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Dr Jennifer Altehenger

Dr Jennifer Altehenger

  • Academics
  • Affiliates

Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Chinese History

Research subject areas

  • Politics
  • Policy and society

Contact 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 History Faculty, University of Oxford and Merton College and an An Wang postdoctoral fellow at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University.

Research interests and PhD supervision

Dr Altehenger'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 current project explores the connection between materials, industrialisation, ideology, and design in China after 1949. From 2018 to 2019, she will be working on this project supported by an AHRC leadership fellowship. Smaller projects include article-length studies of China's participation at the Leipzig Trade Fairs during the 1950s and 1960s and the history of fibreboard during the Great Leap Forward.

Jennifer would welcome applications from students who wish to work on:

  • Modern and contemporary Chinese history (particularly socio-cultural, legal, and material history)
  • Media and propaganda in China (esp. 20th century)
  • Materials, production, and material culture in China
  • Social and cultural history of China's links with other socialist countries

For more details, please see her full research profile.


At undergraduate level, I teach survey modules on the history of modern China as well as term-long modules on the cultural history of the Cold War in East Asia and the social history of twentieth-century Beijing and Shanghai. At postgraduate level, I teach a module on the history of the People's Republic of China that examines new approaches and sources in the study of Chinese state socialism.