Nathanel Amar


Email : [email protected]


CEFC Associate Researcher

Research fields


2019-2023: Researcher and director of the CEFC Taipei antenna

2017-2019: Post-doctoral Fellow, The Society of Fellows in the Humanities, The University of Hong Kong

2015-2017: Associate researcher, CERI-Sciences Po, Teaching Assistant, Sciences Po Paris

2015: Ph.D, Political Science, Sciences Po Paris (CERI)

2012: MA in Philosophy, Sorbonne Paris I

2011: MA in Political Science, Sciences Po Paris

2010: Bachelor in Chinese language, literature and civilization, National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO), Paris



Scream for Life. L’invention d’une contre-culture punk en Chine populaire, Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2022, 414 p.



  • 2023 IASPM (International Association for the Study of Popular Music) Book Prize

Articles in academic journals

“Le faussaire du punk chinois. Marc Boulet, les Dragons, et l’invention d’un Orient punk”, Revue de Musicologie, 2023, 109/1, pp. 119-140.

Review Essay: “Sonic Plurality in Multicultural Taiwan”, China Perspectives, 130, pp. 77-80.

“‘We come from the underground’: grounding Chinese punk in Beijing and Wuhan”, Popular Music, 2022, 41/2, pp. 170-193.

“Navigating and Circumventing (Self)censorship in the Chinese Music Scene”, China Perspectives, 2020/2, pp. 25-33.

Editorial “Contesting and Appropriating Chineseness in Sinophone Music”, China Perspectives 2020/2, pp. 3-6.

“The Lives of Dakou in China: From Waste to Nostalgia”, Études Chinoises XXXVII-2, 2018, pp. 35-60.

Editorial “Including Music in the Sinophone, Provincializing Chinese Music”, China Perspectives 2019/3, pp. 3-6.

“Drunk is Beautiful. Boire au bord de l’eau : usage de l’alcool dans la communauté punk chinoise”, Civilisations, 66, 2017, pp. 139-155.

““你有freestyle吗?” (Do you freestyle?) The Roots of Censorship in Chinese Hip-hop”China Perspectives, 2018/1-2.

“Drunk With City. Les usages de la ville par les punks de Wuhan”, Urbanités, January 2016.

“Une histoire politique du punk-rock chinois”, Circé. Histoires, culture & société, June 2013.

Edition of Journal Issues

Book chapters

“‘Anarchy in the PRC’: Anarchist practices and references in the Chinese punk movement”, in Jim Donaghey, Will Boisseau, Caroline Kaltefleiter (eds.), Smash the System! Punk Anarchism as a Culture of Resistance, Karlovac: Active Distribution, 2022, pp. 407-433.

“江湖大逃亡”, in Clément Renaud et Dino Ge Zhang (dir.), (Un)Locked: Memories of Wuhan, Scale, 2021, pp. 27-36.

“Radical Participation: The Politics of Performance in Chinese Punk-Rock Concerts”, in Damien Charrieras and François Mouillot (eds), Fractured Scenes. Underground Music-Making in Hong Kong and East Asia, Hong Kong: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021, pp. 189-203.

“Soul of Chinese Cops. Les punks chinois face à la police”, in Paul Edwards, Elodie Grossi and Paul Schor (dir.), Disorder. Histoire sociale des mouvements punks & post-punk, Paris: Seteun, 2019, pp. 181-198.

“La communauté punk en Chine : entre réinterprétation d’une contre-culture et dissidence”, in Bernard Lacroix, Xavier Landrin, Anne-Marie Pailhès, Caroline Rolland-Diamond (dir.), Les contre-cultures. Genèses, circulations, pratiques, Paris: Syllepse, 2015, pp. 475-489.

Book reviews

Review of Meredith Schweig, Renegade Rhymes: Rap Music, Narrative, and Knowledge in Taiwan, The China Quarterly 253, 2023: 285-286.

Review of Adam Kielman, Sonic Mobilities. Producing Worlds in Southern China, Popular Music 42(1), 2023: 107-109.

Review of Andrew F. Jones, Circuit Listening: Chinese Popular Music in the Global 1960s, Journal of World Popular Music 10(1), 2023: 131-133.

Review of Paul Barclay: Outcasts of Empire. Japan’s Rule on Taiwan’s “Savage Border”, 1874–1945, H-Soz-Kult, 6 May 2020.

Review of Yiu-Wai Chu, Hong Kong Cantopop: A Concise History, China Perspectives, 2017/4.

Other articles and interventions

“Voyage au sein de la contre-culture punk en Chine populaire”, Radio Taiwan International, May 2022.

