Julia Schneider studied classical sinology and musicology in Heidelberg, Berlin (HU) and Wien, including a stay abroad in Beijing. 2013 Julia Schneider finished her PhD thesis at the University of Ghent and the University of Göttingen.
What are your main research interests?
Nationalism and nationalist historiography, Chinese historiography and historical theory (late imperial and Republican times), Chinese concepts of ethnic identity and assimilation, non-Chinese ethnicities in East Asia in Chinese historiography.
What are your current projects?
I have not yet begun with my post-doc research, which will possibly be an analysis of the Manchu-Chinese world order (17th to 19th century).
What led you to pursue this research?
How is your research unique?
My PhD research is unique insofar as it is not only the first attempt to trace the origins and early development of the sinicization theory which had and still has an immense impact in Chinese and sinological historiography, but it is also the first analysis which finds direct links between late Qing Chinese nationalist thinking and early Republican historiographical approaches with regard to inner-Qing non-Chinese people, their history and their integration in the Chinese nation-state. Embedded in the general analysis of nationalism and nations my work provides a strong argument in favor of the social constructionist argument, interpreting the nation as being an “imagined community”. This holds definitely true for Chinese nationalist thinking and its desire to integrate non-Chinese territories and peoples into the nation.
How would you describe your work as importance to an interested lay audience?
Understanding how China’s history is produced makes us aware of its constructivist character and enables us to question accepted paradigms (like the sinicization theory, that is, the theory that all non-Chinese dynasties and people become Chinese when they come into contact with Chinese culture and people) and their impact on the Chinese understanding of the world.