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Past PhD Topics

Have a look at where some of our graduates are teaching now, and what kinds of dissertations have been written in our Faculty over the past several decades (records incomplete and being updated):


Feng, John H. (2014)
(A) Learned Society in Peking, The Chinese Social and Political Science Association, 1915-1949.

Chen Li (2013)  Now at: Renming University of China (School of International Studies)
From Burma Road to 38th parallel: the Chinese forces's adaptation in war 1942-1953.

Mai Ziyin (2013) Now at: The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages)
Properties of the (shi) … (de) focus construction in adult L2 acquisition and heritage language acquisition of Mandarin Chinese.

Pan Yi (2012)
Rural welfare in China.

Tan, Jeffery (2011)
Shaw Brother's exploitation of sex in Hong Kong films of the early 1970s.

Sam Zhiguang Yin (2011)  Now at: University of Exeter (College of Humanities)
Politics of art: Creation Society and the making of Marxist individuality.

Mak, George Kam Wah   Now at: Hong Kong Baptist University (David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies (LEWI))
Protestant Bible translation and Mandarin as the national language of China.

D’Haeseleer, Tineke (2011)  Now at: Princeton University (Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts)
North-East Asia during the Tang Dynasty: Relations of the Tang Court with Koguryŏ, Bohai, and Youzhou-Yingzhou.

Sun, Saiyin (2010) Now at: Tsinghua University, China (Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures)
Beyond the iron house: Lu Xun and the Chinese literary field in the 1920s.

Dugarova, Esuna (2010)  Now at: United Nations Research Institute for Social Development
Behaviours of wh-elements in English and Russian learners' L2 Chinese wh-questions.

Weingarten, Oliver (2010)  Now at: Oriental Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences
Textual Representation of a Sage: Studies of Pre-Qin and Western Han Sources on Confucius (551-479 BCE).

Zhang, Ling (2009)  Now at: Boston College (History Department)
Environmental and Economic Change in Hebei in the Eleventh Century. 

Chiu, Yu Yun (Vicky) (2009)  Now at: National Taiwan University of Technology (Department of Cultural Vocation Development)
A pursuit of freedom: a study of Shen Congwen's aesthetics.

Chen, Song-Chuan (2009)  Now at: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (School of Humanities and Social Sciences)
The British maritime public sphere in Canton, 1827-1839.

Chen, Szu-Chi (2009)  Now at: Taipei University (Department of Chinese Language and Literature)
  Peasants and morality: intellectual repositioning in relation to the peasants in the post-Mao era in the works of Zhang Wei and Yan Lianke.

Cho, Sungwu (2008)
Death, Disease, and Daoism in the Tang: A Study of Daoist Liturgy in Medieval China.

Zhao, Lucy (2008)
The Syntax and Interpretation of Overt and Null Arguments in Chinese and Their Acquisition by Second Language Learners.
Now at: University of Sheffield

Boecking, Felix (2008)  Now at: University of Edinburgh (School of History, Classics and Archaeology)
Tariffs, Power, Nationalism, and Modernity: Fiscal Policy in Guomindang-controlled China 1927-1941.

Tan, Chee-lay (2008)  Now at: Nanyang Technological University (Singapore Centre for Chinese Language)
Constructing a system of irregularities: the poetry of Bei Dao, Yang Lian and Duoduo. 

Ning, Lutao (2008)  Now at: Queen Mary University of London (School of Business and Management)
The role of the state in the rise of China’s information and communication technology manufacturing industry from 1949-2004.

Pollacchi, Elena (2007)  Now at: University of Venice
The evolution of the Chinese film industry and new urban heroes in Chinese cinema (1989-2004). 

Shan, Chuan-kuo (2006)  Now at: Chinese Culture University, Taiwan
Split intransitivity in Chinese as a second language.

Liang, Yuchang (2006)  Now at: St. John’s University, Taiwan
Nominal phrases in English and Japanese speakers’ L2 Mandarin grammars.

