BONATO Michela

Teaching Assistant
Sito web (scheda personale)
Dipartimento di Studi sull'Asia e sull'Africa Mediterranea
Sito web struttura:

Current Research

Integrated urban-rural planning in Southwest China; Chongqing housing politics; green gentrification; natural heritage discourses and spatial strategies in Southwest China.

Geographical/topical area of interest: China, Water, Urban Planning, Landscape Management, Heritage, State-Local Relations, the Commons.



Dr.Phil., Geography/Human Geography (June 2020), Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany. Dissertation: “Spatialization of Happiness in Chongqing Watershed”, awarded cum laude
Advisors: Prof. Dr. Hans Gebhardt (Geography), Prof. Dr. Barbara Mittler (Chinese Studies)

MA, East Asian Languages and Cultures (China), Ca' Foscari University, Venice, Italy (September 2009 to February 2012), 110 out of 110 cum laude. Thesis on Chongqing demographic and urban history.

BA, East Asian Languages and Cultures (China), Ca' Foscari University, Venice, Italy (September 2006 to July 2009). Thesis on Qigong discipline. 



  • ISPI (Italian Institute for International Political Studies) (07/2021-12/2021), "Development and International Cooperation" Diploma (final grade 29/30)
  • Ca' Foscari University (01/2021-06/2021), PF 24 (Italian Ministry of Education Teacher Training) (24 ECTS)
  • University of Bologna (02-30/11/2020) "WeTell Summer School: Innovating Storytelling to Address Civic Awareness" (final grade 30/30, 5 ECTS)
  • University of Helsinki (21-22/03/2016) China Law Research Workshop
  • Southwest University Chongqing, PRC (01/09/2014-31/07/2015), Visiting Researcher at the Institute of Geography/Urban Planning. Advisor: Prof. Liao Heping (China Scholarship Council)                  
  • Turin University (07/2013) TOChina Summer School (full scholarship)
  • Chongqing, PRC (09/2011), Individual Mission (ethnographic fieldwork and archive research)
  • Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany (09/2010-05/2011), Visiting Graduate Student - Erasmus Program at the Institute of Chinese Studies (Ca' Foscari Erasmus Scholarship)
  • Capital Normal University Beijing, PRC (01/2009-06/2009), Visiting Undergraduate Student (Intensive Chinese Course) 


ICAS 12 Online Conference Registration Fee Discount (travel grant application) (2021)

China Scholarship Council via the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for conducting research on the History of Chongqing Water Management, Southwest University Chongqing, PRC (2014-2015)

Institute of Geography, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany, Kurt-Hiehle-Stiftung Travel Grants (2013-2014)

Turin University, Italy, ToChina Summer School Full Fellowship (2013)

Ca' Foscari University, Italy, Erasmus Program Scholarship (2010-2011)

Mention of Merit (Menzione di Merito) to the PhD thesis on Chongqing housing spatial distribution and governance, Premio Lorenzo Bargellini 2021 (national competition), III Edizione (Third Edition), 4 June 2022, Florence, Italy



Teaching Assistant Senior at the Department of Asian and North African Studies, Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, Italy (September 2021-current)

Adjunct Lecturer of Didactics of Geography (B.A., second-third year, 36h) at the Department of Humanities, University of Pavia, Italy (2022)

Adjunct Lecturer of Italian Language and Culture, History and Society (B.A.) at Jilin International Studies University, PRC (2021)

Adjunct Lecturer of Chinese Language and Translation (B.A., first year, 42h) at the Department of Humanities, University of Catania, Italy (2020 -2021)

Adjunct Lecturer at Chongqing Normal University, PRC (09/2014-06/2015) (volunteering)

Graduate Assistant at the Institute of Geography/Chair of Human Geography, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany (01/2014-03/2014)


Event Assistant at the Online Summer School "EU-China Cooperation: Green Transition and Digital Economy Between National Policies and Multipolarism", Centro Studi sulla Cina Contemporanea, Reggio Emilia, Italy (07/2021)

