Liying is a doctoral candidate at the Institute of Chinese Studies at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. She has worked as Chinese language teacher and research assistant for international projects, including the “The Common People and the Artist in the 1930s” and “A Literary Biography of the Late Qing/Republican period woman poet Lü Bicheng (1883-1943)”. In 2008, she joined the project of “A New Approach to the Popular Press in China: Gender and Cultural Production, 1904-1937” as project assistant, mainly focusing on contextualizing and historicizing the journal Linglong ("Linloon Magazine", 1931-1937). Since 2009 she has been working as research fellow for a subproject entitled “Rethinking Trends – Transcultural Flows in Popular Spheres” within the framework of Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context”.
Her research interests cover the history of dissemination of transcultural nudes as well as the perception of new body culture in Chinese pictorials between the 1910s and 1930s. Her current projects include research on nudes in and the history of Republican journals such as Linglong, Beiyang huabao ("Pei-yang Pictorial News", 1926-1933), Shanghai Manhua ("Shanghai Sketch", 1928-1930) and Meiyu (Eyebrow Talk, 1914-1916, joint research with Michel Hockx).
Currently she works as lecturer at the Institute of Chinese Studies, University of Heidelberg, and teaches a course “Reading Linglong: Text, Image and Database”.