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The Third Annual China Humanities Graduate Conference, University of Oxford

Tuesday, 23rd April -Wednesday, 24th April
Dickson Poon China Centre Building, University of Oxford 
Keynote Speakers: Margaret Hillenbrand, Ronald Po




China’s position in the world has been constantly shaped by forces of acceptance and resistance, including relations with its different ethnic groups, neighbouring countries, and socioeconomic sectors. It is a challenge for the humanities to unravel the changing paradigms of these relations, in a time when the very concept of “China” has succumbed to revision and reconstruction. As the trend for interdisciplinary methods and theoretical innovation further continues, boundaries among different research agendas and objects are being crossed more and more often, leading to new acceptances and resistances within academia itself. This conference focuses on themes of change, conceived in the broad sense, and seeks to bring into dialogue diverse perspectives on phenomena of acceptance and resistance in the political, social, and cultural spheres of China and beyond.

This conference invites submissions which investigate, elaborate and critically engage with these conflicting notions of “resistance and acceptance” within and around China.Graduate students are invited to submit abstracts for the third University of Oxford China Humanities Graduate Conference 2019. We welcome papers that work withmodern and pre-modern subject material and from all the humanistic disciplines, including history, literary and cultural studies, history of art, film and media studies, philosophy, human geography, anthropology, musicology, politics, and religion.

Possible topics may include but are not limited to:

•               Significant conceptual and theoretical shifts and debates in Chinese Studies

•               Aesthetics, notions, ideas and materiality in the field of literature, film, visual art, theatre, music

•               Changing relations between China and the world as reflected in material and non-material exchange 

•               Ethics, morality, ideas of justice and their potential consequences

•               Public and private spaces

•               Sexuality 

•               Technology and the Internet 

•               Environment and ecology  

•               Social movements and individuals who strive for change

Please submit a 250–300-word abstract in print-ready formathereby 10th Feb 2019 23:59 (GMT). 

We will inform applicants of the outcome in late February. Do feel free to contact us if you have any enquiries tooxfordchinagradcon2019@gmail.com, and we look forward to reading your submissions.

The conference will be held predominantly in English but the conference committee encourages a certain number of submissions written in both English and Chinese. The selected papers will be presented in Mandarin.

After the conference, the committee plans to put together a special issue for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. Conference participants who wish their work to be considered for inclusion in the special issue are encouraged to submit a full paper at the time of the conference. Unfortunately, due to funding limitations the conference organizers are unable to provide travel grants or accommodation.




Associate Professor of Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, University of Oxford

Professor Margaret Hillenbrand's research and publications to date have focused on literary and visual culture in twentieth-century China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan, and She recently finished a book on the relationship between historic photographs and public secrecy in China during the post-Mao period. I am now working on a new project about the aesthetics of precarity in twenty-first-century China.


Assistant Professor of International History, LSE

While the main focus of his teaching and research has been the history of late imperial China, Dr Ronald C.Po is drawn to the realm of maritime and global studies. He is particularly interested in the ways in which the maritime world has been imagined, mapped, conceptualized, and governed.



23rd April (Tuesday)-24th April (Wednesday)

*This schedule is not complete and subject to change

Tuesday, 23rd April 2019



8:20 AM-9:00AM


China centre

9:15 AM


Lecture Theatre

9:30 AM-10:45 AM


Magaret Hillenbrand (Associate Professor of Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, University of Oxford)
The Ragpickers: Waste, Precarity, and the Artwork in Contemporary China

11AM-12 AM




  • Smart City and Urban Management in China

  • Reinventing Virtual Cityscape

  • Hi-Tech Ancient Town: Combining Nostalgia and Technology in WuzhenNational Image Building



  • Traditional Transnationalism: Fist of Legend and the Honor Ethic 

  • The Flow of "Slow Violence:" "Plastic China" in the Age of Anthropocene.

  • Sundance Worship: Chinese Indie Documentaries?Adoption of Western Narratives

12:15 PM-2:00 PM



2 PM -3:15 PM


 Ronald Po(Assistant Professor of International History, LSE) China and the Sea: Three Fallacies (Assistant Professor of International History, LSE)

3:30 PM-4:30 PM




  • Dreaming Buddhism: the role of Emperor Ming of the Han Dynasty's dream on the transmission of Buddhism to China

  • Reinventing the Tradition: Research on the Illustrations of Imperial Ritual

  • Divine Or Satiric: The Yama King on Traditional Chinese and Japanese Stages



  • Embracing Asia: Nationalist China and the 1947 Asian Relations Conference

  • The First Chinese Assistant Minister to Britain and His Diplomatic

  • Negotiating Chinese-ness, Local Identities, and Transnational Diasporic Literary Reproduction in Ng Kim Chew's Sinophone Malaysian Writing

4:30 PM-5:00 PM



5:00 PM-6:00 PM



  • Rethinking Colonial Music Connectedly and Relationally through Shanghai Phonograph Music, 1908-1949

  • The Anxious Middle Class And Their Bumpkin-saviours in Chinese Comedy Films

  • From Bowls to Teapots: The Transformation of Tea Wares during the Ming Dynasty and Qing dynasty.


  • The Female Voice, Image, and National Discourse: Singing Women in Pre-War Shanghai in the 1930s

  • Vigorous, Graceful, and Well-Educated: Constructing the Image of "Modern Female Student" in Republican China through the Lens of Linglong

  • Adapting to Western Clothing: Refashioning Chinese Perceptions of Western Suits in Post-war Hong Kong (1950s-1960s)

7:00 PM



9:00 PM



Wednesday, 24th April 2019



9:30 AM-10:30 AM



  • Crafting Otherness: Developmentalism in Chinese Online Time Travel Fiction 

  • Bodies, Animals, and Feelings: Promises and Pitfalls of Contemporary Chinese Queer Imagery Online

  • The Construction of Chinese Online Community: Fan Culture, Group Consciousness, and Trolling 


  • How to Get Redemption from History and Reality in Contemporary China? With Two Chinese Writers Born in the 1970s as Center

  • Between acceptance and resistance: the exploration of woodcut in 20th century China

  • A Travel of Magic? Construction of Anti-superstitious Discourses and Translation of Anthropological Knowledge in Early 20th-Century China





"Smart City and Urban Management in China"

Ran Peng (University of Edinburgh)

China is committed to the idea of Smart Cities. Currently, the Chinese Smart Cities project has four characteristics: Smart lifestyle (transportation, medical service, and bill payment), Smart urban administration (monitoring system, public security, and urban management), Smart economy (IT industry), and Smart governmental service (Internet +public service). Everything is related to the Chinese top-level government's design for constructing Smart Cities by using IOT and clouding computing as tools. Building Smart Cities bring a lot of shifts to Chinese cities and urban management.  While some Chinese cities have embraced the Smart City project, the results have been disappointing and characterised by unclear theoretical guidance, poor technology application, and uneven urban administration. This research focuses on the development and implementation of the Chinese national strategy of constructing Smart Cities between 2012 and 2020. My paper will outline Chinese Smart City policies and practice. I will use Taiyuan and Xian as examples to show the practice of constructing Smart Cities in China. Smart cities construction is supposed to be sustainable and flexible. In this paper, I will analyse how local governments achieve this. The paper will address how these two Chinese cities use information technology and collaborate with partner companies. Through this analysis, the relationship between local governments, enterprises, and the implementation of Smart Cities will be sketched out. This will allow for some initial conclusions to be made regarding the development and implementation of Smart City policies at the local level. 

