Name: Haotian (Walden) Wu

College: Queens’ College

Research topic: Nostalgic dwelling: Becoming at home in cinema

Supervisor: Dr. Isabelle McNeill


Haotian (Walden) studied for MPhil in Film and screen studies By Thesis in 2021-2022 at Cambridge, where he graduated with a 30000-word thesis on a film-philosophy dialogue between Werner Herzog and Martin Heidegger in terms of ‘dwelling’. Before coming back for the PhD, he was a DAAD scholar (2022-2023) at Heidelberg University in the Transcultural Studies program. There, he pursued various coursework across intellectual history, aesthetics, East Asian religions, thoughts, and arts, and the phenomenology of resonance and AI. The sheer diversity of the topics demonstrates and facilitates his commitment to the interdisciplinary and philosophically orientated approach to Art and Humanities as a way towards ever higher and more universal Truth.


Haotian (Walden) focuses on film-philosophy and especially film-phenomenology. He aims to go beyond phenomenological accounts of film and establish this art form as a phenomenology in its own right. Specifically, his doctoral research, which grows from his MPhil thesis, explores how film can enable a better account of the phenomenon of dwelling, of becoming at home in the world. As a film-phenomenology thesis, it not only elaborates on the sense of home and homelessness that fascinates and eludes classical and contemporary phenomenologists but also rethinks what cinema is (ontology) and how we engage with it (spectatorship) in terms of homemaking and homecoming.


  • Queens’-Daim Scholarship (Queens college, 2023-2026)
  • DAAD Study Scholarships – Master Studies for All Academic Disciplines (Heidelberg University, 2022-23)
  • Top Student Award in School of International Communications (The University of Nottingham Ningbo China, 2021)
  • Zhejiang Excellent Graduates (2021)
  • Dean Scholarship (School of International Communications, 2019)
  • Tu Haiming Scholarship (School of International Communications, 2019)


2023-2024: supervisor for Approaches to the history of art

Conference papers:

  • ‘Pilgrimage: the transformation of divinity in Werner Herzog’s cinema’, the annual Film-Philosophy Conference, Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, June 13 to June 15, 2023.
  • ‘Illuminating Love: The Aesthetics of Mirror-Shadow (镜影) in Wong Kar-wai’s Cinema’, Chinese Film Aesthetics Conference, University of Nottingham Ningbo China, May 9, 2022.


‘Illuminating Affect: The Aesthetics of Mirror-Shadow (镜影) in Wong Kar-wai’s Cinema’ accepted for publication in a collected volume on Chinese Film Aesthetics edited by Dr. Corey Schultz

Cambridge Film & Screen

Tel: +44 (0)1223 335057