Dr. Bernd Spyra


DFG-Project: Early 20th century Chinese popular prints: The collection of the Museum at the Rothenbaum, Hamburg.


Contact Information:Foto Spyra.jpg

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg    
Institut für Sinologie
Werthmannstraße 12
79098 Freiburg, Germany


Email: bernd.spyra[at]sinologie.uni-freiburg.de



Research interests:

Chinese visual, printing and material culture; history of photography; production and reception of Chinese culture in transnational contexts


Current research project:


Early 20th century Chinese popular prints: The collection of the Museum at the Rothenbaum, Hamburg

The object of this project are 360 specimen of popular Chinese prints held within the collection of more than 1300 not yet researched Chinese prints of Hamburg’s Museum am Rothenbaum, Kulturen und Künste der Welt (MARKK), the former Hamburg Museum of Ethnology. These color-prints were industrially produced in Shanghai during the late 1920s and early 1930s, their form and content replicates the popular New Year pictures (nianhua 年畫), which in research up to now were exclusively identified as block prints. Evidently these color-prints form a unique corpus, which puts the established typology of Chinese popular prints to question. The aim of this project is therefore to create a Chinese-German entangled history of the early scientific conception and imagination of popular Chinese prints and Chinese visual popular culture, centered on the actors involved in the creation of the collection.

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) - Project number 517637735


Work experience:

05.2022 – 10.2022         Postdoctoral researcher, Centre for the Study of Manuscript
                                    Cultures, Hamburg University



2020     PhD Sinology, Hamburg University

2014     M.A. Sinology, Hamburg University

2012     B.A. East Asian Studies (Sinology), Hamburg University


Personal website


Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Institut für Sinologie
Werthmannstraße 12
D-79098 Freiburg i. Br.

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