"Reinventing Virtual Cityscape"

Shiyu Gao (University of Edinburgh)

Since the reform and opening-up policy proclaimed by Deng Xiaoping (1904- 1997) in 1978, there were major social changes in relation to the economics and politics which reshaped the look of mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. From the late 1990s, mainland China has been experiencing a paramount development of state capitalism, which leads to dramatic urbanisation and industrialisation. The drastic progression of urbanisation produces a conflict between urban demolition and construction, which reflects demographical and ideological expressions of power. The transforming urban landscape has become the most expressive device to reveal China's violent economic, social, and cultural changes. The developments attached to a financial globalisation, industrialisation and urbanisation in Chinese society has been witnessed by the unprecedented new technological innovations, especially the internet. Meanwhile, Internet, electronic communication and various other kinds of digital technologies have been reshaping Chinese art in various ways. The paper will investigate the artistic strategies that contemporary Chinese artists have deployed new technologies such as flash animation, interactive techniques, and video game as a response to the high-speed transforming society in China since the 1990s. The paper will take Cao Fei (1978- ) as the most representative example to explore art experimented with new media in the early twenty-first century in order to engage with China's society where dynamic changes are undergoing. Cao Fei is keen towards newness and inventions to break down social constraints and transcend established norms culturally and artistically. With a close analysis of various Cao Fei's art pieces, this part will argue the means of deploying digital media to construct new cityscapes and sensual experiences in virtual reality that will go beyond the boundaries of corporeal and ideology, therefore creating a new interaction between individual and the society where dynamic changes are taking place.

"Hi-Tech Ancient Town: Combining Nostalgia and Technology in Wuzhen's National Image Building"

Qi Tong (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

This article engages with ancient town tourism (guzhen lvyou古镇旅游) and its complex relationship with governance, national image and technology. Ancient towns as tourist sites have proliferated rapidly all over China in the last two decades, and cause a great deal of academic and public discussion. One of the most controversial example is Wuzhen (乌镇), a famous historical water town in southern Yangtze River Delta. On the one hand, Wuzhen has been rendered as the symbol of a timeless, changeless, rural and authentic China in both domestic and foreigners' gaze. On the other hand, since hosting the first World Internet Conference in 2014, Wuzhen embraces the new information technology as transforming ancient town. The Chinese spectacle that Wuzhen embodies has shifted respectively.This essay examines the recent changing representation, practice and governance of ancient town. The contradicting combination of nostalgia and technology in Wuzhen provokes following questions this article attempts to explore: How does technological development become the symbolic representation of culture and heritage? How does it generate new discourse and space (both physically and discursively) by putting the technological dimension into the nostalgic imagination? How is Wuzhen being ancient town promoted by different stakeholders as a smart town advanced enough to host the World Internet Conference? How do the central and local government declare Wuzhen can represent not only the glorious past, but also the utopian future of China?Adopting Foucault's insight of heterotopia and investigating the governance of space and discourse in Wuzhen, this article aims to provide a new perspective of ancient town as national image promotion for technological future.


“Sundance Worship: Chinese Indie Documentaries? Adoption of Western Narratives”

Jing Wang  (University of Texas at Austin)

In the past decade, Chinese independent documentaries have earned real recognition in western film festivals and markets. These films’ emergence into western view has not only benefited from a rise in global interest in Chinese society and culture, but also from independent Chinese filmmakers’ growing cinematic skills and narrative strategies. These new connections between their films and the western market have usually been provided by cultural organizations and foundations in the U.S., Canada and Europe, but in the process of facilitating cultural exchange between China and the rest of the world, these groups have also incorporated their own ideological judgements and aesthetic values into their Chinese counterparts’ minds. Their standards have become the general background and belief of even the most “independent” Chinese documentary makers. For instance, the Sundance Film Festival’s selection of films has been taken for years as the baseline for measuring independent documentaries’ creative value, which directly affects filmmakers’ choices of subject matters and narrative strategies. Why do Chinese documentaries need such a standard from the western world? What is the essence of Sundance’s film selection criteria? How do these standards have impacts on filmmakers’ creative practices? How are western ideologies incorporated into Chinese cultural production? In this paper, taking the Sundance Documentary Program as a case study, I will adopt Pierre Bourdieu's theory of cultural production to examine Sundance’s role in shaping independent documentary film in China. Analyzing the Chinese independent film ecosystem’s adoption of Sundance standards will offer global communication scholars a valuable perspective on contemporary Chinese cultural production.

“Traditional Transnationalism: Fist of Legend and the Honor Ethic”

David Hazard (Stanford University)

The philosopher Charles Taylor argues that three general axes inform our moral thinking: respect for life, our vision for what is the good life, and dignity (the respect we command from others). Dignity held greater prominence in premodern cultures, especially in societies with a strong warrior-honor ethic. Modern concepts of identity and moral thinking favors the first two axes. This paper, however, will show that dignity can still act a powerful moral force for transnational identities. Take the case of the 1994 Hong Kong film Fist of Legend, as a martial arts film, it draws upon the history and traditions of martial arts fiction and the world of jianghu. Jianghu describes the spaces that bold gallants roam and the communities and relationships that they build. Set in 1920s Shanghai and Japan, when tensions between the two countries were mounting, the film portrays how the protagonist Chen Zhen receives help from Japanese members of jianghu. I argue that these Japanese gallants operate under the moral framework of dignity, which is crucial to jianghu identity; and are not guided by a modern cosmopolitan identity. However, Chen Zhen is drawn in by nationalism, and is caught between a modern ethic that privileges fellow nationals and traditional jianghu ethics. I conclude that Zhen’s favoring of national identity over jianghu identity is symptomatic of modern national sovereignty’s drive to squelch alternative sovereignties and identities.

