SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Dr Andrea Janku

MA PhD (Heidelberg)
  • Teaching
  • Expertise
  • Publications


Andrea Janku
Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Subject Head/Representative (History)

SOAS China Institute

Academic Staff, SOAS China Institute

Dr Andrea Janku
Email address:
+44 (0)20 7898 4636
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Academic Support Hours:
Tuesdays 11-12:30 (term time) or by appointment


I studied Classical and Modern Sinology, Romance languages and literatures, and Sociology at the University of Heidelberg, and Chinese literature in Shanghai. The research for my PhD thesis on political editorials in the late nineteenth-century Shanghai press was part of a larger project on the Shanghai Chinese-language press in foreign possession and the transformation of the Chinese public sphere. Before joining SOAS I was an assistant professor in Classical Sinology at the University of Heidelberg. While my interests in the field of China’s social and intellectual history continue to be relatively broad, my own active research has moved to the history of disasters in the early modern period and environmental history more generally. I’m currently working on a monograph on the experience of famine in late Qing and early Republican China and pursuing a collaborative project on landscapes and environmental change.

Previous PhD Students

Jocelyn Chatterton, ‘Protestant medical missionary experience during the war in China, 1937-1945: the case of Hubei province,’ 2010.

António Barrento, ‘On the move: tourist culture in China, 1895-1949,’ 2012.

Lifeng Han, ‘Carnival politics: festival spectacle and ritual in Song China, 960-1279,’ 2012.

Fion So, ‘Navigating protectionism: Diederichsen, Jebsen & Company in German Qingdao and the world, 1898-1908,’ 2014.

Lin Jiao, 'Nation, fashion and women’s everyday lives : breast-binding in China, 1910s-1970s,' 2017.


Programmes Convened
Modules Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Emily Dawes, 19th Century Protestant Missionary Perceptions of Chinese Islam
  • Junda Lu, The State as the Celestial: Roots of Statism in Modern China, 1820-1893
  • Ling-Chieh Chen, War and Postal Communication in Republican China, 1916-1949
  • Liu Yangruxin ,
  • Meilin Zhou, Japan in the Establishment of Public Health in China, 1901-1937
  • Shan Siping, Environment, Commerce and Imperial Politics in South-Eastern Mongolia (1644–1912)
  • Wonmook Kang, The Qing Perspective of ‘Europeans’, 1644-1858


For help in contacting SOAS academics and advice on services to business and the community, please contact SOAS Enterprise on +44(0)20 7898 4837 or email
For all press and media enquiries please call +44 (0)20 7898 4135 or email

Available for
  • TV
  • Radio
  • Press
  • Briefings
  • Special Study Programmes
  • Short Term Consultancy
  • Long Term Consultancy
Regional Expertise
  • East Asia
Country Expertise
  • China
  • Chinese Mandarin
  • German


Authored Books

Janku, Andrea (2003) Nur leere Reden: Politischer Diskurs und die Shanghaier Presse im China des späten neunzehnten Jahrhunderts. (Only Empty talk: political discourse and the Shanghai press in the late nineteenth century China). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.


Janku, Andrea (2018) 'Drought and Famine in Northwest China: A Late Victorian Tragedy?'. Journal of Chinese History, (2) 2, pp 373-391.

Janku, Andrea (2017) 'Landscapes of Identity: Famous Views in Linfen, Then and Now'. International Journal of Public and Private Perspectives on Healthcare, Culture, and the Environment, (1) 2, pp 1-24.

Janku, Andrea (2017) 'Landscapes of Production - Landscapes for Consumption: Famous Views in Linfen'. International Journal of Public and Private Perspectives on Healthcare, Culture, and the Environment, (1) 2, pp 24-40.

Janku, Andrea (2014) 'Guoji rendao zhuyi zai Zhongguo: cong 20 shiji chu de zaizhen tanqi 国际人道主义在中国:从20世纪初的灾赈谈起'. Shixue yuekan, (2014) 4, pp 15-19.

Janku, Andrea (2013) 'The Internationalisation of Disaster Relief in Early Twentieth‐century China'. Berliner Chinahefte/Chinese History and Society 43, pp 6-28.

Janku, Andrea (2011) '天灾乎人祸乎:1928-1930 年西北大饥荒. Translation of 'From Natural to National Disaster: The Chinese Famine of 1928-1930''. Zhongguo xueshu = China Scholarship, (9) 2, pp 227-262.

Janku, Andrea (2009) 'Linfen fangzhi zhuanji zhong de zaihai tiyan 1600~1900 [临汾方志传记中的灾害体验1600-1900]. Translation of "What Chinese Biographies of Moral Exemplars Tell Us about Disaster Experiences, 1600~1900"'. Qingshi yanjiu 清史研究, (2009) 1, pp 1-9.

Janku, Andrea (2007) 'Towards a History of Natural Disasters in China: The Case of Linfen County'. The Medieval History Journal, (10) 1-2, pp 267-301.

Janku, Andrea (2004) 'Sowing Happiness: Spiritual Competition in Famine Relief Activities in Late Nineteenth-Century China'. Minsu quyi (民俗曲藝) = Journal of Chinese Ritual, Theatre and Folklore, (143), pp 89-118.

