Yanyi Liu

My research focuses on the interactions between the French Communist Party [PCF] on one side and the American film industry and government on the other between 1944 and 1956. Based on rich archival materials located in both France and the United States, my thesis will analyse PCF policies towards and campaigns against American films until the death of Stalin in 1953, the response of both the American government and film industry to the emerging French communist critiques, and the changes taking place in such transatlantic interactions in the immediate post-Stalin era. It will shed considerable new light on the study of the Cold War, but also transcend the boundary of the traditional Cold War narrative of American-Soviet confrontation.

Before coming to UCL for my PhD degree, I majored in History for my Bachelor and Master’s degrees in China. I developed a long-time research interest in the Cold War, especially the foreign policy of the Truman government, the relationships between America and its western allies in the early Cold War years, and the role played by popular culture in the Cold War itself. I also studied French for 3 years, and translated/edited some French foreign documents, most of which have been published in Chinese academic journals.


Supervisor: Professor Melvyn Stokes and Dr. Iain Stewart
Working title: The French Communist Party and Hollywood Films: A Study of Political and Cultural Interactions (1944-1956)
Expected completion date: 2026


  • Participate as translator in Baihui Yao (ed.), “Le défi de Charles de Gaulle à l’hégémonie américaine: le ‘Mémorandum de septembre’ pour restructurer l’OTAN,” Etude française (法国研究), Vol. 125, No. 2, 2022, pp. 100-103.        
  • Participate as editor in Chenchen Zhang (ed.), “1958 Lebanon Crisis: Selected Translation of French Documents (Part II),” Middle East Studies (中东研究), Vol. 12, No. 2, 2020, pp. 199-201, 201-3. 203-5.
  • Participate as translator in Lianbin Shen, Menglei Li, Yici Wang (eds.), “Selected Translation of the Documents Diplomatiques Français: Part V,” Journal of Modern International History Studies (近现代国际关系史研究), Vol. 18, No. 1, 2020, pp. 206-7.
  • Participate as translator and editor in Yanyi Liu, Yici Wang, Lianbin Shen etc. (eds.), “Selected Translation of the Documents Diplomatiques Français: Part IV,” Journal of Modern International History Studies (近现代国际关系史研究), Vol. 17, No. 2, 2019, pp. 235-36, 241-46, 251-56, 264-67, 273-75, 277-80.

Conference Papers 

  • Gave a paper (24 September 2022) on “The Transition of America's Policies towards the French Communist Party during the Truman Administration (1945-1952)” to the 5th Chinese Postgraduate Forum on the History of International Relations (第五届全国国际关系史研究生论坛) held by the School of History, Capital Normal University, 24-25 September 2022.
  • Gave a paper (7 July 2021) on “On Three Research Perspectives on the Study of US-French relations in the early period of Post-World War II in both Chinese and Foreign Academia” to the 10th History Forum (第十届史学论坛) held by the School of History, Capital Normal University, 6-7 July 2021.