“The Flow of ‘Slow Violence’: ‘Plastic China’ in the Age of Anthropocene”

Xiaoxuan Men (Macau University of Science and Technology)

According to National Geographic, more than half the world’s plastic is produced in Asia, and China alone accounts for 29% of the volume. Plastic China (2016), an environmentally conscious documentary by filmmaker WANG Jiuliang, takes the audience to a small and poor village in Shandong, China, also a plastic recycling and handling hub in the local area, and then traces the flow/traveling of these plastic wastes all the way to the Ecology Center Recycling in Berkeley, California, effectively conveys how the upper and the lower ends of this capital chain are ironically interlinked and interconnected. Using Plastic China as an exemplary text and based on first-hand interviews with the filmmaker, the author argues that Rob Nixon’s notion of “slow violence” on the one hand perfectly describes the way in which current ecological damage is done to the globe, but on the hand needs to be further developed so as to clearly illustrate how this “slow violence” is executed according to the logic of the flow of power and capital. In many ways, as Nixon has already pointed out, this logic is a transformed or recycled form of colonialism in the new century, and China, despite its self-inflated image of a global power, is still being placed in the lower end of this chain. It joins forces with the upper end and collectively plays the role of the maker of “slow violence” in the age of Anthropocene.


Panel 3: Classics

“ Dreaming Buddhism: the role of Emperor Ming of the Han Dynasty’s dream on the transmission of Buddhism to China” 

Nelson Landry (University of Oxford) 

The earliest and most formative years of Buddhism’s transmission into China was during the first six centuries of the Common Era. This period witnessed the initial introduction, via foreigners from the West, of Buddhist texts and beliefs to China. As both sides in this exchange of ideas came to face cultural and linguistic differences, Buddhism had to be translated and ultimately cast in terms more palatable to the Chinese who had something of a predisposition to resist foreign teachings. Buddhism was thus “sinicized” as those interpreting these teachings adopted traditional and philosophical thought norms indigenous to China. However, this process was not one-sided, for the introduction of a new worldview also caused the medieval Chinese to reconsider many of their own traditions. The transmission and subsequent acceptance of Buddhism in China was preceded by an imperceptible, though cataclysmic, event. The literature states that the Han emperor Xiao Ming (孝明58-76CE) dreamed of a flying golden man from the West. It is still believed today that it was this dream that introduced Buddhism to China. It is the subsequent interpretation of this dream that caused an embassy to be sent West, thus bringing about the encounter and consequent invitation of the first monks, Kāśyapa-Mātaṅga攝摩騰and Zhufalan竺法蘭, to China. The emperor’s dream is not only a modern-day myth of Buddhism’s origins in China. As we see in the Biography of Eminent Monks (高僧傳)(554CE), a text compiling the stories of monks that played important roles in the spread of early Buddhism in China, the emperor’s dream is often interpreted as a precedent for Buddhist legitimacy in China. My project will examine the different ways in which the emperor’s dream narrative is presented in the Biography of Eminent Monks, and how it was used in the dynamic of resistance to, as well as acceptance of Buddhism in China. In so doing, hopefully some light might be shed on the nature of this dynamic, thus broadening our understanding of the medieval Chinese worldview. 

“Reinventing the Tradition: Research on the Illustrations of Imperial Ritual”

Yiyang Gao (University of Oxford)

How did the Qing connect with the past and form its own identity through material culture? How did the Qing accept and resist the Confucian tradition in China? These are questions that require further investigation. To answer these questions, I will look at the Illustrations of Imperial Ritual Paraphernalia (Huangchao liqi tushi). With its 1300 illustrations categorized under six subtitles, the book was regarded as one of the most important and well-known books about rituals in the Qing dynasty. The book itself constitutes a synthetic body of philosophical, ideological and cultural meanings. 

In the first section of my paper, by revisiting the origin of ritual vessels in the archaeological remains, as well as later catalogues relating to it, I will discuss the evolving concept of “liqi”. After that, I will draw on Qianlong’s own evidential research on ritual jades to show how the minute details of an object can be linked to the legitimacy of the state. In the second section, I will review how the Illustrations were circulated among the bureaucracy, and how the revised object might have an impact on both the performers and the viewers in the ritual procedure. I will also explain the social and political changes that were implied.

“Divine Or Satiric: The Yama King on Traditional Chinese and Japanese Stages”

Yu Shi (University of Oxford)

The Yama king (Yanluo 閻羅王in Chinese or Enma daiō 閻魔大王in Japanese), one of the most important figure of netherworld imagination in both Chinese and Japanese culture, has mainly been examined from religious angles as an exotic god from Indian Buddhism. This paper focuses on the acceptance and transformation of the Yama king image on traditional Chinese and Japanese stages through an examination of performance texts and performance records in the premodern period. Facing a possibly broader audience than text, theater acts as a mirror of religious belief and audience psychology to trigger resonance while goes beyond the common belief to trigger surprise. The image of the Yama king on traditional Chinese and Japanese stages was ambivalent: on the one hand, it incarnated the expectation on retribution for sin lacking in the real world, on the other hand, it was satirized as a king who had no sense of right or wrong due to the randomness of death. The representation of the Yama king in performances such as Yuan and Ming opera Shihou ji 獅吼記and Dou’e yuan 竇娥冤, as well as kyōgen Bakuuchi jyō ō 博打十王and Asahina 朝比奈will be discussed, in order to explore the social psychology and religious background behind such ambivalent thanatopsis.


“Negotiating Chinese-ness, Local Identities, and Transnational Diasporic Literary Reproduction in Ng Kim Chew's Sinophone Malaysian Writing”

Jinghui Wang (UCL)

The discussions of Chineseness in the sinophone literary field has long been entangled with tensions between “the Motherland” and the diasporic locality. In the case of sinophone Malaysian literature, this dialogic is constructed by multiple, fluid, and transnational influences. Whether it is the inheritance of the May Fourth tradition introduced by the “southbound writers”, or the literary production of contemporary Malaysian Chinese authors writing in Taiwan, the literary field of sinophone Malaysian literature presents the dynamic between Chineseness and locality as a constant movement between diasporic localities and “the imagined homeland ”. This paper explores this complex dynamic in Ng Kim Chew’s sinophone Malaysian writings, and examines how, in Ng’s works, this power relationship might subvert or transcend the centre-periphery binary opposition that has often been assigned to the relation between China and the diasporic localities. In Ng’s short stories, acceptance and resistance of Chineseness and “the imagined homeland” are problematized and complicated through the self-conscious engagement with reflections on the Malaysian Chinese identit(ies), and the subject position of writing in Chinese – in Malaysia and ultimately in any alterities outside the long lost “homeland”, which has become an imagined Other. By analysing representations of disappearance, searching, desertion, and remains in Ng’s works, this paper investigates how China and Nanyang/Malaysia are both varied and (re)constructed as “the imagined homeland(s)” in Ng’s diaspora writing. Viewing Chineseness and locality as open and constructed texts, this paper also seeks to critically examine how sinophone Malaysian writing, in the case of Ng Kim Chew’s works, might transcend postcolonial and national literary narratives to negotiate Chineseness and local identities in the transnational sinophone literary field.