Janku, Andrea (2004) 'Preparing the Ground for Revolutionary Discourse: From the Jingshiwen Compilations to Journalistic Writings in 19th Century China'. T'oung-Pao, (90) 1-3, pp 65-121.

Edited Books or Journals

Liu, Ts'ui-jung and Janku, Andrea and Pietz, David, (eds.), (2018) Landscape Change and Resource Utilisation in East Asia: Perspectives from Environmental History. Routledge. (Academia Sinica on East Asia).

Janku, Andrea and Schenk, Gerrit J. and Mauelshagen, Franz, (eds.), (2012) Historical Disasters in Context: Science, Religion, and Politics. New York: Routledge. (Routledge studies in cultural history, 15).

Book Chapters

Janku, Andrea (2020) 'Landscapes and Local Identity: the Eight Views of Linfen'. In: Merviö, Mika Markus, (ed.), Recent Social, Environmental, and Cultural Issues in East Asian Societies. Hershey, PA: IGI Global, pp 95-117.

Janku, Andrea (2020) 'Landscapes and Environmental Change: Famous Views of Linfen'. In: Merviö, Mika Markus, (ed.), Recent Social, Environmental, and Cultural Issues in East Asian Societies. Hershey, PA: IGI Global, pp 118-134.

Janku, Andrea (2013) '“New Methods to Nourish the People”: Late Qing Encyclopaedic Writings on Political Economy'. In: Doleželová-Velingerová, Milena and Wagner, Rudolf G., (eds.), Chinese Encyclopaedias of New Global Knowledge (1870‐1920): Changing Chinese Ways of Thought. Heidelberg: Springer, pp 329-366.

Janku, Andrea (2012) 'From Natural to National Disaster: The Chinese Famine of 1928-1930'. In: Janku, Andrea and Schenk, Gerrit J. and Mauelshagen, Franz, (eds.), Historical Disasters in Context: Science, Religion, and Politics. New York: Routledge, pp 227-260.

Janku, Andrea (2011) 'The Uses of Genres in the Chinese Press from the Late Qing to the Early Republican Period'. In: Brokaw, Cynthia and Reed, Christopher, (eds.), From Woodblocks to the Internet: Chinese Publishing and Print Culture in Transition. Leiden: Brill, pp 111-157.

Janku, Andrea (2009) ''Heaven-Sent Disasters' in Late Imperial China: the Scope of the State and Beyond'. In: Mauch, Christof and Pfister, Christian, (eds.), Natural Disasters, Cultural Responses: Case Studies Toward a Global Environmental History. Lanham: Lexington Books, pp 233-264.

Janku, Andrea (2009) 'What Chinese Biographies of Moral Exemplars Tell Us about Disaster Experiences (1600~1900)'. In: Summermatter, Stephanie, et al., (ed.), Nachhaltige Geschichte: Festschrift für Christian Pfister. Zürich: Chronos, pp 129-148.

Janku, Andrea (2008) 'Kulturelle Spurensuche in den Hungergebieten Henans: ein Reisetagebuch (Searching for the Cultural Traces of the Past in the Famine Districts of Henan Province: a Travel Diary)'. In: Leutner, Mechthild and Mühlhahn, Klaus, (eds.), Reisen in chinesischer Geschichte und Gegenwart. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, pp 71-94.

Janku, Andrea (2008) 'Zhongguo ziran zaihai shi zhi tansuo: Linfen-xian ge'an yanjiu [中國自然災害史之探索:臨汾縣個案研究] Towards a History of Disasters in China: the Case of Linfen County'. In: Liu, Ts'ui-jung, (ed.), Ziran yu renwei hudong: huanjingshi yanjiu de shijiao [自然與人為互動:環境史研究的視角]. Interactions of Nature and Humans: Perspectives of Environmental History. Taibei: Zhongyang yanjiuyuan, Lianjing chuban gongsi, pp 165-190.

Janku, Andrea (2007) 'Wei Huabei jihuang zuo zheng: jiedu Xiangling xianzhi ‘zhenwu’ juan [为华北饥荒作证:解读《襄陵县志》“赈务”卷 = Documenting the North-China Famine: the Chapter on Relief Affairs in the Xiangling xianzhi]'. In: Li, Wenhai and Xia, Mingfang, (eds.), Tian you xiongnian: Qingdai zaihuang yu Zhongguo shehui = 天有凶年:清代灾荒与中国社会 (Years of Disaster: Natural Calamities and Chinese Society during the Qing Dynasty). Beijing: Sanlian shudian, pp 479-508.

Janku, Andrea (2006) 'Ironie, Spott und Kritik: Zeitgenössische Ansichten über den Rebellen Kang Youwei (Irony, Mockery and Critique: Contemporary Views on the Rebel Kang Youwei)'. In: Roetz, Heiner, (ed.), Kritik im alten und modernen China=Critique in ancient and modern China. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, pp 207-223.

Janku, Andrea (2004) 'Translating Genre: How the Leading Article Became the Shelun'. In: Lackner, Michael and Vittinghoff, Natascha, (eds.), Mapping Meanings. The Field of New Learning in Late Qing China. Leiden: Brill, pp 329-353.

