Zeng Jinyan, writer, scholar, activist, and documentary filmmaker, is the 2017 Oak Fellow at Colby College. Zeng earned her PhD at the University of Hong Kong in 2017. Her PhD thesis is entitled The Genesis of Citizen Intelligentsia in Digital China: Ai Xiaomings Practices of Identity and Activism. Her "Visualizing Truth-Telling in Ai Xiaoming’s Documentary Activism” appared in Studies in Documentary Film in 2017.  Zeng’s 2016 book Feminism and Genesis of the Citizen Intelligentsia in China (Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong Press) received a Publishing Award in the Social Science category of the 2017 Hong Kong Publishing Biennial Awards. Zeng co-directed the documentary film Prisoners in Freedom City with Hu Jia (2007), wrote the script for the animated short A Poem to Liu Xia (Trish McAdam, 2015), and produced the feature documentary film We The Workers (Wen Hai, 2017). Zeng’s creative work is a synthesis of her scholarship and her experience as an activist including eight years (2004-2012) of around-the-clock surveillance and periodic house arrest in China.

Last Updated: December 1, 2017



Apple in China: WTF?

Samuel Wade, Shaun Rein & more
In November, the non-profit watchdog Freedom House called China “the worst abuser of Internet freedom” of the 65 countries it surveyed. And yet, on December 3, Apple CEO Tim Cook keynoted China’s annual World Internet Conference. “The theme of this...



The Beijing Migrants Crackdown

Jeremiah Jenne, Lucy Hornby & more
After a fire in a Beijing apartment building catering to migrant workers killed at least 19 people on November 18, the city government launched a 40-day campaign to demolish the capital’s “unsafe” buildings. Many Beijing residents view the campaign...



Dark Days for Women in China?

Rebecca E. Karl, Leta Hong Fincher & more
With China’s recent criminal detention of five feminist activists, gender inequality in China is back in the spotlight. What does a crackdown on Chinese women fighting for equal representation say about the current state of the nation’s political...



“Daddy’s ‘Friends’ Are Actually Plainclothes Cops”

Zeng Jinyan
[Updated March 18, 2015] The essay that follows was written by Zeng Jinyan, whose former partner, Hu Jia, has been prominently involved in activism around environmental issues, AIDS, and human rights in China over the past decade and a half and is a...