"Embracing Asia: Nationalist China and the 1947 Asian Relations Conference"

Yui Chim Lo (University of Oxford)

The years 1945-1949 have been seen as a time when China was fixated upon itself: the Nationalists and the Communists fought a civil war, and their engagement with the superpowers was a means to win the war. Little is known about the Nationalist government’s iNegotiating Chinese-ness, Local Identities, and Transnational Diasporic Literary Reproduction in Ng Kim Chew's Sinophone Malaysian Writingntention to strengthen its relations with Asia and shape the future of the continent economically and socially, not just politically. This paper looks at the Asian Relations Conference held in New Delhi in 1947. Although the Nationalists initially felt that the conference was organised prematurely, they accepted India’s invitation and considered the conference a valuable opportunity to extend China’s continental influence. Through it Nationalist China promoted its modernisation model’s developmental state, economic planning and state provision of welfare to reconstruct the economy and society after years of war and decades of colonial influence. The fixation with modernisation in China and much of Asia is often seen as coming out of the desire to rid themselves of colonial conditions and to catch up with major Western powers. This paper suggests, however, that Nationalist China’s model also aimed to revive societies that suffered a great deal while resisting Japan’s large-scale invasion. More important, it was inspired by a global interest in state intervention in economies and the widespread recognition that development and welfare was just as important as military security to the post-1945 world. Nationalist China’s model was supported by most states in South and Southeast Asia, some of which proposed similar models simultaneously. Although most Asian countries were unable to produce much economic progress immediately afterwards, the model sowed the seeds of the later rise of developmental states in Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea, and offered a template of development for developing economies in Asia if not the Third World.

“The First Chinese Assistant Minister to Britain and His Diplomatic”

Jiaqi Li (Nanyang Technological University of Singapore)

Liu Xihong (1822/1823-1892), as the first Assistant Minister to Britain (1876-1877) and the first Envoy to Germany (1877-1878), was one of the Chinese leading figures visiting the Western world in 19th century. However, he is labelled as an extreme conservative in the period of the imperial self-strengthening movement, for he not only impeached his diplomatic colleague, a bold Westernization supporter named Guo Sungtao (1818-1891), but also contributed to terminating the Chinese Railway Construction Program in 1880. His resistance to industrialization is interpreted as the obstruction to the national modernization within the progressive/Conservative binary framework of the Chinese modern history writing. Based on Chinese and English archival materials, my research will examine Liu’s mediatory role and the function of his published diary from the perspective of cultural interaction between China and Britain. The concept of cultural translation is borrowed to discuss how Liu rewrote the West. First my project will examine Liu’s western knowledge before his mission appointment to see how he understood the West by a Chinese guidebook, which was the starting point for him to apply or revise the existing terms to describe the West world. Meanwhile, Liu’s short-term and ambiguous diplomatic career as the first and only assistant minister to Britain will be explored in order to construct the political circumstance within which Liu carried out his writing duty. Then my paper will demonstrate that this diary, instead of a purely personal account, is a complex collage of his own words and two interpreters’ translation. Liu rewrote their translation in his diary so as to incorporate his ideological agenda. Last, the English version retranslated by the British Foreign Office, as well as two contradictory public images of Liu constructed respectively in British, American and Australian public will be discussed to make a more complete picture of Liu’s cultural contribution.

“Imaging A New Order: Imagination of Japan in late Imperial China”

Mengji Cheng (Peking University)

Compared to western powers, Japan, with its hundreds of years of entanglement with China, is undoubtedly the one that makes early modern China have mixed feelings. Dianshizhai Pictorial, which had a great influence in late Qing dynasty and contained nearly two hundred images accompanied with texts related to the news and anecdotes of Japan, provide us with new possibilities to explore the imaginations of Japan in late imperial China. 

From a cultural-historical perspective, this paper seeks to examine the popular imagination of the Japan in late imperial China by sifting through the texts and images of Japan in three parts, namely Japanese anecdotes, Sino-Japanese War and Meiji society. The discussion of social collective imagination and traditional narrative modalities represented in these works in early modern China could lead us to questions such as how the traditional imagination have been intertwined with modern society, and how national stereotypes, collective memory, and historical trauma together played an important role in constructing a renewed spatial imaginary world, within which people could conceive of their cultural identity in an increasingly complex social reality. The popular pictures of Japan build their way towards a remedy of China’s identity crisis in the early modern East Asian context, while a coherent discourse of Asian history, as well as a coherent national identity in the modern world, is still in the making. Thus, the study on the popular imagination of Japan is not only an indispensable part to explore the social mentality of early modern China, but also provides a platform for us to rethink the mode of interpreting the cultural other in the globalized world.


“Rethinking Colonial Music Connectedly and Relationally through Shanghai Phonograph Music, 1908-1949”

Juan Liu (University of Cambridge) 

Although musicology in general has been slow to engage with postcolonial critique, it is worth noting that the postcolonial analysis of music exemplifies an alternative and effective perspective on the comprehension of music, especially colonial music, which goes beyond explaining what the music is, asking how and why the music comes into being in its broader socio-political contexts. However, postcolonial studies of music have tended to enforce a static binary between colonizer and the colonized, emphasizing either the impact of colonialism on musical aesthetics and epistemologies, or the ways in which decolonisation is caught up with nationalist and independence movements. Mostly, scholars seem automatically to have chosen one of two sides as the end of their exploration. In this essay, I attempt to move beyond the evident either-or dichotomy for a more panoramic understanding of colonial music through a case study of Shanghai phonograph music (1908-1949). I argue that such an attempt will be best served through an alternative approach, one that builds up on the ideas of connected history (Sabjay Subrahmayan, 1997, 2005) and relational musicology (Nicholas Cook, 2012). I will begin to examine and explore the possibility of how phonograph music can operate simultaneously as a colonizing and a decolonizing force via contextualizing hybridity, mimicry, modernity, colonization and decolonization. I further suggest that decolonization was often made possible by the tools that the colonizers introduced. It has often been the case that anti-colonial, independence movements have instrumentalized certain mechanisms (such as political parties, media, recording technologies, the press, new hybrid cultural practices and so on) that emerged as a result of colonialism in order to advance the anti-colonial cause. 

“The Anxious Middle Class And Their Bumpkin-saviours in Chinese Comedy Films”

Yunghang Lai (King’s College London)

Comedy is a culturally specific form through which we can understand the desire and anxiety of a community in a particular historical context, with questions like “Why do they find it funny?” and “Who are they laughing at?” I will use two comedy films to reveal the neoliberal subjectivities of the Chinese people in recent years Lost on Journey (2010) and Lost in Thailand (2012). These films show the desire, anxiety and guilt of the problematics of successful entrepreneurial subjects, the middle-aged men who put most effort to chase after economic success and social status but become indebted to his family, friendship and their integrity. Comedic moments come from the interaction between the entrepreneurs with the “bumpkins,” who first appear as the clownish trouble-makers but finally help the entrepreneurs to settle their “debts”. I will discuss how the bumpkin-saviours as comedic characters serve as the imaginary device which brings relief to the anxious middle-class—an emerging group in China in the last two decades. The concept of “the indebted man,” suggested by Italian philosopher Maurizio Lazzarato, helps us to understand the existential condition of the Chinese middle class as neoliberal subjects.

