Judith Pernin

Researcher, Deputy Chief Editor of China Perspectives

Book review editor


Email: [email protected]
Tel: (852) 2876 6919


Researchers, CEFC Hong Kong

Research fields

History of documentary cinema in China; Independent documentary films in Taiwan and Hong Kong; Documentary practices and new media; Memory, archives and documentary
Current research project: documentary and protest


2018 : Post-doctoral fellow, EFEO
2017 : Visiting scholar at the Center for Chinese Studies of the Taiwan National Central Library
2016 : Research assistant HKBU2018 :
2013-2015 : Post-doctoral fellow, CEFC, Hong Kong. ANR-RGC France Hong Kong Collaborative Grant – “New Approaches to the Mao Era.”
2012 :Ph.D, History and civilisation, EHESS, Paris



Books and special issues of academic journals 

2015 with Camille Deprez (eds.), Post-1990 Documentary: Reconfiguring Independence, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 2015, 270 p.
2014 Pratiques indépendantes du documentaire en Chine. Histoire, esthétique et discours visuels (“Independent practices of documentary in China. History, Aesthetics, and visual discourses”), Rennes, Presses universitaires de Rennes, 289 p.

Peer-reviewed articles

2015 “Documentaire, fictions et représentations de la pauvreté chez Wang Bing” (Documentary, fictions, and the representation of poverty in Wang Bing’s films), Études Chinoises, No. 1, pp. 45-73.
2014 with Sebastian Veg (eds.), China Perspectives, No. 4, 2014: “Remembering the Mao Era: From creative practices to parallel history.”
2014 “Performance, Documentary, and the Transmission of Memories of the Great Leap Famine in the Folk Memory Project,” China Perspectives, No. 4, 2014, pp. 17-27.
2010 with Sebastian Veg (eds.), China Perspectives, No. 1, 2010: “Independent Chinese Cinema: Filming in the ‘Space of the People.’”
2010 “Filming Space/Mapping Reality in Chinese Independent Documentary Films,” China Perspectives, No. 1, 2010, pp. 23-37.

Book chapters and articles

Forthcoming, “Filmed testimonies, archives and memoirs. Chinese independent documentaries’ critical framing of the Mao era” in Sebastian Veg (ed.), Popular Memories of the Mao Era (book project accepted, contributions under review), Hong Kong University Press.
Forthcoming, “Relocating further or standing ground? Unofficial artists and independent filmmakers in the Beijing periphery,” in Minna Valjakka and Meiqin Wang (eds.), Urbanized Interfaces: Visual Arts and Architecture in Contemporary China, Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Press.
2015 “Independent Documentaries and Online Uses in China: From Cinephilia to Activism,” in Camille Déprez and Judith Pernin (eds.), Post-1990 Documentary: Reconfiguring Independence, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, pp. 233-247.
2011 “Cinéma et écriture de l’histoire: le cas des documentaires indépendants chinois” (Cinema and the writing of history: The case of Chinese independent documentary), in Jean-Pierre Bertin-Maghit (ed.), Quand Clio s’empare du documentaire, Paris, INA L’Harmattan, pp. 112-132.
2011 “China,” in Ian Aitken (ed.), Encyclopedia of the Documentary Film, New York, Routledge.

Other articles

2014 “Le Hong Kong de Wong Kar-wai : espace, nostalgie et sentimentalité” (Wong Kar-wai’s Hong Kong: space, nostalgia and sentimentality), Critique, No. 807-808, September, pp. 655-669.
2013 “Xingwei, Kongjian yu Xingdong. Youguan Yishujie de Liang San ge Jilupian” (Performance, Space and Action. Two or Three Documentaries about the Art World), Dianying zuozhe, No. 5, December 2013, pp. 221-226. (translated by Zhang Yi)
2011 “Zhongguo Duli Jilupian li de Kongjian jiqi Dianying Shijian” (Space and film practices in Chinese independent documentaries), Yunfest Film Festival, Kunming, 2011, pp. 56-71. (translated by Zhang Jinghong)