Series of four radio shows on Radio Taiwan International on music censorship in Taiwan (in French), December 2021:
“Connaissez-vous la première chanson censurée de Taïwan ?”
“Après la Seconde Guerre mondiale, une censure des chansons chaotique”
“L’apparition du campus folk au défi de la censure”
“La dernière chanson censurée, une ode à l’exaltation”

“繼續嚎叫:早期的北京龐克概況”, 失蹤者之城, 2021.

“Between ROC and a Hard Place”, with Brian Hioe, Chen-Yu Lin, Lev Nachman, Miaoju Jian, and Simon Frank, Chaoyang Trap, 28 September 2021.

“唱這首歌為你,武漢!武漢龐克歷史”, 失蹤者之城, Vol. 8, 2021, pp. 8-11.

“Punk in Wuhan. Punk Music in Wuhan, Then and Now”, Fernostwärts Podcast, 7 February 2021.

“Chez les punks de Lumuo Road”, Le 1, n°327, 16 December 2020.

“From Wuhan to the World: SMZB, China’s Most Outspoken Punks, Return with a New Album”, RadiiChina, 29 September 2020.

“Xinjiang Rocker Jurat T.T. of the ‘Uyghur Pink Floyd’ on Pain, Childhood and Music”, RadiiChina, 14 April 2020.

“We Sing this Song for You, Wuhan!: A Short History of Wuhan Punk”, RadiiChina, 11 February 2020.

“Visual Identities of Chinese Punk Rock Through Posters”, Contemporary China Centre Blog, Issue 3, 22 January 2020.

“Keep Screaming. A Brief Account of Early Beijing Punk”, RadiiChina, 22 January 2020.

“The Great Chinese Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle. How a postmodernist trickster convinced the world that punk rock had reached China in the early ’80s”, RadiiChina, 13 May 2019.

“Is China Headed Towards a Future Without Foreign Bands?”, RadiiChina, 27 February 2019.

Beijing calling. Les punks chinois à l’assaut de la culture officielle”, La Revue du Crieur; 2019/1, pp. 150-159.

“Piece of garbage complains to China’s Bureau of Culture regarding punk legends SMZB”, Unite Asia, 19 January 2018.

“Here’s a Punk City, Wuhan!”, Maximum Rocknroll, December 2016, p. 41-44.

“Violences de masse en République Populaire de Chine depuis 1949”, Encyclopédie en ligne des violences de masse, 3 January 2013.

“Scream For Life. La Chine vue par ses punks”, Z: Revue itinérante d’enquête et de critique sociale, n°7, 2013, pp. 168-173.

Latest Conferences and Symposium

“Les espaces nomades des collectifs punk dans le monde sinophone”, roundtable with Laurent Grün and Isabelle Thireau, Festival Allez Savoir 2023, EHESS.

““Your Mom Is My Mother-in-Law” and “Mice Love Rice”: A Moral Panic in the Early Days of Internet Fame”, 2023 Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, Boston, USA, 19 March 2023.

Keynote Speech: “An ethnographic account of a punk social world in Beijing and Wuhan”, 2022國立臺南藝術大學暨國際傳統音樂學會臺灣分會 音樂與社會國際學術研討會 2022 International Colloquium for Music and Society, Graduate Institute of Ethnomusicology, Tainan National University of the Arts, 12 November 2022.

“Anarchy In The P.R.C. Anarchist Practices and References in the Chinese Punk Scene”, Anarchist Studies Conference 7, 24 August 2022.

“‘My Mandarin Is Not Good’ Language, Nationalism and the Musical Underground in iQiyi’s ‘The Big Band”, International Association for the Studies of Popular Music XXI Conference, Daegu, South Korea, 8 July 2022.

“Présentation du livre et discussion: Scream for Life. L’invention d’une contre-culture punk en Chine populaire, Librairie Le Pigeonnier, Taipei, 13 May 2022.

“Pirate tapes and Kurt Cobain: Inventing Punk Music in 1990s China”, PIND/PSN: “Circuits, Networks, Connections”, Issy-Les-Moulineaux, 10 December 2021.

“中國地下搖滾樂在紀錄片中的再現”, Department of Radio, Television & Film, Shih Hsin University, Taipei, Taiwan, 26 November 2021.

“我們來自地下”—在北京和武漢創造一個龐克地下世界”, The Department of Communication, National Chung Cheng University, Chiayi, Taiwan, 20 October 2021.

“Sinophone Music and Social Movements, 1989- 2019”, Multisensory Dissent and Alliance Building: The Inaugural Biennial Conference of the Society of Sinophone Studies, The University of Southern California, 22 April 2021.