“From Bowls to Teapots: The Transformation of Tea Wares during the Ming Dynasty and Qing dynasty”

Xuyang Gao (University of Oxford)

Tea as a national beverage has a long history in China. It is not only an enjoyable and pleasant drink, but it also represents a lifestyle. It is a cultural symbol greatly associated with all aspects of society from the economic level as an important commodity to the religious or ideological level as embedded in the practices of the social elite. This article contributes to an understanding of the deeper meanings behind the changes in tea appreciation that occurred during the beginnings of the Ming Dynasty and examines both archaeological evidence and textual materials. Before the Ming Dynasty, tea was ground into powder and served in a tea bowl. In this case, the tea bowl played an important role in the tea ceremony, with both the tea and the bowl being appreciated or evaluated by the guests. However, in the Ming Dynasty, teapots and small cups became the focus of the tea ceremony. Tea leaves were no longer consumed but were instead brewed in the teapots. In this article, the inner reasons for the transformation of the tea ceremony are examined. The archaeological remains excavated at the Yangjiaoshan site as well as at the more recent Shushan site are analysed. From the perspective of the forms employed and the choices of clay, the original usage of the teapots at from Ming and Qing dyansty will be illustrated, as will the changes in tea ceremony fashions that occurred over the period from the Late Ming Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty. The involvement of the social elite and their attitude towards tea making also will be illustrated. In the case of the transformation in tea making, the change of material culture from tea bowls to teapots was driven by economic, political and social reasons.


“The Female Voice, Image, and National Discourse: Singing Women in Pre-War Shanghai in the 1930s”

Ziyang Zhang (Duke University)

From Chinese silent era to the sound-film era, a large group of female singers also starred in movies. They were so popular that they dominated the musical and cinematic fields, outshining their male counterparts. This paper takes Zhou Xuan’s masterpiece Street Angel (1937) as an example to examine how the female voice and body were accepted, changed, and later interwoven with male desires, national discourse, and collective memory in that transitional period. Firstly, by analysing the camera movement techniques, close-ups of the female protagonist, the male gaze, and the singing skills in the film’s three song scenes, the paper argues that the synchronized sound technology enabled filmmakers to absorb music as a significant element into films. Female singers became the vital nexus connecting songs and film scenes, music and narration. In this way, they were reduced as the object of male gaze and listening. In addition, the female voice and body converged to construct a typical image of women as the powerless victim of the history. Thus, the female voice became the embodiment of the nation’s fate, resistance, and struggle. All these were further promoted and reinforced by a synergistic stardom system, including broadcasting stations, recording technology, and recording companies, all of which created an imagined proximity between singers and audiences. Having being replayed again and again, the female voice ultimately transcends the temporal-spatial limit, and becomes Chinese people’s collective memory of history and trauma.In sum, the paper uses theories of film, musicology, gender, sexuality, and psychoanalysis to analyse how the female voice was accepted in the patriarchal society, later transformed into the national discourse of China’sresistance against imperialism, and ultimately turned into a collective memory in 1930s China.

“Vigorous, Graceful, and Well-Educated: Constructing the Image of  ‘Modern Female Student’ in Republican China through the Lens of Linglong”

Zhuyuan Han (Duke University)

During the early twentieth century, the prevalence of the May Fourth Movement, which propagated progressive western ideologies such as “liberty,” “democracy,” and “equality,” had engendered unprecedented fluctuations and transformations in various aspects within the Chinese society. Among all the burgeoning new concepts and norms, the cultural icon of “Modern Girl” stood out conspicuously due to its engendered subversion of conventional heteronormative paradigms, accompanied by the increasing visibility of young women in the public sphere. Associated with the heated discussions surrounding the ubiquity of “Modern Girls,” the gradually visible presence of female students also aroused appealing impression among the public. The increasing eligibility for receiving formal education promoted the social visibility of female students, and their figures prevailed among various literary and visual cultural works. They were both the most fanatic pursuers of modern fashions and emblems of the “Modern Girl” icon in the eyes of the public. They possessed a dual identity of being both the consumers of the emerging new culture and the main object for representation in the realm of popular culture. In this sense, the popular magazine Linglong can be regarded as one of the most typical cases to be illustrated. Linglong, a pocket-sized weekly magazine published between 1931 and 1937 by the Sanhe publishing company in Shanghai, contained a considerable amount of photographs and articles concerning or produced by female students, while in the meantime, female students were also the most loyal readers of the magazine. This paper intends to investigate the multifaceted perceptions surrounding the figure of “Female Student” in an era of radical social changes from the public view through an analysis of some representative articles and photographs in the magazine. In this paper, I argue that the public prescribed both traditional and modern patriarchal aspirations to female students by configuring them as vigorous youngsters and patriots, graceful and elegant young ladies with proper manners, and well-educated females who are ideal future wives equipped with adequate domestic as well as public knowledge. In addition, I also address female students' self-identification and self-recognition displayed in juxtaposition in the magazine as their conscious resistance to the oppressive social formulations imposed on them.

“Adapting to Western Clothing: Refashioning Chinese Perceptions of Western Suits in Post-war Hong Kong (1950s-1960s)”

Katon Lee (University of Bristol)

Western suits were slowly assimilating into the dressing culture of Chinese commoners in post-war Hong Kong. Newspapers and magazines showed that some well-off ordinary Chinese began to engage with suits in the 1950s. While such wealthy Chinese were complacent about how their westernised fashion presented themselves as modern men, the impoverished majority of the commoners truly admired the men in suits and perceived them as ‘superior gentlemen’. However, such a popular perception of western clothing happened to change in the 1960s when industrialisation took place in the colony. During the industrial boom, more ordinary Chinese who were employed as white collars were actively engaging with suits as working uniform at their workplaces. Their adaptation to such western clothing at work quickly caused suits to lose the superior symbol of western modernity and to be re-understood as ‘plebeian clothing’ during the economic shift of the colony. This presentation focuses on the transformations in the popular perceptions of western suits in Hong Kong between the 1950s and the 1960s. It not only aims to delineate the cultural encounter of the ordinary Chinese with a western commodity, but more importantly, it also intends to reveal the agency of the Chinese commoners in re-understanding western modernity under the influence of colonialism through the case of western suits. I argue that diffusion of suit culture among the ordinary Chinese community not only symbolised the close relationships between industrialisation of the colony and social democratisation of commodities, but also showed us the flagging enthusiasm about ‘the West’ in the eyes of the Chinese commoners.


