Headshot of Professor Xu.

Tingting Xu

  • Assistant Professor of Art History

Office Location
519 Morey Hall
(585) 275-0169

Office Hours: By appointment


Tingting Xu is a historian of Chinese art with a focus on medium, format, and the related discourses. Her research interests include the history of Chinese photography, the philosophy of visual technology, the theory and historiography of Chinese painting, and the relations between image, ekphrasis, and imagination. She is currently preparing a book manuscript on the practices and ontologies of early Chinese photography undergirding the transitions which took place in late imperial and early Republican-era. Her second book project is about the accordion folds in Chinese art and beyond.

On Leave Fall 2024

Research Overview

Research Interests

  • Early Chinese photography and media studies
  • Theories and historiography of Chinese painting
  • Formats of East Asian pictorial arts in cultural exchange
  • Antiquarianism and visual technology
  • Folding and folds
  • The unspoken and the unspeakable

Courses Offered (subject to change)

  • AHST 202/402:  Photographies Before Art (co-taught with Rachel Haidu)
  • AHST 142:  Arts of East Asia
  • AHST 292/492:  Photography Theory: Foundations
  • AHST 255/455:  Yuan Paintings: The Devil is in the Details

Selected Publications

  • “The Landscaped Folds: Gong Xian and the Morphology of Accordion Albums,” Archives of Asian Art, Vol.73, 1 October 2023; 73 (2): 201–232.
  • “The Group Photo as an Imbricated Ritualistic Event: Duanfang and His Altar Bronzes in Late Qing Antiquarian Praxis,” History of Photography 44, no. 4 (2021): 249-266
  • “Prince Yihuan and the Photographer Liang Shitai’s Photo Album as a ‘Garden in the Mind’” in Wu Hung and Chelsea Foxwell ed.., Photography and East Asian Art (Chicago: Center of East Asian Art, University of Chicago, 2021), 266-98
  • (Chinese) “How to Define ‘Chinese Photography’? —Its Evolutionary Subjectivity in Historiography,” in Wu Hung and Guo Weiqi ed., World 3: Research on Chinese Art History—A Western Perspective (Beijing: the OCAT Institute, 2020), 69-93
  • “Self-Archivization: Chen Zhe’s Towards Evening: Six Chapters,” YISHU 16, no. 4 (2017): 96-104

Selected Awards/Grants

  • University of Chicago, Arnaldo Momigliano Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2022-2023 (declined, 2023-24)
  • Columbia University, “Courses We Loved: Staff Picks for Fall 2022,” 2022
  • University of Chicago, The Feitler Prize for the Best Dissertation of 2020, 2021
  • Columbia University, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Department of Art History and Archaeology; Society of Fellows in the Humanities, 2020-2022
  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Joan and Stanford Alexander Award, 2018
  • The Social Science Research Council (SSRC), Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF), 2018
  • The Field Museum, Chicago, The Boone Scholar Fellowship for East Asian Art, 2018
  • China Photographers Association and China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, The 10th Golden Statue Awards for Chinese Photography, 2014