Accessibility statement

Sanna Eriksson
PhD student



I am a second year PhD researcher at CWS. I have a BA and MA in East Asian Studies from the University of Helsinki, with minors in Anthropology, Development Studies and Women’s Studies. I have also studied at EIUC (Venice) and Utrecht University (The Netherlands). As part of my current ESRC-funded PhD programme I undertook the MA in Social Research at the University of York.

I have studied Mandarin Chinese at Fudan University (Shanghai) and at National Taiwan Normal University (Taiwan).

Prior to starting a PhD, I worked at the Embassy of Finland in Beijing, trained at the European Commission in Brussels, and coordinated a fellowship programme at the University of York. I am currently an Associate and Web Editor with the CWS’s postgraduate journal ‘Cultivate’.



My PhD research explores motherhood in contemporary mainland China, particularly from the perspective of urban middle-class women. I am interested in how current pro-natalist policies impact on women’s experiences of and views on motherhood, and whether contemporary discourses on motherhood can be understood to be creating specific narratives of female citizenship. My research is based both on interviews with women and on media portrayals of motherhood, specifically focusing on TV drama.

My research is supervised by Dr Rachel Alsop and Dr James Cummings and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.


Selected publications

Book chapters

Eriksson, S. 2010. ‘Fashioning Chinese Nationalism: Female Bodies as Political Signifiers in the Liangyou Huabao Magazine, 1933-1936’. In Iwatake, M. (Ed.), New Perspectives from Japan and China. Helsinki: Renvall Institute Publications.

Conference papers

Eriksson, S. 2018. Picturing Women in Chinese Republican Era Nationalism. York Asia Research Network annual conference, 20 June 2018, University of York, York (UK). Eriksson, S. 2022. Motherhood as Female Citizenship in Contemporary Chinese TV Drama. British Sociological Association Annual Conference, 20 April 2022, online.

Eriksson, S. 2022. Motherhood as Female Citizenship in Contemporary Chinese TV Drama. European Association of Chinese Studies Biennial Conference, 25 August 2022, Olomouc (Czech Republic).


Other teaching

I am currently a graduate teaching assistant on the first-year undergraduate module ‘Crime and Deviance’ at the Department of Sociology. I have previously conducted guest lectures on the CWS postgraduate module ‘Women, Citizenship and Conflict’ on media representations of women in Republican Era China.


Contact details

Sanna Eriksson
PhD student
Centre for Women's Studies
University of York
North Yorkshire
YO10 5DD