King's College London

Research portal

Dr Jennifer Altehenger

Biographical details

Jennifer Altehenger obtained her BA in Oriental Studies from the University of Cambridge and her doctorate from the Institute of Chinese Studies, University of Heidelberg. Before arriving at King's, she was a departmental lecturer in Modern Chinese History at the University of Oxford and Merton College, and an An Wang postdoctoral fellow at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University.

Jennifer's research explores the cultural, political, legal, and material history of modern China. She is interested in the history of propaganda, information, and cultural production under Communist Party rule, the conceptual history of terms and political language, and the role of materiality in Chinese politics and everyday life. Her first book, Legal Lessons: Popularizing Laws in the People's Republic of China, 1949-1989 (Harvard University Press/Harvard University Asia Center, 2018), examined law propaganda and the popularisation of legal knowledge in socialist China during and after the Mao Era. She has further published articles and chapters on the history of lexicography, political satire, and on Communist China's links to other socialist countries before 1989. Her new book project (Material Maoism: a history of everyday industrial design in China) will explore the connection between materials, industrialisation, ideology, and design in China after 1949. As part of this research, she is also working on article-length studies of China's participation at the Leipzig Trade Fairs during the 1950s and 1960s, the socialist lives of bamboo, and the history of fibreboard during the Great Leap Forward.

During the academic year 2018-19 Jennifer will be on research leave funded by an Arts and Humanities Research Council leadership fellowship (AH/R000174/1, for further information please see https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=AH%2FR000174%2F1). In addition to the monograph Material Maoism, this project will lead to the creation of a new online resource called "The Mao Era in Objects" (designed and hosted by the King's Digital Lab) and a co-edited volume on Mao Era material culture (edited together with Dr Denise Ho, Yale University).

Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Oxford-Princeton Workshop on Subjects, Citizens and Global History Since 1700

Jennifer Altehenger (Invited speaker)

20 Sep 2013

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

'Everyday Life under Socialism in Comparative Perspective.' University of Oxford

Jennifer Altehenger (Speaker)

Sep 2013

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

'Micropolitics of Maoist China: Learning the Language of Socialism in Comparative Perspectives.' East China Normal University

Jennifer Altehenger (Speaker)

Jul 2013

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

'New Perspectives on the 1950s in China.' University of York

Jennifer Altehenger (Speaker)

Jul 2013

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

China Research Seminar, University of Cambridge

Jennifer Altehenger (Invited speaker)

6 Mar 2013

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Institute of Historical Research, London

Jennifer Altehenger (Invited speaker)

28 Jan 2013

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Southeast and East Asia History Seminar, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Jennifer Altehenger (Invited speaker)

15 Jan 2013

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

'New Inquiries and Insights on Chinese Legal Culture/History/Modernity.' Columbia University, Weatherhead Institute

Jennifer Altehenger (Speaker)

May 2012

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

'The Transnational ‘50s: New perspectives on the early PRC and the outside world.' Columbia University

Jennifer Altehenger (Speaker)

May 2011

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

'The Cultures of Emergency.' National University of Singapore.

Jennifer Altehenger (Speaker)

Aug 2009

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Center for East Asian Studies, University of Heidelberg

Jennifer Altehenger (Speaker)

Jun 2008

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Editorial activity

DeGruyter (Publisher)

Jennifer Altehenger (Editor)

Nov 2018 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

Participation in conference

Association of Asian Studies, San Diego

Jennifer Altehenger (Speaker)

Mar 2013

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

British Association of Chinese Studies, Annual Conference

Jennifer Altehenger (Speaker)

Sep 2012

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

European Association of Chinese Studies Biennial Conference, Paris

Jennifer Altehenger (Speaker)

Sep 2012

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Association of Asian Studies New England Regional Conference

Jennifer Altehenger (Speaker)

Oct 2011

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

'Trends on the Move.' Karl-Jaspers Center, University of Heidelberg

Jennifer Altehenger (Speaker)

Oct 2011

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

European Association of Chinese Studies Biennial Conference, Panel 'Chinese Legal Reforms: From Imperial to Socialist Rule.'

Jennifer Altehenger (Organiser)

Jul 2010

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

International Conference, Popular Culture Association

Jennifer Altehenger (Speaker)

Jul 2009

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

'Rethinking Trends: Transcultural flows in popular spheres.' Karl-Jaspers Center, University of Heidelberg

Jennifer Altehenger (Speaker)

Nov 2008

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

European Association of Chinese Studies Biennial Conference

Jennifer Altehenger (Speaker)

Aug 2008

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Types of Award - Election to learned society

Fellow

Jennifer Altehenger (Fellow)

2018 → …

Activity: OtherTypes of Award - Election to learned society

Fellow

Jennifer Altehenger (Fellow)

20152020

Activity: OtherTypes of Award - Election to learned society

Types of Award - Fellowship awarded competitively

Fast Track Fellowship, Robert Bosch Stiftung

Jennifer Altehenger (Recipient)

20142016

Activity: OtherTypes of Award - Fellowship awarded competitively

Types of External academic engagement - Invited talk

'Under the Chairman's Sun: The People's Republic of China from "Golden Age" through Cultural Revolution, 1949-1978.'

Jennifer Altehenger (Speaker)

12 Feb 2013

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Invited talk

'Lawless China? Politik, Medien und Rechtskultur(en) in der chinesischen Zeitgeschichte.'

Jennifer Altehenger (Speaker)

23 Nov 2012

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Invited talk

'Socialist Ceremonies Inc.: Wedding agencies, local government, and ceremonial design in Shanghai, 1949-1956.'

Jennifer Altehenger (Speaker)

Sep 2012

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Invited talk

'Marriage Law Propaganda and Legal Education Campaigns in the Early PRC.'

Jennifer Altehenger (Speaker)

30 Nov 2011

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Invited talk

'A People’s Law? Marriage Law Propaganda and Mass Campaigning in the PRC.'

Jennifer Altehenger (Speaker)

Oct 2011

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Invited talk

'Lawless China? Legal Culture, Media, and Politics in the Making of Modern China.'

Jennifer Altehenger (Speaker)

Mar 2011

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Invited talk

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