Co-ordinator, Dr. Pierre Fuller.
Partner: People’s University, Beijing.
This network explores multiple aspects of natural and man-made disaster in modern China: causation, experience/mortality, and relief/reconstruction. Interest in the history of disaster and related subjects like environment and humanitarianism in Qing, Republican and Communist China is growing with acute contemporary policy relevance. As part of this network there has been considerable collaboration with The Renmin (People’s) University’s (Beijing) Centre for Disaster History, which has opened the dialogue and enhanced collaboration between China/UK-Western scholars.The network will benefit policy-makers and provide historical depth for an existing network created after the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake of scholars and relief practitioners from Manchester’s Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute and Chengdu University.
The Network organised an international workshop at Manchester, September 2014, which brought together experts on the history of Chinese disasters to discuss ways of bringing their research to bear on public policy, media, wider academia, and the general public. A workshop resulted in the acquisition of the domain name DisasterHistory.org and the formation of a working group of 14 China scholars on four continents committed to contributing and peer-reviewing website content over the coming years. The goal of DisasterHistory.org launched in summer 2015, is to bring past and future research outputs produced at Manchester and by colleagues elsewhere to policymakers and opinion-shapers around the world. It plans to do so by serving as the ‘go-to’ online portal and clearinghouse for academic work and historical sources on Chinese disasters while creating a dynamic forum of collaborative research and data-sharing for experts on the subject.