Tingting Xu

Lecturer, Department of Art History, Columbia University

Fellow, Society of Fellows, SOF/Heyman, Columbia University (2020–Present)

Tingting Xu is a scholar of Chinese art, artistic formats, and media. Her interdisciplinary research discusses the structured ontologies, frames, grounds, and surfaces of images at the intersection of art history, technology, East Asian studies, and media theory. It also explores the philosophy of visual technology undergirding the transitions and revolutions taking place from the old to the new. She is currently preparing a monograph on early Chinese photography based on her dissertation Beyond Treaty Ports—Chinese Photography 1960-1916: Practitioners, Contexts and Trends (winner of the Feitler Prize for the Best Dissertation of 2020, Department of Art History, University of Chicago). Her second book project, The Accordion Folds: Format and Medium Imagination in Chinese Pictorial Art, explores the accordion albums produced in ancient and modern China, across a wide range of media. It also delves into the image-bearing objects that carry the reminiscence and mechanism of the accordion folds. Tingting’s research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, The Field Museum in Chicago, The Joan and Stanford Alexander Award, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and multiple centers at the University of Chicago. Before joining Columbia University, she held curatorial positions at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA and The Field Museum. When not engaged in academic work, Tingting plays Beethoven, Haydn, and Bach on the piano. The music takes her to a special place with refreshing sentiments and thoughts.

Tingting joins us as a Mellon Fellow in Art Humanities.