Research Project Design and Implementation: "Information Security Awareness - the Employee Experience" at SAP SE, Walldorf, Germany (2016) (advisor: K. Schimmer, Director) (qualitative method: 100+ semi-structured interviews via SkypeforBusiness)

Freelance Interpreter English, Italian at Heidelberg-Mannheim International Film Festival, Germany (2013)



  • 2022, September, 12-17; Paper “Alternative citizenship practices: liminal spaces and disruptive urban transformation in Chongqing”, DOT, FU Berlin, Germany
  • 2022, July, 18-22; Paper “Chongqing as a cultural hub in Southwest China: heritage manipulation and the quest for differentiation”, UGI-IGU Centennial Congress, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris
  • 2022, June 30-July 1; Paper “Abitare la narrativa della civilizzazione ecologica: gli spazi politico-economici del sapere nella città universitaria di Chongqing”, Giornate di studio interdisciplinari “Geografia e Tecnologia”, Società di Studi Geografici, University of Pisa, Italy
  • 2022, May, 18-20; Paper “From street display to online discourse: the spatial trajectories of heritage as a resource for Chinese politics,” Crisis and Cultural Heritage Conference, CHAIN Project, University of Catania, Italy (Online)
  • 2022, May, 15-17; Paper “The making of a ‘gentry-focused district’ in Chongqing, China: political and advertising discourses,” Symposium “Neighborhood Transformation in East Asian Cities: Is ‘Gentrification’ the Right Frame of Reference?”, UKNA, Chiba, Japan (Online)
  • 2021, August, 24-27; E-Poster "Narratives of Forest Conservation: Insights from Chongqing, China" ICAS 12, Kyoto Seika University, Japan (Online)
  • 2021, August, 24-27; Paper "Rationalities of Green Urbanization in Chongqing: Local Environment at the Service of Eco-Capitalist Logics?" ICAS 12, Kyoto Seika University, Japan (Online)
  • 2021, February, 11-12; Paper "New spatialities for the elderly: upscale housing market and landscape management in Chongqing" Well-Being and Cultural Heritage Conference, CHAIN Project, University of Catania (Online) 
  • 2020, December, 11-13; Paper "Pratiche di sviluppo integrato città-campagna nella Cina sud-occidentale: Visioni sostenibili e marketing territoriale" (Practices of urban-rural integrated development in Southwest China: Sustainable visions and territorial marketing) Decima Giornata di Studio “Oltre la globalizzazione – Feedback”, Società di Studi Geografici (Online)
  • 2019, July, 16-19; Paper “Shaping historical memories in Chongqing: Local urban politics and the legacy of the Republican Period" ICAS 11, Leiden, The Netherlands
  • 2016, July, 20-23; Paper “From water reservoir to amusement park: The Chongqing Garden Expo Park and local water politics from a hydraulic society perspective" 14th EASA Conference, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy
  • 2014, May, 25-26; Paper “On the way to an Asian Greater China? New Chinese foreign policy in Pacific area between nationalism and economic issues" 12th Biennal Conference of Asian Studies in Israel, Haifa University, Israel
  • 2013, May 4-5; Paper “Cartography and Visual Correspondences: Thought and Reality of Modernism in Europe and China" Seminario Popolare sul Pensiero dell'Estremo Oriente - Sottili Corrispondenze, Termini Imerese, Palermo, Italy
  • 2018 - Paper "Discussion on PhD Layout and Theory". Workshop on Theoretical Approaches in Human Geography organized by Dr. S. Runkel, Institute of Geography, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
  • 2017 - Paper "Power dialectics on Chongqing water reservoirs. Ideas, representations, and matter of a phenomenon". Workshop Humangeographie, organized by Prof. Dr. H. Gebhardt and Prof. Dr. A. Mattissek, Institute of Geography, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg


