Lena Scheen's picture
Affiliated Fellow
Lena Scheen

IIAS offers a stimulating and inspiring environment of international scholars working on different subjects in Asian Studies

My research focuses on the social, cultural and mental implications of urbanization and globalization in China.

In my recently defended PhD dissertation, Shanghai: Literary Imaginings of a City in Transformation, I explored literary responses to the urban transformation of Shanghai. Ever since Shanghai’s Pudong area became one of China’s Special Economic Zones in 1990, a huge transformation has swept across the entire city, turning it into a landscape of dusty trenches, towering cranes and skeletons of skyscrapers. Large scale urban renewal not only transforms the physical appearance of our built environment, it also transforms the way we live in this environment, with profound effects on citizens’ daily and inner lives. The research for this study is driven by my fascination with Shanghai’s dazzling urban transformation, and the question how literary works express the impact of these changes on the city’s inhabitants.


Publications at IIAS


  • China Studies
  • Urban Studies

Country of origin

the Netherlands

Period of stay at IIAS

01/09/2012 to 01/03/2013

Home institute

Research topic

Urban Renewal in Shanghai: Social, Cultural and Mental Implications

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