Dr Qiaoyun Zhang

qiaoyun zhang


Research Associate

Qiaoyun Zhang is ​currently a research fellow at the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), the Netherlands. Her research focuses on cultural recovery and preservation after disasters, and engages with topics of state-ethnic relation in China, cultural heritage preservation, disaster tourism, and sustainable development.

At IIAS, ​Qiaoyun is working on a project titled 'Cultural Heritagization in Times of Crisis: A Chinese Experience​', which investigates if and how heritagization is an effective measure for cultural preservation and community development in ​China.

She ​received ​​her ​PhD in ​anthropology from Tulane University (USA) in 2016. Her dissertation ​analyzed​ the Chinese state-led post-disaster recovery projects for the ethnic minority Qiang people in southwest China after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. It examined both the state’s conception of the Qiang through its policies and projects, and the range of Qiang villagers’ response to the reconstruction and negotiation of their lives and relationships—revealing complexities and problems of this 'culturally sensitive' recovery project. Prior to that, Qiaoyun researched the recovery of the food and restaurant culture after Hurricane Katrina 2005 in New Orleans, USA. during her master's studies. ​She obtained her Bachelor's degrees in English and ​accounting from Fudan University, China.

Qiaoyun's research was funded by by the National Science Foundation, Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International ​Scholarly Exchange, Association for Asian Studies, among others. She was research associate and academic consultant ​of the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage of the Smithsonian Institution, USA (2014 and 2017). ​Between 2015 and 2017, she served as the co-chair of the Risk & Disaster T​opic ​I​nterest ​Group of the Society for Applied Anthropology, USA​.

Selected publications

2017. ​'Heritagization of Disaster Ruins and Ethnic Culture in China: Recovery Plans after the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake' (with Katiana Le M​e​ntec). China Information, ​31(3):349-370.

2017.  'Imagining Culture: The Politics of Culturally Sensitive Reconstruction and Resilience Building in​ Post-Wenchuan Earthquake China” (with Roberto Barrios). I​n Understanding Vulnerability, Building Resilience: Responses to Disasters and Climate Change, Michèle Companion and Miriam Chaiken, eds, Pp.93-102, CRC Press.

2016. 'Disaster Response and Recovery: Aid and Social Change'. Annals of Anthropological Practice 40:86-97.

​2012. 'Phoenix Out of Ashes: Convergence of Disaster and Heritage Tourism in Jina Qiang Village, Sichuan, China'. Practicing Anthropology 34:24-28. 

​​(First-prize winner, Tourism and Heritage Topic Interest Group Student Paper Prize, Society for Applied Anthropology) 

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