China Dreams

Callahan_ChinaDreamsCoverBICC researcher and former co-Director Professor William A. Callahan has started getting reviews of his new book, China Dreams: 20 Visions of the Future, which has just been published in the US, and is available in the UK from June.

An excerpt from the book and discussion by Geremie R. Barmé can be found on the The China Story blog, and the Wall Street Journal‘s ‘China Realtime Report’ has a new piece online about it, an interview by Tom Orlik:

The China dream has become a buzzword in Beijing, with new President Xi Jinping setting out a new vision of China as a muscular global power. But Mr. Xi is not the first person to have a China dream. The mainland’s foreign-policy experts, economists, dissidents and artists are already engaged in an active and public debate on the future of their country.

Bill Callahan, a professor of international politics at the University of Manchester who this year is researching China-India relations at the National University of Singapore, has been listening in on their conversations. His new book “China Dreams: 20 Visions of the Future” lets the rest of us in on what he heard. Continue reading.

Coming up… profiles of BICC researchers

Over the next few weeks we will be posting profiles of some of the BICC research community, starting today, with Dr Astrid Nordin, now at Lancaster University. BICC has to date involved over 40 core researchers at all stages of their careers — although we have not yet had any retirements — and scores, if not hundreds, more through our conferences and workshops. The largest body of BICC researchers came through the studentships funded by the 2006-12 award, and their work is now starting to reshape the resarch landscape in their fields, nationally and internationally.

Old China on display: BICC working with the British Embassy,Beijing

Press release, British Embassy Beijing

British Photographs from 1870-1950 Focus on Shared UK-China History

Beijing, 21 March 2013 – tonight British Ambassador to China Sebastian Wood CMG officially opened an exhibition of historical photos of China at the JW Marriott in Beijing. Organised by the British Embassy in Beijing, the exhibit presents China as seen through camera lenses dating back as far as 1870. This is the first time this exhibition has been displayed outside of the UK.

Picturing China 1870-1950: Photographs from British Collections’ presents a wealth of images of a country undergoing rapid change in its society, culture and heritage as well as providing snapshots of expatriate life at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries.

These images are part of a unique collection gathered from private collections of photographs taken, commissioned or purchased by the tens of thousands of Britons who lived in or visited China from the 1870s until the 1950s.

Sebastian Wood, British Ambassador to China, said: “These wonderful images from British collections provide a unique visual record of the longstanding shared history between the UK and China. They are a reminder of the strength and depth of our relationship, one which is increasingly important to both countries as China continues its development.”

Professor Robert Bickers, Director of the ‘Historical Photographs of China project at the University of Bristol, said: “Our project is sustained through the generosity of British-based families whose forebears lived and worked in China, or visited it, and who come forward with wonderfully rich historical materials. Many of these have never been seen before outside their homes, and it is wonderful to be able to share them with audiences in China through this exhibition.”

Dr Alicia Greated, Director of Research Councils UK (RCUK), China, said: “These inspiring photographs bring to life many months of research and investigation and demonstrate the long lasting friendship between the UK and China. Research Councils UK and Chinese funding agencies have made significant steps in enhancing our collaborative research programmes. We very much look forward to further progressing this partnership in the future.”

David Wilson, Managing Director of JW Marriott Hotel Beijing, said: “We are delighted to host this exhibition, ‘Picturing China 1870s-1950s: Photographs from British Collections’, with the British Embassy Beijing. It gives us the chance to share images of Chinese culture and heritage in bygone times with our guests living or travelling in Beijing, images which we are sure will leave a lasting impression.”

The Beijing exhibition, ‘Picturing China 1870-1950: Photographs from British Collections’, has been sponsored by the JW Marriott Hotel Beijing. The images on display come from the ‘Historical Photographs of China’ project at the University of Bristol, which is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council through the British Inter-university China Centre, and the British Academy.

Media Contact:

Martin Cui, Communications Officer (Prosperity)

British Embassy Beijing

T: +86 (10) 5192-4286


Environmental Culture Network visits to China

In September 2012, Anna Lora-Wainwright and Peter Wynn Kirby visited Shantou University Medical College to establish a new research collaboration on e-waste with Prof. Li Liping.

In November 2012, Anna Lora-Wainwright visited the Forum for Health, Environment and Development at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. During the visit she met regularly with other members of  ‘the Fenghuang team’, an interdisciplinary social science team working on mining in Fenghuang county, Hunan. The Fenghuang prepared a joint presentation to representatives of Fenghuang county government and Centre for Disease Control on rural mining, environment and health: the case of Fenghuang (农村采矿业、环境与健康:以湖南省凤凰县为例). A revised version of the presentation was also included in the 4th FORHEAD Annual Conference, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 6 and 8 November 2012 (in Chinese). At the 4th FORHEAD Annual Conference, Anna also presented a paper titled “Citizens’ responses
to pollution: a social and political analysis of two Chinese villages” (村民对污染的回应:对中国两个村庄的社会政治模式分析境与健康:以湖南省凤凰县为例) (in Chinese), see alw forhead slides .

Connections: roundtable on historical research on the Chinese Maritime Customs Service, 23 Feb 2013

This roundtable aims to facilitate the exchange of information about current projects internationally which explore the history and the archives of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service. Project leaders from China, Taiwan and the UK will discuss the current state of the field, future plans, and the potential for interaction and networking between the initiatives, and between professionals, academics, archivists and librarians.

Panel articipants: Li Yan (Vice President, China Customs Institute); Professor Wu Songdi (Fudan University, Shanghai); Dr Henk Vynckier (Tung-Hai University, Taiwan); Professor Robert Bickers (University of Bristol).

Location: Royal Holloway University of London, 2 Gower Street, London WC1E 6DP

For further details see the roundtable programme, or contact the organiser, Dr Weipin Tsai, Royal Holloway University of London.

Call for Papers: New Perspectives on the Chinese 1950s, York, 19-21 July 2013

The call for papers for this Chinese 1950s Network conference has now been issued. The conference will be held at the University of York, 19-21 July 2013. Paper abstracts should be no longer than 300 words and panel proposals are most welcome. Contributors are requested to direct all correspondence to The deadline for submission of proposals is Friday 22nd March 2013.