Thinking Chinese Conference (31 March - 1 April 2015)

Thinking Chinese Conference (31 March - 1 April 2015)

Venue: UCL Quad, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

Dates: 31 March and 1 April 2015

A ground-breaking interdisciplinary two-day conference is presented by University College London and Ming-Ai (London) Institute.

The conference explores the history of Chinese since the 19th Century who studied in Britain and became professionals, diplomats, scientists, writers, performers and artists along with the ways in which Chineseness has been represented in the UK.

Conference Fee (including lunch and refreshment):
A. £30  Standard fee – both days
B. £20  One day only
C. £10  Refundable deposit for free place for UCL full time students only (two days only deposit to be returned on day two - strictly limited to 30 places on first come first served basis)

For registration, please download and fill the form. For enquiry, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Day 1: 31 March 2015



Chinese Community History
Michael Murray, Heritage Lottery Fund, Funding Chinese Heritage in the UK
Chungwen Li, Ming-Ai (London) Institute, The British Chinese Workforce Heritage Project

Navy and Military
Prof Jonathan Liu, Regent's University London, British Chinese Armed Forces Heritage Project
Robert Fleming, National Army Museum, China's relationship with the West in the World Wars
Rachel Hasted, The Chinese Labour Corps in England during WW1
Dr Zhuang Yijie, and Dr Vivienne Lo, UCL, New Sea Lords: the Greenwich Fuzhou meridian


Dr Kai Liu, Yanfu Foundation, Beyond Translation: Yan Fu and the Inception of Chinese Modernity
Dr Lily Chang, UCL History, Called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn: England's First Ethnic Chinese Barrister

Roundtable Discussion


Is traditional Chinese medicine really relevant?

Chair: Prof Therese Hesketh, UCL Institute for Global Health
Prof David Colquhoun, UCL Pharmacology
Dr Fanyi Meng, Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture UK
Dr Dick Middleton, British Herbal Medicine Association
Prof Adrian Renton, University of East London: Institute for Health and Human Development
Prof Volker Scheid, University of Westminster
Dr Kaicun Zhao, Middlesex University


Day 2: 1 April 2015



Food and Identity
British Chinese Food Culture Project: Video-show
Dr Vivienne Lo, UCL History: Dimsum Diplomacy

Representing 'Chineseness'
Dr Anne Witchard, University of Westminster: Maidens and Mandarins: China on the Pantomime Stage
Prof Tim Barrett, SOAS, University of London: Chinese Language Teachers and Regency Britain
Emile de Bruijn, National Trust: Thinking Chinese Wallpaper: the image of China in British interiors

11:30 – 13:10

'Chineseness', Race and Eugenics
Dr Nathaniel Coleman, UCL Philosophy: 'Africa for the Chinese': A response from Critical Eugenics at UCL
Dr Leon Rocha, University of Liverpool: Racial Miscegenation and the Chinese in Liverpool
David Yip: Being the Chinese Detective
Dr Diana Yeh, University of Winchester: Staging China, Sinophilia and the Racial Order

Roundtable Discussion

13:10 – 14:20

Breaking Our Silence: Voices from the Chinese Community

What is the best representation of the Chinese in the UK?

Chair: Prof Jonathan Liu, Regent's University London

This open debate will bring together members of the UK's diverse Chinese community with representatives from social welfare, politics, community centres and individual Chinese to discuss the situation of the current representation of the community in the UK


In the week before the conference UCL students and the public will respond in different ways to the questions: 'What does it mean to be Chinese? What does being Chinese mean to you / society?' The results of this engagement will be presented to contribute to the wider debate.

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