Thorben Pelzer

Thorben Pelzer

Wiss. Mitarbeiter

Gesellschaft und Kultur des modernen China
Schillerstr. 6, Room S 319
04109 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-37158
Fax: +49 341 97-37159

 Thorben Pelzer

Thorben Pelzer

Wiss. Mitarbeiter

Leipzig Research Centre Global Dynamics (ReCentGlobe)
Nikolaistr. 6-10
04109 Leipzig


Since September 2017, Thorben Pelzer holds the position of university lecturer for Society and Culture of Modern China at Leipzig University. He graduated in Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, and East Asia Studies at Ruhr-University Bochum. Further, he studied at Osaka University, at Tongji University in Shanghai, and at National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei. He is an alumni of the German Merit Foundation. As a social and cultural historian of the Republican period, he currently researches Chinese engineers who studied in the USA.

Professional career

  • 08/2018 - 09/2018
    Research stay at MIT, including research at Harvard, Yale, Columbia archives
  • 07/2018 - 08/2018
    Invited guest researcher, Renmin University, Beijing
  • since 09/2017
    University lecturer, Society and Culture of Modern China, Leipzig
  • 05/2017 - 08/2017
    Freelance, German as a Second Language, Bochum
  • 03/2016 - 06/2016
    Full time internship, German Consulate General, Shanghai
  • 02/2015 - 03/2017
    Research assistant, Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities, Essen
  • 10/2012 - 09/2013
    Student assistant, Section for Chinese History & Philosophy, Bochum


  • since 04/2018
    PhD Candidate, Graduate School Global and Area Studies, Leipzig
  • 09/2016 - 02/2017
    Exchange semester, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei
  • 04/2015 - 03/2017
    M.A. East Asia Studies, Bochum
  • 02/2014 - 07/2014
    Exchange semester, Tongji University, Shanghai
  • 09/2013 - 02/2014
    Exchange semester, Osaka University, Japan
  • 08/2012 - 10/2012
    Summer school, Tongji University, Shanghai
  • 10/2011 - 04/2015
    B.A. Sinology & Japanology, Bochum
  • Late-Qing, Beiyang, Warlord, and Early Nationalist Republic Eras
  • Engineering and Technocratic Cultures
  • Overseas Chinese Education, Exchanges, and Transculturalities
  • Current research on US-educated Chinese engineers at GSGAS
  • Pelzer, T.; Schatz, M.
    Einstieg in die Chinastudien. Methoden, Modelle, Übungsaufgaben
    Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter Oldenbourg. 2019
    show details

more publications

Thorben Pelzer teaches historical and contemporary Chinese societies and cultures. He focuses on breaking down stereotypes and cultural essentialisms by recognizing the diversity of Chinese traditions. One link is the acquisition and practice of scientific thought and form. In his seminars he focuses on new teaching methods such as CRS (Kahoot), workshops (world café) and Flipped Classrooms (transfer tasks). Together with Merle Schatz, he received the LaborUni grant from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in 2018.

  • Chinese Societies [after 1949]

    Every summer term

  • Models and Methods of Area Studies and Chinese Studies

    Every winter term

    Receiver of the teaching project grant StiL LaborUni #8