Adina Zemanek

Dr. Adina Zemanek

Lecturer in Asia Pacific Studies

School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies

Adelphi Building, AB149

+44 (0) 1772 89 4826

Subject Areas: Languages and International Studies, Media, TV, Film and Photography

Dr Adina Zemanek joined UCLan as Lecturer in Asia Pacific Studies in October 2018. She holds a PhD degree in cultural anthropology. Her current research focuses on nation branding and definitions of Taiwan in contemporary popular culture (graphic narratives, tourist souvenirs).

Full Profile

Adina Zemanek currently teaches modules in East Asian philosophy, political changes and social movements in the Asia Pacific, and research methods. She welcomes proposals for doctoral research on topics pertaining to media and popular culture in Taiwan and China.

Prior to her job at UCLan, Adina worked as Chinese language instructor and assistant professor at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, where she taught courses on topics that included: media and cultural institutions in the PRC, Chinese popular culture and nationalism in the early 20th century, popular culture in Taiwan. She spent three years in China with language and research scholarships (Sichuan University, Fudan University). She was awarded a Taiwan Fellowship (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC, 2014) for a research stay at the Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica, where she spent an additional year as Visiting Scholar in 2017.

Adina began her academic career with an interest in the Chinese language, which she perceived from an applied perspective and in a social context. Her MA thesis was devised as a case study in language planning and concerned the implementation of standard Chinese in Chengdu. Her PhD dissertation marked a turn towards popular culture and discourse analysis. It examined the image of women as constructed in articles published in two PRC editions of international fashion magazines – Elle and Cosmopolitan. In recent years, she has been investigating texts that combine linguistic and visual semiotic modes, and has supplemented text analysis with interviews. Her current research interests include: nation branding and public diplomacy in Taiwan; the cultural and creative industries in Taiwan; tourist souvenirs as grassroots nation branding; history and memory in Taiwanese graphic narratives; banal and everyday nationalism in Taiwanese visual culture; Taiwanese TV dramas: family, gender and power; local identity in Hong Kong independent comics.


  • PhD Cultural Anthropology, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, 2010
  • MA Chinese and English philology, University of Bucharest, 2000

External Affiliations

  • Since 2016 - Executive Board Member of the European Association of Taiwan Studies (currently second elected term)


Zemanek, Adina (2018). Nation Branding in Contemporary Taiwan - A Grassroots Perspective. Culture, Theory and Critique, 59(2): 119-138).

Zemanek, Adina (2017). Familiar Spaces: (National) Home in Contemporary Taiwanese Tourist Souvenirs. China Perspectives 2: 7-17.

Zemanek, Adina (2016). Daughters of the Motherland and (Wo)men of the World. Global Mobility in Shishang (Trends/Cosmopolitan), 1993-2008. Archiv Orientální 84(2): 317-347

Zemanek, Adina (2013). Córki Chin i obywatelki świata. Obraz kobiety w chińskich czasopismach o modzie (Daughters of China and Citizens of the World. Women's Image in Chinese Fashion Magazines). Krakow: Księgarnia Akademicka.