“Crafting Otherness: Developmentalism in Chinese Online Time Travel Fiction”

Jiahua Zhang (University of Edinburgh)

Andrew Jones states that developmentalism (or evolutionary theory) has been an “extraordinarily powerful and pervasive ideology” in China since the late 19th century. The internet literary field in contemporary China also witnesses discursive expressions of developmentalism in a global context. This paper examines a subgenre of Chinese internet time travel romance, which has been named by netizens as “Otherland stories” (“yishi dalu wen” 异世大陆文). The discourse of development can be identified in diverse forms in these Otherland stories. Firstly, this paper provides a brief genealogical analysis of the indigenization of the concept of developmentalism since the late Qing. Taking Yujing Pengxiang’s 御井烹香“Mengxi Dalu” 萌系大陆(The Cuteland) (2011) as an example, this paper then explores developmentalism from the angle of “self-other” relationship which unfolds in two respects, “the imagination of the other world” and “the construction of the other”. This paper argues that on the one hand, the “other world” mirrors Western colonists’ description of Africa as the “barbarous soil” in the 19th century. Furthermore, the portrayal of the aborigines in “the Cuteland” clearly follows Social Darwinism, and is reminiscent of the popular reception of developmentalism among Chinese intellectuals since the late 19th century. On the other hand, the story produces a hierarchy where the Chinese heroine functions as a master while the hero and other local habitants with Western appearances are her devout followers. I contend that the story not only revolutionizes what Bourdieu defines as “male domination”, but also indicates the desire to build a new world order that echoes the Chinese national discourse of development since the 1980s. In doing so, this novel proffers a fascinating example of the desires of contemporary Chinese female netizens.

“Bodies, Animals, and Feelings: Promises and Pitfalls of Contemporary Chinese Queer Imagery Online”

Qi Li (King’s College of London)

Cyberspace not only affords visibility to communities frequently marginalised by the societal mainstream but also has caused their discourse and visual images to explode. Starting as an Internet meme, a series of queer webcomies and hypermemetic images recently has gained popularity among Chinese queer community by visualising and categorising queer bodies in terms of both real animals and legendary creatures. For instance, “dragon/龙” symbolises the sugar daddy, “shrimp/虾” refers to the ugly with muscles, and “bear/熊” means a heavy-set gay. By collecting online queer webcomies and related visual memes via digital ethnography, this paper has formed a digital archive to explore more nuanced conceptualisation of queer bodies in non-Western contexts. This paper first argues that by installing the idea of inhumanism and animality at the heart and discussing identities and proclivities according to Asian culture rather than entirely importing Anglo-American gay and lesbian stereotyped binarisms (such as top/bottom, butch/femme), such representation has revealed its own political promise: it challenges the Western queer identities as the default forms for anti-normativity. By pointing out this re-presentation, as a visual form of cultural resistance, is repositioning queer into a new animal world dominated by the law of the jungle, this paper then critiques that this re-ordering has literally led to another hierarchical order with new exclusion. By attending to feelings produced within this process of visualising, pigeonholing, and re-ordering, this paper concludes that replacing queer bodies on the animal continuum and repositioning them in a new order have triggered new forms of feelings related to lookism and classism among queer, such as hate towards obesity, fetish of muscle, and indifference to ugliness.

“The Construction of Chinese Online Community: Fan Culture, Group Consciousness, and Trolling” 

Yingjie Huang (University of Edinburgh)

In online communities, fan culture embraces the group consciousness between the Internet users who have similar interests, while trolling brings different voices. Previous research has found trolling is a sword has two sides in the construction of online communities. On the one hand, it is the behaviour of outsiders challenging the community norms that are obeyed by the insiders. On the other hand, trolling is a catalyst strengthens the connection amongst the insiders and deepens the insiders’ consciousness to the community norms when against the outsiders who committed trolling. This paper examines these two sides of the outsiders’ trolling and analyses the insiders’ fan activities in a Chinese online community—Bilibili anime, comics and games (ACG) community. Bilibili is a Chinese site initiated in 2009 provides video sharing and live streaming services for the Chinese ACG fans. With deploying a method of participation observation, this paper looks at the quarrels that come after the outsiders’ trolling in Bilibili’s live stream channels between the insiders who are the followers of the channels and the outsiders who are not. This paper finds three steps of insiders dealing with the trolling: first, stressing the community norms or ignoring the trolling; second, banning the outsiders’ accesses in further commenting; third, reporting trolling to the Bilibili’s administrators. These three steps enable the insiders of leading and managing the viewers’ comments in Bilibili’s live stream channels, as a result of which a harmonious community forms without ‘‘unwelcome and unfriendly’’ voices. This paper claims the insiders are the gatekeepers of the online communities and their voluntary managements may lead Chinese online communities towards the formation of the online places where different voices are prohibited.


“How to Get Redemption from History and Reality in Contemporary China? With Two Chinese Writers Born in the 1970s as Center”

Yingchen Fan (Harvard University, Peking University)

With the objective reality of globalization, the world has witnessed the development of China's modernity. Seeing its rapid development and achievements, the problems it faces cannot be ignored. As an increasingly important member of the international community, China’s attitudes to face its history and reality have become the focus of the world. Literature has always been closely related to society, politics, and economy, how writers deal with the problems of universal concern through literary writing represents how members of this society view their past and present, and to some extent, indicates the direction of the future. The biggest confusions faced by contemporary China and Chinese people are undoubtedly how to face the social history in the early days of the PRC, and how to make people who are ravaged by reality in the process of modernity get redemption both materially and spiritually. My paper is based on two authors Lu Min and Xu Zechen who were both born in the 1970s. I focused on the close reading of their works in addition to the research of their backgrounds and writing conceptions, trying to discuss how writers confused by history and have to face realities explore the paths of redemption. The research of Lu Min focuses on her description of secular life and the use of "fables", while Xu Zechen's research focuses on his imagination of the literary Utopia, exploring his concern for good and evil. The paper finally hopes to observe the spiritual narrative and outlook of contemporary China and its future that can be seen through the search for redemption in literature

“Between acceptance and resistance: the exploration of woodcut in 20th century China”

Ru Yang (Chinese University of Hongkong)

