Prof. Dr. Marc Matten

Bild von Marc Matten

Internationales Kolleg für Geisteswissenschaftliche Forschung "Schicksal, Freiheit und Prognose. Bewältigungsstrategien in Ostasien und Europa"
Hartmannstr. 14
91052 Erlangen

Home Institution: Institute for Near Eastern and East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Erlangen

IKGF Visiting Fellow October 2018 – March 2019

IKGF Research Project:

Fixing Foreign Sciences - Political Interventions in Transnational Knowledge Transfers in Maoist China

Curriculum Vitae

After studying sinology, Japanese studies and economics at the University of Bonn I obtained my PhD in Bonn in 2007, with a thesis on national identity discourses in late imperial and early Republican China (publ. by Harrassowitz in 2009). After a few years of nomadic life in the Netherlands and Taiwan I came to Erlangen in 2009 where I took up the professorship in Chinese contemporary history. During the first years, I finished my habilitations thesis on geopolitical discourses and the problem of hegemony in international relations of modern East Asia (publ. by Brill in 2016). In recent years, I have been focusing on issues in the history of knowledge production of modern China. I am especially interested in how a socialist (Maoist) society could accommodate for scientific knowledge from capitalist societies. We know of some famous conflicts when certain forms of knowledge were rejected for ideological reasons, such as in physics (Einstein's theory of general relativitiy) and genetics (Lysenkoism). The question is if and to what extent (Maoist) ideology was able to rule all scientific disciplines, and how it engaged with so-called traditional knowledge (in medicine and chemistry, for instance).

Selected Publications


2016Imagining a Postnational World - Hegemony and Space in Modern China. Leiden: Brill.
2009Die Grenzen des Chinesischen - Nationale Identitätsstiftung im China des 20. Jahrhunderts. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz-Verlag.

Books edited

2011 Places of Memory in Modern China - History, Politics, Identity. Leiden: Brill (paperback 2013).


2018 "Coping with Invisible Threats: Nuclear Radiation and Science Dissemination in Maoist China", in: East Asian Science - Technology and Society 12/3, pp. 235-256.
2018 "Being Modern without the West? On the Futility of Self-Assertion in Chinese Thought", in: Iwo Amelung and Joachim Kurtz (ed.), Reading the Signs: Philology, History, Prognostication, München: Iudicium, pp. 411-428.
2014 "Zhongguo yingxiong de Riben hua - Riben zhimin huayu zhong de Guoxingye [中国英雄的日本化–日本殖民话语中的国姓爷]", in: Sun Jiang 孙江 (ed.), Lishi yu jiyi (Xin shixue di 8 juan) [历史与记忆(新史学 第八卷], Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, pp. 245-270.
2012 "'China is the China of the Chinese': The Concept of Nation and its Impact on Political Thinking in Modern China", in: Oriens Extremus 51, pp. 63-106.