Janku, Andrea (1999) 'Der Leitartikel in der frühen chinesischen Presse: Aspekte kultureller Interaktion auf der Ebene des Genres (The leading article in the early Chinese press: aspects of cultural interaction as seen from the perspective of genres)'. In: Rothermund, Dietmar, (ed.), Aneignung und Selbstbehauptung: Antworten auf die europäische Expansion = Appropriation and self-assertion: answers to the European expansion. Munchen: Oldenbourg, pp 111-136.

Janku, Andrea (1998) 'Xiandai dushi de wenren he zhishi fenzi de shehui zeren: shi lun Shenbao zhubian Shanghai Huang Xiexun (1852-1925) [现代都市的文人和知识分子的社会责任:试论《申报》主编上海黄协埙 = The modern urban literati and the intellectual’s social duty: the case of Huang Xiexun from Shanghai, editor-in-chief of the Shanghai Daily]'. In: Zhang, Zhongli, (ed.), Zhongguo jindai chengshi qiye, shehui, kongjian = 中国近代城市企业、社会、空间. Shanghai: Shehui kexueyuan chubanshe, pp 272-295.

Conference Items

Janku, Andrea (2001) 'The North-China Famine of 1876-1879: Performance and Impact of a Non-Event' In: Measuring Historical Heat: Event, Performance, and Impact in China and the West. Symposium in Honour of Rudolf G. Wagner on His 60th Birthday.

Book Reviews

Janku, Andrea (2014) 'Review of 'The People's Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited' by Louisa Lim'. LSE Review of Books.

Janku, Andrea (2012) 'Review of R. Kent Guy, 'Qing Governors and Their Provinces: the Evolution of Territorial Administration in China, 1644-1796''. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, (75) 1, pp 205-207.

Janku, Andrea (2011) 'Visualising China: China 1850-1950 – an Interactive Resource'. Reviews in History.

Janku, Andrea (2010) 'Review of Joanna Handlin Smith, 'The Art of Doing Good: Charity in Late Ming China''. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, (73) 2, pp 338-339.

Janku, Andrea (2010) 'Review of Chang Woei Ong, 'Men of Letters Within the Passes: Guanzhong Literati in Chinese History, 907–1911''. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, (73) 2, pp 336-337.

Janku, Andrea (2010) 'Review of Rudolf G. Wagner, ed., 'Joining the Global Public: Word, Image, and City in Early Chinese Newspapers, 1870–1910''. T'oung-Pao, (96) 1-3, pp 265-277.

Janku, Andrea (2010) 'Review of Kathryn Edgerton-Tarpley, 'Tears From Iron: Cultural Responses to Famine in Nineteenth-Century China''. Medical History, (54) 1, pp 129-130.

Janku, Andrea (2010) 'Review of William T. Rowe, 'China’s Last Empire: The Great Qing''. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, (73) 3, pp 562-564.

Janku, Andrea (2010) 'Review of Lillian M. Li, 'Fighting Famine in North China: State, Market, and Environmental Decline, 1690s~1990s''. The China Review: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Greater China, (10) 1, pp 255-259.

Janku, Andrea (2009) 'Review of Frank Dikötter, 'The Age of Openness: China Before Mao''. China Journal, (62), pp 235-237.

Janku, Andrea (2009) 'Review of Iwo Amelung, 'Der Gelbe Fluss in Shandong (1851-1911): Überschwemmungskatastrophen und ihre Bewältigung im China der späten Qing-Zeit''. Zhongguo xueshu = 中国学术, (25), pp 251-256.

Janku, Andrea (2005) 'Review of 'Gutenberg in Shanghai. Chinese Print Capitalism, 1876–1937'. By Christopher A. Reed. [Vancouver, Toronto: University of British Columbia Press, 2004. xvii, 391 pp.'. The China Quarterly, (182), pp 443-445.

Janku, Andrea (2004) 'Review of 'Xiaohong Xiao-Planes, Éducation et politique en Chine. Le rôle des élites du Jiangsu, 1905-1914' Paris: Éditions de l’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, 2001'. T'oung Pao, (90) 4, pp 438-446.

Janku, Andrea (2003) 'Review of 'Kai Vogelsang. Feng Kuei-fen und sein Chiao-Pin lu k’ang-i'. Hamburg: Hamburger Sinologische Gesellschaft, 2001'. Zhongguo xueshu = 中国学术, (16), pp 284-289.


Janku, Andrea (2002) 'Electronic Index to the Early Shenbao (1872-1898)'.

Janku, Andrea (2001) 'Nachtbankett [Translation of Yeyan 夜宴, libretto by Zou Jingzhi]'.

Janku, Andrea (2001) 'Die letzte Saite [Translation of Ming ruo qinxian 命若琴弦, libretto by Wu Lan and Qu Xiaosong, adapted from a short story by Shi Tiesheng and the Yuan-dynasty drama Dou’e yuan by Guan Hanqing]'.


This list was last generated on Friday, 1st July 2022, 21:44 Europe/London.