Woodcut is a significant art form in 1930s and 1940s China due to propaganda purpose during the Anti-Japanese War. Low costs and easily duplicated, woodcut was promoted by Lu Xun who wants to revitalise woodcut which was originated in China and transported to Europe. It is an example of Lu Xun’s bringism. Since modern woodcut is creative art rather than duplicated art, how to make it acceptable to Chinese ordinary audience, especially those in rural areas, is a big question. During Yan’an period, the CCP made woodcut an official art and taught it in Luxun Art academy. But, woodcut creation was limited within a specific idea after 1942. Modernism was rejected. A series of disputes on art was because of confusing the limitation of art and politics, and using reality to judge art. This “art for the people” tradition was also the debut of political art movements after 1949. To some extent, it restricts the profound of woodcut (one form of printmaking)’s print character. Only after 1980s, this condition was changed, woodcut was regarded as one of art forms and the exploration of concept in printmaking makes it return to the essence of art. In 21st century, printmaking is combined with multi-media, and becomes more diversified. This paper will depict the development of woodcut in 20th century china using two contradictory concepts: resistance and acceptance. Rancière thinks that “art is readily ascribed a virtue of resistance.” Deleuze also discusses art’s function. The formula of resistance or dissensus was first given by Kant. These exists negative resistance and positive resistance. In this paper, I will discuss the contradiction of resistance by examples of woodcut which was considered as avant-garde by Tang Xiaobing. Does art really resist the existing formula? How resistance finally lose its edge?

“A Travel of Magic? Construction of Anti-superstitious Discourses and Translation of Anthropological Knowledge in Early 20th-Century China”

Mingcheng Yang (Chinese University of Hongkong)

Although modern scientific construction and anti-superstitious discourses in early 20th-century China are critical issues in Chinese modernity studies, few scholars noticed or explored the conceptual entanglement between “superstition” and “magic” at that time. The connection of these two words was largely derived from Chinese translation of West anthropology by Hu Yuzhi胡愈之and Jiang Shaoyuan江紹原etc.. The knowledge of “Primitive” or ”irrational” “magic” constructed in modern West anthropology helped China define what superstition was and shape modern anti-superstitious discourses. My research will firstly pay attention to the transcultural translation of “magic” in early 20th-century China and explore the association between modern Chinese vocabulary invention and the word of “magic”. And then, through discussing the mutual interaction between linguistic practice and anthropological introduction, I attempt to remap the genesis of anti-superstitious discourses in early Republic of China. Moreover, my research will also regard this transcultural practice in China as a response and challenge to the question of “magic and modernity” reflected in modern Western theories.


*in alphabetical order based on last name


09/2009-06/2013 LL.B. in Political Science, Fudan University, School of international relations and public affairs
08/2013-05/2015 MA in Government, Georgetown University
08/2016-now Ph.D in Public Policy, City University of Hong Kong


I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chinese Language and Literature at Peking University, China. Graduated summa cum laude from Peking University with a double Bachelor degree in Chinese literature and film studies, my research has a particular focus on imagology, cultural construction, popular publication and visual culture of modern China. Currently, I am doing a CSC-funded research project on the imagination of foreign lands in late Qing and early Republican China as a visiting student researcher at University of California, Berkeley.


Yufei Dong is a PhD Candidate in the Department of East Asian Studies of the University of Geneva in Switzerland. He received his M.Phil. and B.A. in English Studies and Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. He has been working on the socio-cultural and political changes in the Late Qing China, especially how Westerners and Chinese worked together in the modernization process of late 19th and early 20th Century China. His current project is a comprehensive study of Ku Hung-ming's works and life, especially on his conservative political ideas and thoughts. 



PhD candidate of The Department of Chinese Language and Literature in Peking University, China. I am now a visiting fellow of at the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations of Harvard University in 2018-2019. My research focus on Chinese contemporary literature history and criticism. My PhD thesis will pay attention to the issue of "redemption" in contemporary Chinese literature. I have published two theses on the CSSCI journal and more than 10 theses on other journals. I also edited two books for a Chinese press and co-founded the Wechat public account Zeitcritics.


PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on the body, new media and technology in contemporary East Asian art. Shiyu worked as a curator for museums and galleries in China and the UK, including Stills Gallery in Edinburgh, CAFA Art Museum in Beijing, Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the National Art Museum of China. She contributed to art magazines and auction companies as well. Her recent publications include About the Body and Thinking of Art. Shiyu participated in many international academic conferences. For instance, she presented her work about 鈥淎rt and Taboo鈥?at the 34th Congress of History of Art in 2016. Shiyu gave the presentation for British Postgraduate Network for Chinese Studies Annual Conference at the University of Oxford. She organises a session titled 鈥淓ngaging Technologies鈥?at the 22nd Biennial Conference of the European Association for Chinese Studies in 2018.your Schedule Item. Provide details about the event or activity, where it’s located and any other relevant information for your visitors. Add photos to make it shine.


Second year DPhil student in Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford. She researches the rituals in China with a special interest on the history of emotions. She has a BA in history from Fudan Unviersity. Her recent publication include Temples on Paper: the Folk Tradition of Ancestral Worship


first year PhD student in Oxford archaeology department. The main research interest is the tea wares in China, especially Zisha wares in Yixing region. As having art history degree for undergraduate and master training in archaeology, both archaeological and historical approach would be applied in interpreting the material culture.


First-year graduate student in Duke University’s Critical Asian Humanities Program. My academic interests mainly lie in late imperial and modern Chinese literature and visual culture, as well as cultural and intellectual history during the same historical period. In particular, I am curious about the way in which people’s cultural identities were constructed in urban life during early modern and modern China, through the lens of various literary and cultural texts. I am interested in how different generations of people’s experiences shaped the historical layers of a city, and the interaction between cultural products and urbanization under the context of modernization, and also the making of people’s cultural identity. I am also eager to discover people’s cultural memories and imaginations under the influence of social changes, and to investigate how literary productions in modern Chinese cities represent various forms of collective memory and express different cultural mentalities. More specifically, I’d like to delve deeper into the configuration of gender under the urban narrative framework, interrogating how particular social features together with unique personal experiences affected the formation of literate women’s cultural imaginaries.


I am a 5th year PhD student in Stanford University, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures focusing on modern Chinese literature. My research examines how the world of jianghu in martial arts fiction creates alternative sovereignties with their own moral orientations and identities. I have a MAIS in China Studies from the Hopkins-Nanjing Center and a BA in Chinese Language and Literature from Portland State University.


Jing Wang is a Ph.D. student in the Radio-Television-Film Department at the University of Texas at Austin. Jing's study interests include Chinese independent cinema, media globalization, digital distribution, and documentary production. Jing has published more than thirty articles in academic journals both in China and the U.S. In addition, she has also presented her research at several international media study conferences.


4th-Year PhD student in Chinese Studies at the University of Edinburgh. She had completed her master degree in Contemporary History at the University of Edinburgh in 2015 before conducting the PhD research. Her principle research interests are focused on the development of Chinese Internet, the online practices of Chinese Internet users especially those of the Chinese youth, and their impacts on the society in contemporary China. With these interests, she researches the Chinese youth online identities and practices in contemporary Chinese society.


