Directorate Heidelberg Center Digital HumanitiesDirectorate Heidelberg Center Digital Humanities

Contact information

Prof. Dr. Barbara Mittler


Phone: +49 (06221) 54-15322

Address: Voßstraße 2 | 69115 Heidelberg (Gebäude 4120)

Prof. Dr. Barbara Mittler

BARBARA MITTLER holds a Chair in Chinese Studies at CATS, the Center for Asian and Transcultural Studies (CATS) at Heidelberg University which she helped co-found in 2019. For many years, she served as a member of the Directorate at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS, formerly the Cluster of Excellence—Asia and Europe in a Global Context, 2007-2019). 

After two years at a United World College in Victoria/Canada, she began her studies at Oxford (MA Oxon 1990). Her PhD & Habilitation are from Heidelberg (1994/1998). She served as fellow/visiting professor in Taiwan, the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, at Harvard, Stanford and, most recently, the EHESS in Paris. Her prize-winning research (Heinz-Maier-Leibnitz Preis 2000, Henry Allen Moe Prize 2009, Fairbank Prize 2013, Opus Magnum 2019) focuses on the politics of cultural production in (greater) China covering a range of topics from music to visual and historical print media in China’s long modernity.

Most recently, she published an interdisciplinary dialogue with historian Thomas Maissen, Why China did not have a Renaissance and why that matters—an interdisciplinary dialogue (Berlin: de Gruyter 2018). She is member of the National Academy of Sciences LEOPOLDINA and the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences. She currently directs two large-scale research projects, the China School Academy, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, which produces teaching and learning materials for teaching China (s. Links) and the Heidelberg section of the Joint Center or Advanced Studies Worldmaking —A Dialogue with China, on Epochal Lifeworlds, which, together with a group of international fellows, investigates the interplay of humans, nature and technology in moments of “collapse” and the “critical transitions” that shape moments of epochal rupture (s. Links).