‘Governing Marriage Migrations: Perspectives from Mainland China and Taiwan’ is published

The June 2015 special issue of online journal Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review on ‘Governing Marriage Migrations: Perspectives from Mainland China and Taiwan’ is published featuring an introduction by co-editors  Elena Barbanatseva (University of Manchester) , Biao Xiang (University of Oxford), and Antonia Chao (Tunghai University) and five original articles by Hongfang Hao (Kyoto University), Caroline Grillot (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology), Elena Barabantseva Manchester), Mei-Hua Chen (National Sun Yat-sen University), and Hsun-Hui Tseng (Chinese University of Hong Kong).

This special issue results from  the workshop which took place as part of BICC Phase II research network ‘Borders of Migration’ at Tunghai University in January 2014. More information about the workshop is available from the workshop’s website.

Britain and China, 1840-1970: new book from BICC researchers

Britain and China, 1840-1970 coverJust published by Routledge, and very much a BICC volume, Britain and China, 1840-1970: Empire, Finance and War, is co-edited by Robert Bickers and Jonathan J. Howlett. The volume presents some of the research first aired at BICC’s August 2011 conference ‘Britain and China, pasts, presents and futures’. Held at the University of Bristol this event brought together over 30 speakers from across the globe.

The collection presents 11 essays, outlining the results of research into new archives, or exploring new paradigms for understanding the course of Britain-China relations.

Contributors include BICC researcher Isabella Jackson, and essays by Paul Bailey, John Carroll, Chen Qianping, Koji Hirata, Sherman Xiaogang Lai, Benjamin Mountford, Stephen R. Platt and Hans van de Ven. The cover photograph shows the pipes of the Shanghai Scottish Company of the Shanghai Volunteer Corps in action on a Shanghai street in 1924: source, Hutchinson collection, Historical Photographs of China project (C) Barbara Merchant.

‘Picturing China’ on film, and in Shanghai

As part of a series of events and films marking its tenth anniversary year, the AHRC, which funds the BICC though its LBAS scheme, has made a short film about the ‘Historical Photographs of China‘ project at the University of Bristol. The project has received a lot of support from BICC and the AHRC, and is also being showcased on 2-4 March at the government’s UK Trade & Investment’s ‘GREAT Festival of Creativity’ in Shanghai.

Dr Anna Lora-Wainwright awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize

Congratulations to BICC researcher Dr Anna Lora-Wainwright, who has been awarded a 2013 Philip Leverhulme Prize in Geography.

These prizes are awarded to a handful of individuals on a bi-annual basis in selected subject areas ‘to recognise and facilitate the work of outstanding young research scholars of proven achievement, who have made and are continuing to make original and significant contributions to knowledge in [their] discipline’.

Her most recent book is Fighting for Breath: Living Morally and  Dying of Cancer in a Sichuan Village (2013, University of Hawai’i Press).

Borders of Sexuality and Desire Network, 2013 workshop, Beijing

Hongwei Bao leads discussion at the workshop. Pictured are (facing camera) Andrew Diver (University of Cambridge postgraduate student) and Elisabeth Engebretsen.

In August 2013 the Borders of Sexuality and Desire network held an international workshop in Beijing at the city’s LGBT Center.

The event built on the successes of the historic 2013 National LGBT Conference, organised by several of the members of the network. This national conference was a two-day event that attracted more than 140 queer activists, organizers, and academics from across the People’s Republic of China, including not just developed eastern areas, but also Tibet and several other interior regions.

On the day following this conference, the network hosted more than 40 core participants from the enlightening weekend for discussion, planning, and dialogue. At the workshop we discussed ways to harness the conference’s momentum to strengthen global queer exchanges, especially as China is now a key voice in the growing international fields of sexuality and gender studies.

Discussions at the workshop focused on these key themes:

  • Indigenization versus globalization of the queer movement—How appropriate is contemporary queer theory, which emanates largely from the west, to the Chinese context, and what can the west learn from China’s example?
  • Defining terminology—How do concepts such as ‘comrade’ (tongzhi; a contemporary Chinese colloquialism referring to non-normative sexualities), ‘queer’ (ku’er; an English loan word used among academics and activists but that is also increasingly used in popular contexts), and ‘LGBT’ (another English loan, meant as a catch-all but that often excludes as much as it includes) contribute to an understanding of what it’s like to have a non-mainstream sexuality in contemporary China?
  • Understanding the movement—Is it necessary to define ‘a movement’, by which process inevitably some people will be excluded?
  • Locating practice—How can queer activists and scholars in China incorporate the needs of small towns and rural areas into what has been largely an urban movement?
  • Building relationships—How can queer activism and queer scholarship build fruitful mutual exchanges?

Organizing participants in the workshop included:

Future events are in planning and may include expanding the network’s activities to Hong Kong and Taiwan. An edited volume that builds on other workshops and includes contributions from many of the network’s participants is under consideration at the Nordic Institute for Asian Studies Press.

‘China’s Urban Environment, Past and Present’ Conference, 16-18 January 2014

 ‘China’s Urban Environment, Past and Present’ Conference, 16-18 January 2014

Following the success of our first workshop in Leicester in December 2012, we will be holding our main conference entitled ‘China’s Urban Environment, Past and Present’ at the University of Aberdeen on Thursday 16th-Saturday 18th January 2014.

We are seeking research papers of 30 minutes’ duration which relate to the theme of the urban environment in historical and/or contemporary China. This could include, but is not confined to, the following areas:

  • Managing/governing the city
  • Urban geographies
  • City planning
  • Urban culture as it relates to the environment of the city
  • Comparative approaches to China’s urban environments

If you wish to offer a paper, please send a proposed title and an abstract of no more than 200 words to the BICC’s Project Assistant, Grania Pickard (Grania.Pickard@bristol.ac.uk) by Wednesday 20 November. Enquiries may be directed to Isabella Jackson (Isabella.Jackson@abdn.ac.uk).

Introducing Sam Geall

Sam Geall Photo (1)As the recipient of a BICC studentship from 2008-2012, I was able to pursue the research and fieldwork for a PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester, supervised by Dr Anna Lora-Wainwright and Prof Sarah Green. My dissertation focuses on climate change as it is explored in the contemporary Chinese public sphere.

My broader research interests include Chinese journalism, environmental activism and citizen science, themes that also run through the book I recently edited, China and the Environment: The Green Revolution (Zed Books, 2013) and the book-length report I authored, CIimate-change journalism in China: Opportunities for international cooperation (Caixin Media and International Media Support, 2011), as well as my writing for a number of publications, including The Guardian, The New Statesman, Foreign Policy, New Humanist, Index on Censorship, China Rights Forum, openDemocracy and Green Futures.

Sam Geall book front coverI am also Executive Editor of chinadialogue.net, a bilingual online journal devoted to open discussion of all environmental issues, with a special focus on China, and the International Coordinator of a Special Policy Study on Promoting Social Media and Public Participation in China’s Green Development for the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED), a high-level think tank.

From 2012-2013, I worked as Departmental Lecturer in Human Geography of China at Oxford University, where I taught undergraduate courses and graduate seminars on China, environmental policy and sustainable development. In November/December 2013 I expect to complete my PhD, and in December 2013 I will join the STEPS Centre at the University of Sussex as a post-doctoral research associate on the Low Carbon Innovation in China project.