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Yushu Geng

Yushu Geng

PhD Candidate

Lucy Cavendish College
Cambridge CB3 0BU


I am a third-year PhD candidate. I was awarded my BA in History in 2014 and MA in Modern History in 2015, both from the University of Durham. I completed my MPhil in Multi-disciplinary Gender Studies with Distinction at the University of Cambridge in 2016.

My previous research focused on women and gender in modern Chinese history. My masters dissertation at Durham, under the supervision of Professor Paul Bailey, explored different types of ideal womanhood through a reading of gendered advertising images. My MPhil dissertation at Cambridge, "Early Chinese Feminisms, 1897-1911", supervised by Dr. Rachel Leow, examined different strands of feminist thoughts and focused on the relationship between Chinese nationalism and feminism in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. This project served the dual goals of contesting Eurocentrism in contemporary Gender Studies that often overlooked theoretical contributions of the Global South, and of rescuing Chinese feminism from the hegemonic power of the nationalist narrative. 

Research Interests

My PhD project looks at the discourses of obscenity and the practices of moral regulation in China and Singapore during the 1920s and 1930s through an examination of the print media. I take a multi-sited approach and locate my project in transnational and global frameworks, and I am particularly interested in exploring the usefulness of advertisements as historical sources. 

My broader research interests include history of gender and sexuality, print cultures, feminism, nationalism and global history.

My regional focus is China, but during my PhD training I am also branching out to investigate the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia, with a focus on Chinese communities in Singapore. 

Research Supervision

I am supervised by Dr. Rachel Leow and advised by Dr. Lucy Delap.


I am available for supervising Part I Paper 23 of the History Tripos, "World History since 1914", particularly on topics related to gender and nationalism in the Chinese context.

Other Professional Activities

October 2018, Graduate Workshop Presentation: "Obscenity and the Politics of Moral Regulation in China and Singapore, 1920s-1930s", Economic and Social History Workshop, University of Cambridge, UK

July-September 2018, Visiting Affiliation at ISEAS as Associate Fellow, ISEAS–Yusof Isak Institute, Singapore

May 2018, Graduate Workshop Presentation: "Early Chinese Feminisms (1897-1911)", Gender and Sexuality History Workshop, University of Cambridge, UK

April 2018, I gave a guest lecture for the course "Concept of China" at NYU Shanghai while I was conducting archival research in Shanghai.

March-April 2018, Visiting Scholar in Residence with the Center for Global Asia at NYU Shanghai, Shanghai, China