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Dr Vivienne Xiangwei  Guo

Dr Vivienne Xiangwei Guo

  • Academics
  • Affiliates

Lecturer in Modern Chinese History

Affiliate of the Lau China Institute.

Contact details


Before I conducted my PhD research in history at King’s College London, I had studied international politics at Peking University, China and Waseda University, Japan and then obtained my MSc in international relations at LSE. Between 2014 and 2016, I worked as a research associate at the University of Cologne. And between 2016 and 2021, I worked as a lecturer in modern Chinese history at the University of Exeter. I joined King’s College London in September 2021. 

Research interests and PhD supervision

  • Intellectual and political history of modern China
  • Gender and women’s history of modern China
  • Chinese warlordism
  • Networks and societies of Chinese elite

My work focuses on the intellectual, political, and cultural history of modern China, in particular the history of China’s intellectual elite – their networks, societies and identities – in the late nineteenth century and the twentieth century.

My first monograph, Women and Politics in Wartime China, focuses on Chinese elite women as a special socio-political group committed to ‘national resistance and reconstruction’ from the 1930s to the 1950s, and places their sophisticated networks in the shifting geopolitical, social and cultural spaces of wartime China.

My current research concerns the intellectual and ideological aspects of Chinese warlordism. It studies the ways in which Chinese intellectuals (men of letters) and warlords (men of guns) communicated, collaborated, and identified with one another in initiating political reformation and cultural renewal in the 1910’s and 1920’s. I am also working on a new project on the foreign language learning of Chinese intellectuals since the late nineteenth century. It focuses on the teaching, learning, and using of foreign languages (mainly French) as a distinctive channel for cultural, political, and epistemological creation.

Selected Publications

Women and Politics in Wartime China: Networking Across Geopolitical Borders (London and New York: Routledge, 2019)

‘Making the “Good Government” with the “Good People”: Collaboration between General Wu Peifu and Endeavor Intellectuals, 1920–1922’ Twentieth-Century China 2 (May 2022), in press

‘Not Just a Man of Guns: Chen Jiongming, Warlord, and the May Fourth Intellectual (1919-1922)’, Journal of Chinese History Vol 4, Issue 1(2020): 161-185.

‘Forging a Women’s United Front: Chinese Elite Women’s Networks for National Salvation and Resistance 1932-1938’, Modern Asian Studies 53, 2 (2019): 483–511.

‘Leaning to the Left: The Political Reorganisation of Chinese Women Activists within the CCP United-Front Framework (1945-1949)’, British Journal of Chinese Studies Vol. 7 (2017): 29-62.


I teach a range of modules at undergraduate and postgraduate level, with a particular focus on the history of modern China (from the nineteenth century to present). 

Expertise and public engagement

2021, three-episode Arte series Reinventing China, commenting on the history of modern and contemporary China in the entire nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Other historians contributing to this series include Julia Lovell, Timothy Brook, and Prasenjit Duara.

2017, WildBear Entertainment 2017 series, The Impossible Peace (IMDb, commenting on the history of interwar China. Other historians contributing to this series include Rana Mitter.