Book reviews

2016 Dan Edwards, Independent Chinese Documentary: Alternative Visions, Alternative Publics, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015, 224 p., in Senses of Cinema, No. 81, December 2016, URL: http://sensesofcinema.com/2016/book-reviews/independent-chinese-documentary.
2015 Ian Aitken and Michael Ingham, Hong Kong Documentary Film, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 2014, 237 p., in China Perspectives, No. 2015/3, p. 64-5.
2011 Chris Berry, Lü Xinyu, Lisa Rofel (eds.), The New Chinese Documentary Film Movement: For the Public record, Hong Kong, Hong Kong University Press, 2010, 320 p., in China Perspectives, Vol. 2, June 2011, p. 135.
2010 Zhang Yingjin, Cinema, Space, and Polylocality in a Globalizing China, Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 2010, 257 p., in China Perspectives, Vol. 1, March 2011, p. 142.
2009 Corrado Neri, Âges inquiets. Cinémas chinois : une représentation de la jeunesse, Lyon, Tigre de papier, 2009, 533 p., in China Perspectives, Vol. 2, July 2010, p. 136.

Conferences & workshops

2018 “The Sunflower and Umbrella movements on film: Documentary, Politics and the Aesthetics of Protest in Taiwan and Hong Kong,” Conference Sunflowers and Umbrellas: Social Movements, Political Culture and Archiving Protest in Taiwan and Hong Kong, UC Berkeley, 15-18/03/2018.
2018 “Filmer des témoignages et mettre en scène l’histoire non-officielle dans le documentaire indépendant chinois,” Enquêter en Chine et en Russie : A la recherche d’appuis communs pour la réflexion, Paris, EHESS, 13/03/2018.
2017 “Post-2000 Documentary Films in Taiwan and Hong Kong: Identity, Politics and the Aesthetics of Protest,” Center for Chinese Studies, Taiwan National Library, 21/11/2017.
2016 “Remembering the Cultural revolution: testimonies, official images and personal archives in two Chinese independent documentaries,” The Cultural Revolution Today: Literature, Film, and Cultural Debates, International Conference, The University of Hong Kong, 02-03/06/2016
2016 “Isolation, Survival and the Representation of Nature in Wang Bing’s A Man with No Name and Three Sisters”, Contextualizing Asian Eco-cinema: Past and Future, International Conference, The University of Hong Kong, 27-28/05/2016.
2015 “Not so ordinary. The role of objects in remembering and filming memories from the Cultural revolution in two Chinese independent documentaries,” Workshop Everyday Life during the Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976, The University of Hong Kong, 26-27/11/2015.
2015 “Emotions, natural disasters and documentary mise-en-scène,” International Anthropology Workshop – Comparative Study of Disasters and Upheavals: Perceptions and Responses, South-Western University for Nationalities, Chengdu, October 2015.
2014 “Recording and staging memory – Two independent films about the rightist Zhang Xianchi,” Conference “Popular Memory of the Mao Era and its Impact on History,” CEFC, CERI, FMSH, Paris, 15 December 2014.
2014 “Independent Documentaries and Online Users in China: From Cinephilia to Activism,” Visible Evidence 21, New Delhi, 12 December 2014.
2014 “Filming memory in ‘minjian’ documentary films – The Folk Memory Project,” Association for Asian Studies Conference (AAS), Philadelphia, March 2014.
2013 “The Chinese Independent Documentaries at the Hong Kong International Film Festival, Programmes, Discourses, and Strategies (1990 – 2010),” Hong Kong Baptist University, August 2013.
2012 “Chinese independent films, controversies and circulations of banned films in Asian International film festivals,” New European Research on Contemporary China, CEFC and DAAD, Beijing, July 2012.
2012 “Twenty Years of Chinese Independent Films at the Hong Kong International Film Festival: a Retrospective Analysis,” Asian Cinema Studies Society, Hong Kong University, May 2012.
2010 “Filming Space/Mapping Reality in Chinese Independent Documentary Films,” Spaces of Asian Cinema, UC Davis, USA, October 2010.
2009 “Spatial constraints and independent filmmaking,” Hong Kong Documentary Film, the Regional Context and Theoretical Perspectives, Hong Kong Baptist University, May 2009.
2008 “Cinéma et écriture de l’histoire: le cas des documentaires indépendants chinois,” Lorsque Clio s’empare du documentaire, Université de Bordeaux III – France, November 2008.