Skip navigation
The Australian National University
Qian Ying

Dr Qian Ying


PhD, Harvard University
MPhil, University of Cambridge
BA, Harvard University

Download CV


Qian Ying is a cultural historian working on modern Chinese literary, cinematic and media history. Her wide-ranging interests include documentary cinema in comparative perspectives, experience and memory of China’s revolutions and socialism, and writing, translation and filmmaking in China’s multi-lingual and multi-ethnic border regions and among the Chinese diaspora. She is completing a book manuscript entitled Visionary Realities: Documentary Cinema in China’s Revolutionary Century, which investigates documentary cinema’s capacities to mediate between the visible and the visionary in a society engineering its own radical transformation.  She has also begun researching for her second book project, which examines works and lives of writers, translators, and filmmakers working bilingually between Chinese and a non-Han language within China. Besides academic research, she has been a filmmaker, critic and film programmer. She has been programming documentary and Asian cinemas for the last five years. Her film criticism has appeared in Chinese, English and Czech language newspapers and journals, and her own documentary and short films have been exhibited and broadcasted in a number of countries.

Other Languages

  • Chinese (native)
  • Czech and Spanish (proficient)
  • Japanese (intermediate)
  • Learning Russian and Tibetan

Research Interests

  • Cinema, visual culture, media
  • Language, literature, translation
  • Political cultures
Return to top

Current Projects

  • Visionary Realities: Documentary Cinema in China’s Revolutionary Century
  • Writing, translation and filmmaking in China’s multi-ethnic, multi-lingual regions
Return to top

Selected Publications

Contributions to The China Story

‘In Conversation with Michael Nylan’, The China Story Journal, 10 December 2013, online at:

‘Surviving in the Shadows’, The China Story Journal, 10 September 2012, online at:


‘Working with Rubble: Montage, Tweets and the Reconstruction of an Activist Cinema’, in Matthew D. Johnson, Luke Vulpiani, Keith B. Wagner, and Kiki Tianqi Yu, eds. China’s iGeneration: Filmmakers, Films and Audiences in a New Media Age (London: Continuum Publishing, 2014)
 ‘Crossing the River Twice – Cinematic Re-enactments and the Founding of PRC Documentary’, in Carlos Rojas and Eileen Cheng-yin Chow eds., Oxford Handbook of Chinese Cinema (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 590-609

“Power in the Frame: Independent Documentary in China.” The New Left Review, 74, March/April 2012, 105-123

 “Just Images: Ethics and Documentary Film in China.” China Heritage Quarterly, 29, March 2012, online at

Verité, Performance, and Alternative History--Jia Zhangke’s Cinematic World.” Kino Ikon, Bratislava, Slovakia, 2009

Return to top

Updated:  13 October 2015/Responsible Officer:  Director, China in the World /Page Contact:  China in the World