Zhao, Yang (2005)  Now at: Peking University
Causativity in Chinese and its representations in English, Japanese and Korean speakers’ L2 Chinese grammars

Hong, Jeeson (2004)  Now at: University of Manchester (Centre for Chinese Studies)
Gendered modernism of Republican China: Lu Yin, Ling Shuhua and Zhang Ailing.

Lovell, Julia (2002)  Now at: Birkbeck, University of London
China’s search for a Nobel prize in literature: Literature, and national and cultural identity in twentieth-century China.

Lim, Song Hwee (2001)  Now at: Chinese University of Hong Kong (Department of Cultural and Religious Studies)
Male homosexuality in films from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong of the 1990s.

Zheng, Yangwen (2001) Now at: University of Manchester (School of Arts, Languages and Cultures)

The social life of opium in Qing China.


Quah, Sy Ren (1999)
The theatre of Gao Xingjian: experimentation within the Chinese context and towards new modes of representation.
Now at: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Janoush, Andreas (1998)
The reform of imperial ritual during the reign of Emperor Wu of the Liang dynasty (502-549).
Now at: Universidad Autónoma, Madrid

Brashier, Ken (1998)
Evoking the ancestor: the stele hymn of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 C.E.).
Now at: Reed College, Oregon

Sterckx, Roel (1997)  Now at: University of Cambridge
The animal and the daemon in early China: a study of animal lore in Warring States and Han texts.

Muir, Jovanna (1997)
Li Deyu (787-850): his life, writing and place in intellectual history.

Mitter, Rana (1996)  Now at: University of Oxford (Institute of Chinese Studies)
The Japanese occupation of Manchuria.

Chang, Ning (1995)  Now at: Academia Sinica, Taiwan (Institute for Modern History)
Sino-British relations during 1910-30: a case study of British business in Hankow.

Neather, Robert (1995)  Now at: City University of Hong Kong

The fu genre in the Mid-Tang: a study in generic change.

Moore, Oliver J. (1993)  Now at: Leiden University (the Sinological Institute)
The literary arena: social and ceremonial aspects of Chinese state examinations in the T’ang chih-yen by Wang Ting-pao (870-940).


Dunstan, Helen (1981)
The Ho-tung salt administration in Ming times.
Now at: University of Sydney


McDermott, Joe (1978)
Land tenure and rural control in the Liangche region during the Southern Sung.
Now at: Cambridge (Reader Emeritus in Chinese Studies)

Wang Ch’iu-Kuei (1978)
The transformation of the Meng Chiang-nü story in Chinese popular literature.

Wright, Tim (1977)
Shandong mines in the modern Chinese coal industry up to 1937.
Now at: University of Sheffield

Wolpert, Rembrandt (1975)
Lute music and tablatures of the Tang period.

Philips, Richard (1975)
Regions of China under Japanese occupation, 1937-1945.

Beattie, Hilary (1974)
Land and lineage in China: a study of T’ung-ch’eng County, Anhwei, in the Ming and Ch’ing dynasties.

Herbert, Penelope (1974)
The life and works of Chang Chiu-ling.

Salt, Michael (1972)
Aspects of noun-formation in Chinese.

Hsü, Raymond (1972)
The vocabulary of Lu Hsün: A stylistic study.

Sutton, Donald (1971)
The rise and decline of the Yunnan Army, 1909-1925.
Now at: Carnegie Mellon University (Department of History)

Wong, Owen (1970)
Kuo Sung-tao’s mission to Great Britain.


Elvin, Mark (1968)
The Gentry democracy in Shanghai, 1905-1914.
Now at: Australian National University (emeritus)

Dolby, Arthur (1968)
Kuan Han-ch’ing and some aspects of his works.

McMullen, David (1968)
Yuan Chien and the early Ku-wen movement.
Now at: Cambridge (emeritus)

Dudbrige, Glen (1966)
The Hsi-yu chi : a study of antecedents and early versions.
Now at: Oxford University (emeritus)

Bernal, Martin (1966)
Chinese Socialism to 1913.