“In Search of Sinophone Music”, Graduate Institute of Musicology, National Taiwan University, 6 December 2019.

“Alternative Public Space and Punk Subculture: The Case of ‘Our Home’ in Wuhan”, Workshop organized at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) on Alternative Youth in China, 25 June 2019.

“Beyond Musical, Political and Linguistic Boundaries: The Influence of the Hong Kong Rock Band Beyond in the PRC during the 1990s”, Sinophone Studies: Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Critical Reflections, UCLA, 12-13 April 2019.

“Chinese Popular Culture and Strategies of Resistance”, CUHK, “China Today” Class, 20 March 2019.

“Music Censorship and the Chinese Underground Musical Scene”, Graduate Institute of Musicology, National Taiwan University, 4 January 2019.

“Early Chinese punk network and the quest for space”, Symposium on Underground Music-Making in Hong Kong and East Asia, 10 December 2018.

“Radical participation: The politics of performance in Chinese punk-rock concerts”, The University of Hong Kong, Department of Music, “Mediating Music/Sound: Discourses, Technologies, Socialities”, 1 December 2018.

“Remembering China’s Past: Punk Songs and Alternative History”, The 6th Symposium of the Study Group on Musics of East Asia, 23 August 2018, National Gugak Center, Seoul

“The Lives of Dakou in China: From Waste to Nostalgia”, AFEC International Workshop Chinese Objects and their Lives, 15 June 2018, INALCO, Paris.

In the Media

“88rising Brings Its ’Asian Coachella’ to China’s Notoriously Tricky Entertainment Scene”, by Chad de Guzman and Koh Ewe in Time, 22 September 2023.

“Shijiazhuang rebrands itself as the Chinese capital of rock ‘n’ roll”, by Zhao Yuanyuan in The China Project, 26 July 2023.

“Le punk chinois, une contre-culture musicale”, TV5 Monde, 2 April 2023.

“« Révolution A4 » en Chine : pourquoi les manifestants brandissent des feuilles blanches”, by Marianne Meunier in La Croix, 29 November 2022.

Avides de Recherche: “Des Punks en Chine ?! Musique, alcool et déviance”, YouTube, October 2022.

“Memories of bloody past push Taiwanese arts forward”, by Marco Ferrarese in Nikkei Asia, 3 April 2022.

“Kris Wu’s Career in Jeopardy as China Cracks Down on ‘Tainted Artists'”, by Hsiuwen Liu in Billboard, 12 August 2021.

“中共百年大慶的糟糕祝壽禮:百位說唱歌手參與的紀念單曲”, in Initium Media, 6 July 2021.

“100 Chinese Rappers Salute ‘Lit’ Nation on Communist Party’s 100th Birthday”, by in Billboard, 1st July 2021.

“For Its 100th Birthday, China’s Communist Party Gets a Bad Rap”, by Eva Xiao in Wall Street Journal, 1st July 2021.

“En Chine, le rap se veut patriotique”, in La Dépêche, 24 June 2021.

“China’s rappers are writing patriotic rhymes for the Communist Party’s 100th birthday”, by Jane Li in Quartz, 22 June 2021.

“Le bulldozer culturel chinois. De Confucius aux nouvelles routes de la soie”, by Antoine Pecqueur in La Revue du Crieur, n°18, 2021/1, pp. 90-101.

“Wuhan Calling: How the City’s Punk Rock Scene Changed China’s Youth”, by Jessica Novia in South China Morning Post, 20 January 2021.

“Why China’s hip-hop stars are staying silent on Black Lives Matter”, by Viola Zhou in Inkstone, 19 June 2020.

“A Taïwan, la présidente qui dit non à la Chine remporte haut la main un second mandat”, by François Bougon in Mediapart, 11 January 2020.

“Hong Kong: La musique au cœur de la révolte”, by Florence de Changy in La Lettre du Musicien, 30 October 2019

“Le rap dans le collimateur des autorités chinoises”, by Cyrille Pluyette in Le Figaro, 28 February 2018

“La Chine veut lutter contre le hip-hop moralement nuisible”, by Rosa Brostra in Le Temps, 1 February 2018

“In Wuhan, Punk’s Not Dead”, by Lin Qiqing in Sixth Tone, 20 December 2016

“Le punk chinois n’est pas (encore) mort”, by Adrien Toffolet in Society, February 2016, p. 56-61.

“Anarchy in the People’s Republic say Chinese punks”, by Julien Girault in AFP, 8 October 2014