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Dr. Perry Johansson
Assistant Professor Perry Johansson


BA Lund; MA (History), MA (Education), PhD, Stockholm


Phone No. Email Address

Office: 1011



Research Projects | Publications | Courses


My research has up til now been informed by postcolonial theory and cultural studies interrogating the political epistemology of 'China.' The books Libidinal Economy of China and Saluting the Yellow Emperor together with a long row of articles on everything from Taiwanese film to the American fantasies on Song Meiling attempts to map out a field of 'comparative sinography' by investigating how China appears in the global imaginary, symbolic, and real.

In recent years my research interest has turned more towards international relations and world history, investigating in a revisionist history of the social movements of the 1960s how central Beijing and Hanoi ‘public diplomacy’ and propaganda was in swaying opinion in Sweden; transforming the nation into Hanoi’s closests ally in the West. In relation to this enquiry I am also putting together an intellectual biography on Jan Myrdal, author of Report from a Chinese Village and a number of other works on China and Asia in revolution.

Another project I have been working on for some years, and a long time interest, concerns historiography and 'history culture' where I try to unpack the international history behind the creation of the Chinese humanities, history, and national identity in the 1920s and 1930s.

I am also very passionate about teaching, learning and the nature of knowledge. With an MA in Education, a course book published on Chinese history I wish to closer tie my research focus to my teaching practice.

More on me and my intellectual inclinations: "Dr Perry Johansson": Eye on China




Current Research Projects


The 're-Orientation', and 'provincializing of Europe,' in world history, Chinese-Western relations, "comparative sinography"






The Libidinal Economy of China

The Libidinal Economy of China: Gender, Nationalism, and Consumer Culture


The Libidinal Economy of China engages a range of post-colonial and psychoanalytically informed thinkers in a truly cross disciplinary study. Lacanian theories on hysteria, femininity, and narcissism are applied in the international domain of geopolitics to formulate a general theory on China's relationship to the West. David Eng and Homi Bhabha are employed for discussing racial fetishism in contemporary China, while Slavoj Žižek's ideas on violence and the Other are engaged in explaining the emotional dimension of national identification. The study concludes that China and the New Chinese Nationalism is firmly under the gaze of a Western Other analogous to a male gaze. That Other rules the libidinal economy of consumer culture, which explains China's recurring history of wanting to emulate and catch up with the West while simultaneously reacting to such an attained intimacy with castration anxiety and aggressive hysteria.


Saluting the Yellow Emperor: A Swedish Case of Sinography


Saluting the Yellow Emperor tells the fascinating story of a group of Swedish scholars who rediscovered the pronunciation of the Chinese classics, buried Silk Road cities, and a Chinese Stone Age, while spiriting antiquities out of Asia. Mining Swedish archives and drawing on letters, diaries, personal papers, and published accounts, it is the first collective history on this group of China scholars. In his analysis, Perry Johansson turns Edward Said's argument about orientalism inside out. Rather than simply serving Western imperialism, Bernhard Karlgren, Johan Gunnar Andersson, Sven Hedin, Osvald Sirén, and Jan Myrdal were opportunists who highly appreciated the Chinese Empire whose civilizing mission in East and Central Asia they supported in word and deed. Whether friendly with Mao or Hitler, their occidentalist disdain of Western egalitarian societies made them champions of the Chinese mythology of obedient peasants ruled by an enlightened autocracy.

Saluting the Yellow Emperor

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Teaching Courses


  • CCCH9045 'Superpower': Engaging With the Global Implications of China's Rise
  • CCCH9046 'Propaganda State': Culture and Politics in the PRC
  • CCCH9047 Will the 'Real' China Please Stand Up?: Interpreting Chinese Civilisation
  • CCCH9048 History Wars: How the Past is shaping China's Future


Latest Publication
The Libidinal Economy of China Book
The Libidinal Economy of China: Gender, Nationalism, and Consumer Culture

Rowman and Littlefield-Lexington Books

Publication Date: