Dr. Jean-Baptiste Pettier

Editing coordinator of the web-blog "Stimmen aus China" | "Stimmen aus China" on facebook

Room: 5.009 (main building)
Phone: +49 (0)221-470 1121
Email: jb.pettier(at)uni-koeln.de
Office Hours: Arrangement by email

Research Interests

Doctor in anthropology with a large interdisciplinary background in the social sciences and a
specialization in Chinese society, my main research thematics concern emotions, affect, sentiments,
and morality, in relation with marriage, politics, social organization, and inter-species relationships.

Curriculum Vitae


  • 2015: PhD in social anthropology and ethnology of the EHESS Paris (École des Hautes
    Études en Sciences Sociales, France), with a ‘european label’ and highest honors.

    PhD dissertation title: «The Sentimental Wars. A Moral Anthropology of China’s Urban Marriage Market in the years 2000s»

MA grades:

  • 2008: MA in political sciences, compared Asian policies, at Sciences Po Paris, with high honors; Title of my MA thesis: « Local political power and the supervision of private lives in contemporary China. The case of the one-child policy in Sichuan province ».
  • 2007: MA in anthropology, at the EHESS Paris, with highest honors; Title of my MA thesis: « Building one's life. Personal careers, love relationships, and sexual issues amongst groups of students and workers in Beijing ».

BA grades:

  • 2009: BA in Chinese language and civilization, from Langues'O (Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO), Paris).
  • 2005: BA in Political Sciences, from Université Lyon2, with honors.
  • 2005: BA in Sociology and Anthropology, from Université Lyon2, with honors.

Academic Work Experience

  • 02/2015-present: Postdoc Research Fellow (full time position) at the Institut für Ethnologie of the Universität zu Köln.
  • 01/2014-01/2015: Research Fellow and Junior Scientific Coordinator (75% position) at the Political Sciences Department of Goethe Universität Frankfurt, within the Interdisziplinären Zentrum für Ostasienstudien, for the interdisciplinary research program « Protecting the Weak ».
  • 09/2012-08/2014: Teaching and Research Fellow in Political Sciences (ATER, part-time) at the Université Paris Est Créteil (UPEC), in the department of International Exchange and Administration.
  • 02/2011 to 06/2011: Temporary teaching fellow in charge of a   one-semester course on Anthropology of Eastern Asia (China, Korea, Japan) for undergraduate students at Université Paris 8.
  • 10/2007 to 9/2010: PhD contract from the French National Ministry for Higher Education and Research.


  • 2015: 1 month fieldwork in Madagascar
  • 2014: 1 month fieldwork in Chengdu, Beijing, and Taishan (China)
  • 2009-2010: 13 months fieldwork in Chengdu and Beijing (China)
  • 2008: 6 months fieldwork in Chengdu and Beijing (China)
  • 2007: 6 months fieldwork in Beijing (China)
  • 2006: 2 months fieldwork in Beijing (China)


Peer-reviewed journals:

  • [Peer-reviewed, accepted in Nov. 2014, to be published in early 2016]: « The Affective Scope: Entering China’s Urban Moral and Economic World through Its Emotional Disturbances », Anthropology of Consciousness.
  • 2010, « Politics of love and sex in the China of the "sexual revolution" » (published in French), in Genre, Sexualité et Société [On line], n°3 "Révolution / Libération" | Spring 2010.  URL: gss.revues.org/index1381.html

Book chapters:

  • Planned for 2016 (Accepted for publication, under last correction round), « "La Chine connaît-elle l'amour ?" » ["Does China know Love ?"], in a collective volume to be published about Love matters throughout Asia (in French)
  • Planned for 2016 (Accepted for publication, under last correction round), « Animal Protection in China and Japan », co-authored with Kazushige Doi, as part of the forthcoming volume « Protecting the Weak »


  • [in preparation, planned for 2017] co-edition of a collective volume focusing on the Political Economies of Sentiments [in French], with Manuela Salcedo (EHESS), and Dr. Michela Villani (post-doc fellow Universität Freiburg). With the support of the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Paris Nord.

Book reviews:

  • «MOORE Henrietta, Still life: Hopes, Desires, and Satisfactions», Genre, sexualité & société [On line], 8 | Autumn2012. URL : gss.revues.org/index2429.html (in French).


  • 2010, «Homosexual practices in China during the one-child policy. The construction of homosexual intimate life in urban contemporary China» (in French), summary analysis for France Embassy in China.

Teaching Experience

  • 2015-2016: University of Cologne
    « The Anthropology of Love - Comparative Perspectives" (semester seminar, taught in English)

  • 2013-2014: Université Paris Est Créteil (UPEC):
    « Sociology of China - An introduction to Chinese society through Social Sciences lenses » (semester seminar, taught in English).
    « The Sociology of Organizations » (semester seminar, in French).
    « The Psychosociology of Organizations » (semester seminar, in French).

  • 2012-2013: Université Paris Est Créteil (UPEC) :
    « The body, between nature and culture, an introduction to sociology » (semester seminar, in French).
    « The Sociology of Organizations » (semester seminar, in French).

    École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) :
    « Sociology & Affect », taught with Dr Sébastien Roux (CNRS) and Manuela Salcedo (semester seminar, in French).
  • 2010-2011: Université Paris 8:
    « Anthropology of Eastern Asia – China, Korea, Japan » (semester seminar, in French).

Academic Conferences

International Symposiums:

  • 10/2015, 36th Congress of the German Anthropological Association (36. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Völkerkunde e.V.) (Marburg, September 30-October 3, 2015), panel Alles bleibt anders? Alltag in China. Personal paper: Sacrificed meals, reflexion on the eatability of dogs and other beings.
  • 09/2015, 5th Congress of Asian & the Pacific studies 2015 (Paris, September 9-11, 2015), panel From arranged to free marriage in contemporary Asia: what place for feelings of love? Anthropological investigations. Personal paper: From arranged marriage to love marriage? Reexamining the historical construction of a discourse on mate-search in China (in French)
  • 11/2013, 112th American Anthropological Association (AAA) annual meeting (Chicago, USA, November 20-24, 2013), panel In Search of "Modernity": Mobility, Technology and Subject-Making in Post-socialist China". Personal paper: Modern Subjects, Modern Love, or the Political Idealization of Sentiments.
  • 09/2012, XIX Biennial Conference of the European Association of Chinese Studies (EACS) (Paris, September 4th–8th 2012) Panel of Sociology and Anthropology. Personal paper: The quest for ideals: distrust, disputes, and mate-choice strategies in today's urban China.
  • 07/2012, 12th European Association of Social Anthropologists Biennial Conference (AEAS/EASA) (Nanterre, July 10–13 2012), in panel W071 "Coping with uncertainty: comparative perspectives on marriage and intimate citizenship in Asia”. Personal paper: "Every one would like their child to marry earlier" : Anguishes about the future and marriage strategies in urban China.
  • 12/2011, International interdisciplinary conference "In the Name of Love. From elective links to affective obligations”, (Brest, France, November 15-16 2011). Personal paper : Questioning love in China (in French).
  • 11/2010, 109th American Anthropological Association (AAA) annual meeting (New Orleans, USA, November 17-21 2010), panel « Sexual circuits and intimate practices in contemporary China » Personal paper: Desire, Sexuality, and their Absence: Building One's Own Intimate Life Amongst Urban Youths in Nowadays China.

Guest Lectures:

  • 2014/08 : «The Ideal of Love. Everyday Politics of Sentiments and Material Realities in Today’s Urban China», guest lecture in Susanne Bregnbæk’s summer course « The Chinese Dream: Anthropological Perspectives to Understanding Contemporary China » at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • 2013/12 : «Love as social link and as political issue» Guest lecture [in French] at the Seminar of the Interdisciplinary Research Center Walras Pareto, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland.

Talks in Seminars:

  • 2014/05: « Mate Choice as a Cultural Battlefield in Modern and Today’s China », talk at the PhD candidates seminar (Kolloquium) of the Sociology Department, Goethe Universität, Frankfurt.
  • 2014/03: « The xiāngqīn’s parental gatherings: Social anguishes, collective hopes, and bachelors’ competition in Today’s China » Talk at the anthropology of China seminar of Prof. Brigitte Baptandier, Université de Nanterre [in French].
  • 2014/03: « Sentimental Wars - Anthropology of Personal Sentiments and the Quest of a Mate along the 2000 decade in Urban China » Research presentation and talk at the seminar « Chine contemporaine : l’apport des sciences sociales » of Prof. Michel Offerlé and Prof. Florence Weber, École Normale Supérieure Paris (Jourdan) [in French].
  • 2013/5: « Marriage issues in China », participation at the Western Anthropology of China and Japan seminar of Prof. Jean-Michel Butel and Prof. Catherine Capdeville at Langues'O (INALCO, Paris) [in French].
  • 2012/6: « Does it need a "hurt" to write "love"? Politics, writing, and sentiment-definition issues in the Popular Republic of China », workshop The Political Economies of Sentiments (EHESS) [in French].
  • 2012/5: « From text to context - The link to quotes and writings in ethnographic researches in China », Internal Seminar of the Interdisciplinary Research Institute on Social Issues (IRIS, EHESS, Paris) [in French].
  • 2011/5: « The xiāngqīn 相亲 war : Marriage as a strategic issue in 2000s decade in China », PhD candidates seminar of the Centre for the Study of Modern and Contemporary China (CECMC) at the EHESS [in French].
  • 2008/11: « The studied and the study. When questioning the anonymization of data produces information », PhD candidates seminar of the Interdisciplinary Research Institute on Social Issues (IRIS) at the EHESS [in French].

Research Activities

Workshop Organization and animation:

  • 2013-2014: Creation and co-animation of the monthly seminar « Une "crise morale" en République Populaire de Chine ? Regards anthropologiques sur les débats et tensions de la Chine contemporaine » (A "moral crisis" in China? Anthropological gazes on the debates and tensions of Today's China) at the EHESS, with Dr. Elisa Cencetti (post-doc fellow Humboldt Universitat zu Berlin).
  • 2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014: Creation and co-animation of the monthly seminar « Les économies politiques des sentiments » (The Political Economies of Sentiments) at the EHESS, with Manuela Salcedo, Dr. Mathieu Trachman (INED), and Dr. Michela Villani (post-doc fellow Universität Freiburg).
  • 2008-2009: Co-animation of the IRIS research center’s PhD candidates monthly seminar, with Julieta Grinberg and Sébastien Roux.

Professional memberships:

  • 2012-present: Associate-member of the « Cour Amour Mariage » (Courtship, Love, Marriage) team of the ASIES research center at Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (Langues’O, Paris).
  • 2012-present: Member of the European Association of Chinese Studies.
  • 2010-present: Member of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and of the Society for East Asian Anthropology (SEAA).
  • 2008-present: Member of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA).