Vera V. Dorofeeva-Lichtmann

Visiting Scholar
Visiting Scholars are established scholars, as evidenced by significant publications and broad academic experience, spending a fixed term as guests at the MPIWG for research purposes. They may be externally funded or receive a Research Fellowship from the MPIWG.
Department III
PhD, Charché de Recherche (1e cl.)
November 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017

Vera V. Dorofeeva-Lichtmann is a Chargé de Recherche at the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France) and currently a Deputy-Director of the UMR 8171 Chine-Corée-Japon, CNRS-EHESS ( She received her Ph.D. in history from the Moscow State University (1992).

Based in Paris since 2000, she shares her research time between France, Germany, Russia and Taiwan. She was several times awarded an Alexander-von-Humbold Research Fellowship –  a two-year fellowship in 1996-1998 and renewed fellowships of three months in 2011 and 2017. In 2014 she was a Visiting Researcher at the National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan), and from December 2015 through December 2016 a Visiting Fellow at the IKGF (International Consortium for Research in the Humanities, Erlangen

Her initial domain of research are the basic concepts of terrestrial space in the emerging Chinese Empire, as derived from transmitted and manuscript texts dating from the Warring States period through the Han dynasty, ca. 5th century BC – 2nd century AD, in particular, the Shanhaijing 山海經 (‘Itineraries of Mountains and Seas’, compiled about the 1st century BC).

Gradually she became interested in Chinese maps, as the necessary visual aid for comprehending the early spatial concepts. Her current research is concerned with the amazing vitality of the early spatial concepts in the Chinese cartography, even in maps as late as dating from the end of the ninteenth century, and the ingenuity of adapting these concepts to the newly acquired geographical knowledge and the development of cartographyHer publications include Graphics and Text in the Production of Technical Knowledge in China: The Warp and the Weft, co-edited with Francesca Bray and Georges Métailié (Leiden: Brill, 2007); “The First Map of China Printed in Europe [Ortelius 1584] Reconsidered: Confusions of its Authorship and the Influence of the Chinese Cartography”, in: Portugal and East Asia V: Visual and textual representations in exchanges between Europe and East Asia, eds. Catherine Jami and Luis Saraiva (Singapore – London: World Scientific, 2018). For a complete list of publications, see


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