Margaret Hillenbrand



Associate Professor of Modern Chinese Literature and Culture; Fellow of Wadham College 

Faculty / College Address:

China Centre / Wadham College


Research Interests:

My research and publications to date have focused on literary and visual culture in twentieth-century China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan, and I recently finished a book on the relationship between historic photographs and public secrecy in China during the post-Mao period. I am now working on a new project about the aesthetics of precarity in twenty-first-century China.

Selected Publications:


  • Negative Exposures: Knowing What Not to Know in Contemporary China, Durham, NC: Duke University Press (forthcoming 2020).
  • Documenting China: An Interpretive Reader in Seminal Twentieth-Century Texts (with Chloë Starr), Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2011. 240 pp. ISBN 0295991275.
  • Literature, Modernity, and the Practice of Resistance: Japanese and Taiwanese Fiction, 1960-1990, Leiden: Brill, 2007. 362 pp. ISBN 9004154787. [Partly translated into Chinese as “Chongshen Meiguo baquan”, trans. Chang Yu-min, Tu Hsin-hsin, and Cheng Hui-wen, in Li Sher-shiueh (ed.), Yidi fanhua: haiwai Taiwan wenxue wenlun xuanyi, vol. 2, Taibei: National Taiwan University Press, 2012, 229-320].

Edited volumes

Journal articles

Book chapters

  • “Voices of Empire in Dubliners and Taibeiren in Shu-mei Shih and Ping-hui Liao (eds.), Comparatizing Taiwan, New York and London: Routledge, 2014, 175-201.
  • The Personals: Backward Glances, Knowing Looks, and the Voyeur Film” in Chris Berry (ed.), Chinese Films in Focus 2, London, British Film Institute, 2008, 175-81.



  • “Kubi to karada” (Head and Body) by Wu Yongfu, tr. M. Hillenbrand, Taiwan Literature: English Translation Series 19: Special Issue on Taiwan Literature During the Period of Japanese Rule (2006): 39-49.


  • “Gu’er de yanjing. Wu Zhuoliu youjizhong de ziwo ningshi yu tazhe xiangxiang” (The Eyes of an Orphan: Gazing at the Self and Imagining the Other in the Travel Diaries of Wu Zhuoliu) by Jian Yiming, tr. M. Hillenbrand, Taiwan Literature: English Translation Series 15: Special Issue on Wu Zhuoliu (2004): 199-240.

Further Info:

Editorial and advisory boards

Seminar series

  • Convenor of the Oxford Seminar on Visual Culture in Modern and Contemporary China

Current D.Phil. students

  • Kate Costello: “Writing Between Languages: Rethinking Bilingualism in Contemporary Chinese Literature”
  • Annabella Massey: “Cities of the Mind: New Urban Imaginaries in Contemporary Chinese Literary and Visual Culture”
  • Flair Donglai Shi: “The Yellow Peril Discourse in Anglophone and Sinophone Literatures, 1895 to the Present: Mutations, Reactions, and Reincarnations” (co-supervisor)
  • Di Wang: “Aesthetic Search for Meaning: Body Language in Modern Chinese Art and Visual Culture (1900-1937)” (co-supervisor)
  • Xiaochu Wu: “Aesthetic Turns in Contemporary Feature Films from Mainland China”
  • Min Hui Yeo: “Working with the Other: Connections between the Malay- and Chinese-language Cinemas and Film Industries (1950s-1980s)"



Photograph of Margaret Hillenbrand
List of site pages