/2012 – 10/2015 Marie Heim-Vögtlin fellowship of the Swiss National Science Foundation
2014 travel and conference grant, University of Queensland, Brisbane
2009 1st prize in the Goethe Institute Shanghai literary translation contest
09/2004 – 08/2005 CRUS scholarship, Beijing Language and Culture University


ZORA Publication List



FS 2021 Narratives of Illness and Disease in Modern Chinese Literature (MA-Seminar)
Kosmos Shanghai 1930-1949: Die literarische Landschaft einer semikolonialen Stadt (BA-Course)
FS 2020 Socialism and Chinese Literature, 1949-1976 (BA-Seminar)
HS 2019 Visions of the Future: Science Fiction from 1949 to 2185 (MA-Seminar: A seminar blog with translations of science fiction into both German and English can be found here:
Introduction to Literary and Cultural Studies (BA-Course)
FS 2018 Waste, Pollution and Environmental Aesthetics (BA-Seminar)
HS 2017 Introduction to Contemporary China (BA-Course)
HS 2015 Shanghai in Modern Chinese Literature (Lecture Series at the Volkshochschule Zürich)
HS 2013 Introduction to Modern Chinese Literature (Lecture Series at the Volkshochschule Zürich)
FS 2012 Changing Media in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan

Talks and Public Engagements

22.01.2021: “From Intelligent Dinosaurs to Singing Bats: Extinct, Engineered and Rewilded Animals in Chinese Science Fiction”. The Technological Imaginary in Contemporary Chinese Literature, Zurich and Paris. [online, organizer]

14.12.2020: “Researching China in the Anthropocene: Debates and Perspectives”. Research Seminar: China in the Anthropocene, Paris. [online, invited]

27.11.2020: “Chinas paradoxer Umgang mit Zensur” (Paradoxes of Chinese Cenorship). Interview for Echo der Zeit on Swiss National Radio.

27.11.2020: “The Digital Brain in Cyberpunk Fiction”. Wired China: Digital Media and Online Culture, Zurich, 27.-28.11.2020. [online, organizer]

22.09.2020: “Current Debates in Chinese Studies”. Podium discussion organized by the Institut des Étude Avancée, Paris. [invited]

20.12.2019: “Architektur in der goldenen Mitte”. Podium discussion organized by the Swiss-Chinese Chamber of Architects and Artist, Zurich. [invited]

24.11.2019: “Echt – Falsch. Stadt und architektonische Identität”. Podium discussion at the Architecture Film Festival Zurich, 20.-24.11.2019. [invited]

02.11.2019: “Planetary destruction as environmentalism? Reading solar violence in Liu Cixin’s novels”. Decentering the Anthopocene: Approaches to the Anthropocene in Chinese and Japanese literature and film, University of Vienna, 01.-02.11.2019. [invited]

18.07.2019: “A Touch of Toxicty: Eco-dystopianism in post-Mao science fiction”. ICAS 2019, University of Leiden, 15.-19.07.2019. [panel convenor]

03.10.2018-06.10.2018: “To Arcadia and Beyond: Ecology in Chinese Science Fiction”. Residual Futures: Rethinking Utopianism in Modern China, University of Zurich, October 3-6, 2018. [in writing]

14.05.2017: “China mit Gespenstern lesen”. Ringvorlesung: Zugänge zur Sinologie, Universität Zürich, FS 2017.

16.05.2016: “Zeit mit Gespenstern denken. Ringvorlesung: Zugänge zur Sinologie», Universität Zürich, FS 2016.

18.06.2015: “Repetition with a Difference: Female Ghosts in Shanghai Fiction pre 1949”. ACCL 2015, Shanghai, 18.-20.06.2015.

27.04.2015: “Zeit mit Gespenstern denken”. Ringvorlesung: Zugänge zur Sinologie, Universität Zürich, FS 2015

23.07.2014: “'... as if I was playing world': Phantoms, Cross-dressing and Revolutionary Identity in Xu Xu's Ghost Love. EACS conference 2014, Braga/Coimbra, 23.-26.07.2014.

19.07.2014: “Not afraid of ghosts: Critical appropriations of the spectral in Modern Chinese fiction”, Symposium: The Making and Remaking of China’s “Red Classics”: Politics, Aesthetics and Mass Culture in Literary Icons of Socialism and their Contemporary Remakes, University of Queensland, Brisbane, 18.-20.07.2014 [invited]

28.04.2014: “Gespenstische Moderne: Rachegeister,weisshaarige Mädchen und gescheiterteReinkarnationen im Spannungsfeld chinesischer Literatur und (Kultur-)Politik”. Ringvorlesung: Zugänge zur Sinologie, Universität Zürich, FS 2014.

19.03.2014: 开门揖鬼:试论二十世纪中国文学与文化政治中的鬼现象 [Unwillingly invited: Ghosts in 20th century Chinese fiction and culture politics]. Shanghai University. [invited]

04.10.2012: “Fictions of Mulian ghosts in Lu Xun and Jia Pingwa's writings”. Workshop: Ghost-Movies in Southeast Asia and Beyond: Narratives, Cultural Contexts, Audiences, Göttingen, 03.- 06.10.2012. [invited]

14.07.2012:“’Ich habe kein Amt und kein Geld, aber ich bin ein Müssiggänger (xianren)’:EineAnalyse der literarischen Figur desxianrenin Jia Pingwas Weiss|Nacht”.Tagung: KleineLiteraturen:Der Rand schreibt zurück, Erlangen, 13.-14.07.2012. [invited]

31.03.2012: “Ghost politics and the politics of ghosts: A reading of Su Tong's ‘The Completion of the Ritual’”. Graduate Student Workshop: Asian Postmodernities and their Legacies, Zurich, 30.-31.03.2012.

5.11.2011: “Chinese theatricality and the spectre of the Cultural Revolution in Yu Xiaoyang’s The Shore of Mist”. International Workshop: Ghosts in Asian Cinemas, Zurich, 4.-5.11.2011.