Dr. Thomas Hirzel

Assistant Professor in Digital Humanities and Chinese Studies

International Communications / Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Staff Profile Portrait Image



Room 337, IEB


University of Nottingham Ningbo China


199 Taikang East Road, Ningbo, 315100, China


+86 (0)574 8818 0000-8053


Magister Artium (M.A.) Chinese Studies and Philosophy, University of Tübingen, Germany 

MA, Translation and Interpreting Chinese English, University of Nottingham Ningbo China

PhD, University of Tübingen, Germany 


Thomas is a historian and a linguist who joined the School of International Communications in September 2020 as Assistant Professor in Digital Humanities and Chinese Studies. He also holds the roles of Associate Director of the Digital Heritage Centre at UNNC and of Research Lead of the IAPS Research Priority Area (RPA) in Ningbo Studies.


Undergraduate 2020-2021:

Understanding the Creative and Cultural Industries

Web and Social Media

BA DT supervision

Postgraduate 2020-2021:

MA DT supervision

PhD supervision

Research interests

Expertise Summary

Thomas is a China scholar with an expertise in the analysis of Chinese primary sources and archival research.

Research Interest

The Socio-Economic and Cultural History of Ningbo and the Lower Yangzi Region

Maritime History

Chinese Cultural Heritage and Digital Humanities

Chinese Art History

Translation and Intercultural Communication in Chinese GLAMs

Museum Studies

Orcid Account: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9135-8304


Hirzel, Thomas. State and Merchant: Qing Monetary Policies in the Lower Yangzi region, 1740-1840. Leiden/Boston: Brill. Series "Monies, Markets, and Finance in East Asia, 1600-1900" (Forthcoming 2022).

Hirzel, Thomas. "Local history between fact and fabrication: The history of Ningbo during the Tang dynasty (618 – 907)".  Tang Studies (Forthcoming 2020).

Hirzel, Thomas and Lily (Li) Cai. " 宁波与海上丝绸之路:中国陶瓷生产和出口研究(公元 800 – 1200 年)" Paper forthcoming 2020 in a volume edited by the China Port Museum in Ningbo, the Municipal Institute for Cultural Relics and Archaeology Ningbo and the National Centre for Underwater Heritage, Ningbo Branch.

Hirzel, Thomas et al. "Engaging and Empowering Student Representatives as Agents of Change at The University of Nottingham Ningbo China". Compass: Journal of Learning and Teaching, [S.l.], v. 9, n. 13, nov. 2016. ISSN 2044-0081. Available at: <https://journals.gre.ac.uk/index.php/compass/article/view/345>. Date accessed: 01 july 2017.

Mint Metal Procurement for Jiangsu and Zhejiang in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries: An Inquiry into the Organisational Capability of the Qing State. Ph.D. Diss., Tübingen University. Stable Link: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:21-opus-57570, print on demand, 2011.

Review of Zelin, Madeleine, The Merchants of Zigong: Industrial Entrepreneurship in Early Modern China. H-HistGeog, H-Net Reviews. January, 2009. URL: http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=23813

Hirzel, Thomas and Nanny Kim (eds.), Metals, Monies, and Markets in Early Modern Societies: East Asian and Global Perspectives. Berlin: LIT (Monies, Markets and Finance in China and East Asia 1), 2009.

"Regularien für Transportbeamte von Kupfertransporten im Qing-zeitlichen China." In Martina Eglauer and Clemes Treter (eds.), Reisen: Tagungsband der Deutschen Vereinigung für Chinastudien. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2008.