Lai Yung-Hang is a PhD student in the Department of Film Studies in King's College London. He researches into Chinese comedy films in the last 20 years in the context of globalization and neoliberalization, under the supervision of Prof. Chris Berry. Lai Yung-Hang obtained his MA in Literary and Cultural Studies from The University of Hong Kong in 2013 with a dissertation about Chinese independent cinema and Christianity.


I did my undergrad at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in Religious Studies. Upon completion of my BA, I went on to Peking University, where I spent four years learning Mandarin Chinese and completing my MA in Buddhist Studies. 
I presently research the Tang dynasty Chinese monk Daoxuan (596-667). Specifically, I want to look at the influence visionary experience and encounter with the supernatural had on his later works, namely the Ji Shenzhou Sanbao Gantonglu


Katon Lee is now pursuing his PhD in History at the University of Bristol, United Kingdom. He is interested in modern history of Hong Kong and China's port cities, with a particular focus on culture and gender. His current project is about cultural engagement of Chinese communities with western clothing during the colonial era of Hong Kong.


PhD Candidate in Nanyang Technological University of Singapore. His current project is on the cultural translators in late imperial China, which examines how the Chinese first batch of minsters to Britain produced and disseminated western knowledge to Chinese audience as well as how their works were translated back and perceived in the 19th Century English world. He studied in Waseda University as an exchange student in Japan in 2017, and earned his M.A. Degree and B.A. Degree in Chinese Studies of Zhejiang University and Sun Yat-sen University in China respectively.


My academic career as a musicologist began in 2008, at a time when I was an undergraduate student but started to cultivate a strong interest in musicology. In 2013, I was admitted to Shanghai Conservatory of Music as the first in both the oral and writing tests of the Postgraduate Entrance Examination. Therefore, I was awarded the China National Postgraduate Scholarship for a three-year tuition fee and a monthly stipend. In the year I graduated, I was awarded the Annual Outstanding Student of SCM (2015-16). In 2016, I was granted the Hong Kong Postgraduate Studentship to study at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. During this period, I achieved straight As for all the required courses in the first semester, when I was greatly inspired to devote to my proposed Ph.D. topic(From Stalinism to Maoism: Socialist Realism in the Music of China, 1933-1976). In 2018, at the University of Cambridge, I started another M.Phil. programme to initial a Socialist Realist topic (USSR鈥檚 Award, China鈥檚 Socialist Realism: The Opera and its Variations) inspired by a Stalin Prize Certificate awarded to a Chinese modern opera.


KCL/CSC-funded PhD candidate in Film Studies at King’s College London. He is researching queer cinema, online affect and Chinese digital culture. Qi undertook his M.Phil. in Gender Politics at University of Cambridge and once worked as a journalist at Southern Weekly.


first-year graduate student in the program of Critical Asian Humanities in Duke University. His current research interest lies in the images and representation of women in literatures and films from the 1920s to 1970s. He is trying to combine theories in film and visuality, musicology, gender, sexuality, and psychoanalysis to examine from different perspectives how Chinese women were represented and accepted, and how they reacted to their images.


Yui Chim Lo (Tommy) is reading for a DPhil in History at the University of Oxford. He studied History and Chinese at the University of Hong Kong, and went on obtaining an MPhil in Chinese Studies at the University of Cambridge. His research interest includes the international history of modern China and Hong Kong. He has conducted research on the Sino-British negotiations over Hong Kong鈥檚 future as well as socio-economic relations between Hong Kong and the Commonwealth. His DPhil project examines how China and India planned for post-World War II Asia in the late 1930s and 1940s.


Ph.D candidate at Macau University of Science and Technology. Her research focuses on Chinese Eco-cinema. She has been long a passionate environmental activist. When she was in the United States pursuing her MA degree, she did a field study on the "Katrina Effect," the costliest hurricane in the United States and its traumatic impact on the ordinary people. It is her belief that human beings will eventually become aware of the limitations of anthropocentrism, reconcile with the macro universe and micro world, and find a new ecologically balanced belief system.


Ran Peng is currently a second-year Ph.D. student in the School of Literature, Language and Cultures at the University of Edinburgh. She received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Asian language and Culture & Economics from University of British Columbia (UBC) (2010-2014) and a Master of Arts (MA) degree in China Studies from City University of Hong Kong (2014-2015). Her Ph.D. supervisor is Dr. Daniel Hammond. 

Her research interests in East Asia, especially in contemporary China are focusing in particular on the Chinese policies and international relationships, such as Smart City and Belt and Road Imitative (BRI). 

Her publication is China and the World: Signaling Threat or Opportunities? 2016 the 2nd International Symposium on Social Science (ISSS 2016). 


PhD student in the Department of Culture and Religious Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her research focus on Cultural Tourism, Heritage management, Nationalism and Cultural Politics in contemporary China


2nd-year MPhil student studying traditional East Asia course at the University of Oxford. I am now working on my thesis about a Dunhuang performance text and its religious roots. My research mainly focuses on traditional East Asian performance, ritual, popular literature, and popular religion. Before coming to Oxford, I finished my B.A. in Chinese literature at Renmin University of China.


I am currently working towards my MA degree in comparative literature at UCL. I received my BA in English from Tsinghua University in 2018. I have presented papers at 鈥淢ultilingual Metal: Sociocultural, Linguistic and Literary Perspectives on Heavy Metal Lyrics鈥?at UCL and IMLR Graduate Forum. My research interests include contemporary sinophone literature, literary cartography, and modernist drama.


PhD Candidate in Cultural Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong


After obtaining Master Degree in the Department of Chinese Language and Literature from Beijing Normal University, now I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. My research field lie in modern Chinese literature, intellectual history, and transcultural studies. Now I鈥檓 doing the researches about cultural politics of ghostly representation and anti-supersitious discourses in Modern China.


2010-14 Shanghai International Studies University BA English Language and Literature
2014-15 University College London MA Comparative Literature
2015-16 King's College London MSc Governance in Contemporary China
2017-now The University of Edinburgh PhD Chinese Studies



The conference will take place at the University of Oxford China Centre. We are grateful for the generous support of the China Centre in making this conference possible. 

For information on how to reach Oxford and the China Centre, please consult the information and links below: 

Getting to Oxford


​London Heathrow – direct buses to Oxford for £29 (return)
London Gatwick – direct buses to Oxford £37 (return)
London City Airport – via London Underground and bus/train to Oxford


Direct trains to Oxford leave from London Paddington and London Marylebone almost every half-hour (book here)


Two buses go from London to Oxford: the X90 and the Oxford Tube

Getting to the China Centre 

Address: Dickson Poon Building, The China Centre, Canterbury Rd, Oxford OX2 6LU, United Kingdom



Dickson Poon Building, Canterbury Rd, Oxford OX2 6LU, UK

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