  • 2016, March-July: Seminar "Chinese Silent Cinema 1920-1935" (Prof. Dr. P. G. Pickowicz and Dr. Sun Liying), Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg. Final work: Filmmaking "The Shore" (script writing; poster; b/w captions) 
  • 2015, Sept-Dec: Seminar 人文地理 (Human Geography), Institute of Geography, Southwest University Chongqing, PRC. Final essay: 一个地区的人地关系、矛盾与未来改进 ——以重庆市北碚区缙云大道前段为例 (Man-Environment Relationship: Problematics and Future Changes – The case study of Chongqing, Beibei District Jinyun Avenue)



2022 - "Happiness and Housing Conditions in Chongqing: spatial distribution and symbolism of green gentrification", Premio Lorenzo Bargellini Third Edition, Circolo di Castello, Florence, Italy (presentation and round table, June 4)

2021 - "Landscape Representations: A historical overview (1949-2000)", Course History of China 2, Ca' Foscari University, Venice (1,5 hours B.A. seminar, December 16)

2021 - "Environment and Economy: Spatio-temporal entanglements (1949-2000)", Course History of China 2, Ca' Foscari University, Venice (1,5 hours B.A. seminar, November 25)

2021 – "Territory and Resource Fragmentation: The cases of Manchuria and Sichuan areas (1920-1945) ", Course History of China 2, Ca' Foscari University, Venice (1,5 hours B.A. seminar, November 18)

2021 – "Chinese Modernity After the Opium Wars: economic and knowledge networks, infrastructure and identity", Course History of China 2, Ca' Foscari University, Venice (1,5 hours B.A. seminar, November 4)

2020 – "Chongqing urban projects: power narratives between heritage and memory", Course History of Modern and Contemporary China, Ca' Foscari University, Venice (1,5 hours M.A. seminar, December 15)

2020 – "Metaphors and Language: Into the Reception of Coronavirus Crisis in China, Germany and France" (with M. Mileto and M.G. Manduzio), WeTell Summer School: Innovating Storytelling to Address Civic Awareness, University of Bologna (November 27)

2016 – "Information Security Awareness - the Employee Experience" Internal Report Presentation and Discussions with the Information Security team at SAP SE, Walldorf, Germany

2015 – "意大利经济地理:本地经济网络系统之发展的比较分析" (Italy’s economic geography: evaluating the development of local economic network systems), Course 经济地理 Economic Geography, Southwest University Chongqing, PRC (1,5 hours M.A. seminar, April 16)



(2021) External collaborator, Sinosfere (journal)

(2020-current) Freelance at the Centro Studi sulla Cina Contemporanea, Reggio Emilia, Italy

(April 9th-12th, 2015) AIMUN Delegate (Peking University Asian International Model United Nations)

(June 2014) Logo creation for the Green City Academic Association 绿色城市学会

(November 2013-current) Editor of the blog section "Langlebigkeitspillen - China Impulses

(2012-2015) Freelance for the Chinese blog of photography "Zaijietou - On the street"

(May 2012) Group leader of the Italian team at the Training Course "Youth Environment Strategy" funded by the Youth in Action Program (LLP), EU. Youth Pass 4.3. Targu Jiu, Romania

(March 2012) Participant at the Training Course "Formal and Non-Formal Learning in Europe" funded by the Youth in Action Program (LLP), EU. Youth Pass 1.1. Xylokastro, Greece



  • 2016 EASA European Association of Social Anthropologists
  • 2020 Società Geografica Italiana (geographical association)
  • 2020 AAS Association for Asian Studies
  • 2021 AISC Italian Association for Chinese Studies
  • 2021 EACS European Association for Chinese Studies



2021-22 Urban Knowledge Network Asia | Symposium: “Neighborhood Transformation in East Asian Cities: Is ‘Gentrification’ the Right Frame of Reference?”

2021-22 CHAIN Cultural Heritage Academic Interdisciplinary Network, DISUM, University of Catania

2022 AgeS (Centro di ricerche antropologiche geografiche e storiche dal medioevo all’età contemporanea), DSU, Ca’ Foscari University