China Centre Newsletter Archive - Michaelmas Term 2013

China Centre Newsletter - MT13

Welcome from the new Director

Welcome to the start of a new academic year.   The study of China in Oxford has gone from strength to strength in recent years, and I’m delighted to have taken over as the new director of the University China Centre at the most exciting point in its development since 2008: the run-up to the opening of our new building.

The Dickson Poon Building for the University of Oxford China Centre will open its doors in September 2014.  It will be the largest dedicated structure for the study of China in Europe, and one of the most important educational developments relating to Asia anywhere in the western world.  It will provide state of the art facilities, including a new library and language laboratories, extensive teaching space, all housed in a superb piece of modern architecture.  Over the next year, we’ll be planning the transition to the new building.  Meanwhile, the rich range of activities relating to China at Oxford continues, including a wide range of seminars and conferences.  We all very much hope that the intellectual project underpinned by the work of academic and administrative staff and students will grow in scope and strength. 

The start of the year marks welcomes as well as farewells.  Among those leaving us this year include Christine Wong, who leaves for a chair at Melbourne, Karl Gerth, who becomes Hwei-Chih and Julia Hsiu Endowed Chair in Chinese Studies at University of California San Diego, and Jan Knoerich, who takes up a lectureship at King’s College London.  Joining us this year are Sarah Eaton, University Lecturer in the Political Economy of China, Ming-chin Monique Chu, Postdoctoral Research Officer in Taiwan Studies and Research Fellow at St Antony’s College, Igor Chabrowski as Department Lecturer in Chinese History and Anna Zalevski, China Centre Project Co-ordinator.

I can’t end without noting that I’ve taken over after several years of superb work by the previous incumbent, Andrew Goudie.  Andrew made tremendous efforts to bring people and project together, and the fact that the China Centre is in such good shape for launch is very largely due to his work.  I know I speak on behalf of the whole Chinese Studies community in Oxford when I thank him for everything he has done for us.

Rana Mitter




The China Centre is delighted to welcome the following Academic Visitors:

  • Xu Gang, Lecturer, School of Social and Political Science at Anhui University has joined us for one year. His area of research is Rural Sociology and Development of China's Rural Society, and he has conducted Studies on the Current Situation, Problems and Solutions of Residents’ Participation in the Construction of New Village Communities, the Path and Breakthrough of Balanced Urban-Rural Development in Anhui Province and Problems and Solutions of Youth’s Participation in Community Construction amongst others.
  • Yi Chengzhi is an Associate Professor in the School of Political Science and Public Administration, at the East China University of Political Science and Law. His areas of specialization are Government Contract, Urban Governance and Public Policy. His publications include ‘Social Transformation and Governance Growth: Study on Metropolitan Governance of Shanghai, Beijing’, and ‘Comparison and Analysis on the Two Explanations of Modern Citizenship Origin’. He will be hosted by the China Centre until August of next year.
  • Zhang Xule, is Professor at the Institute for Financial Studies, in the School of Economics at Fudan University. Whilst being based at the China Centre from September for one year, she is conducting research on ‘British Banks in China during the 1840s-1950s’.




  • Dr Paul Irwin Crookes was invited to present a number of his ideas on cross-cultural concepts and tensions between Europe and China to a discussion panel hosted by the "Windows on China" Centre, Changning District, Shanghai in July 2013. The centre acts as an international base in the city for promoting enhanced collaboration and understanding between China and the world.
  • In August 2013, Dr Paul Irwin Crookes presented a research paper at an international conference on China’s global course in international politics, organised by the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre and hosted by the Victoria University of Wellington.  In his presentation, Paul emphasised the need to understand the challenges implied by the continuation of a broadly values-based engagement with China and offered evidence to show how Chinese attitudes to technical assistance from the EU at key points in China’s economic development have successfully overcome some of these inhibitors to achieve meaningful examples of constructive progress.
  • Dr. Reza Hasmath co-organized a Forum on NGO Governance and Management in China in August 2013. The Forum broadly looked at (1) state-NGO relations theory; (2) defining the role of the modern NGO; and, (3) future directions of the sector.



Please check our Events page for details of upcoming events.

  • The three Argo-EMR seminars in Michaelmas Term 2013, held on Wednesdays in weeks 1, 3, and 4, in the Pauling Centre, 58a Banbury Road, will be under the heading ‘Buddhism, Healing and the Perfection of Itself’ . The seminar is open to all members of the University.



  • Dr Rachel Murphy has been awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship to write a monograph on 'The Children of China's Great Migration and Urbanisation'. Her work on this project commenced on 1st September with 5 weeks of fieldwork to carry out follow-up interviews with migrant children and family members that she had previously interviewed in 2010 and 2011. This September she also gave presentations about this research project at the Social Policy Department of Zhongshan University in Guangdong and at the Economics Department of Anhui Agricultural University. 
  • Anna Zalevski is the new China Centre Project Co-ordinator. She joined the Faculty of Oriental Studies in July this year and she is the first point of contact for any matters relating to the move to the new China Centre premises located in the grounds of St Hugh’s College. One of Anna’s key responsibilities is to provide advice and guidance in reference to the move, so please do not hesitate to contact her with any questions or queries.

Office location: Clarendon Institute, Room 209


Phone number: (2)80 381

Anna has 10 years of project management experience in academic, NGO and industry settings. After graduating with a DPhil degree in experimental psychology from the University of Oxford, Anna worked as a research and policy co-ordinator for the UK Resource Centre and more recently as a research manager for the BBC Media Action. 



  • Dr Anna Lora-Wainwright published her monograph Fighting for Breath: Living Morally and Dying of Cancer in a Chinese Village (University of Hawaii Press) and in a special collection in The China Quarterly titled ‘Dying for Development: pollution, illness and the limits of citizens' agency in China. She has been awarded an academic writing residency at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in 2014 support work on her next monograph titled Living with pollution in rural China – an ethnographic perspective. This work was also supported by a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship Anna was awarded in 2012.
  • Dr. Reza Hasmath recently published the following journal articles:

                "Deterring the ‘Boat People’: Explaining the Australian Government's People Swap Response to Asylum Seekers” (with J. McKenzie), The Australian Journal of Political Science 48(4).

The Local Corporatist State and NGO Relations in China” (with J. Hsu), Journal of Contemporary China 23(87). Chinese Translation: 中国统和主义地方政府与非政府组织关系.

“Isomorphic Pressures, Epistemic Communities and State-NGO Collaboration in China” (with J. Hsu), The China Quarterly, Forthcoming.

  • An edited volume of papers from a conference Dr Paul Irwin Crookes chaired at St Antony’s College in March 2013 is to be published by Palgrave Macmillan. The conference explored the implications of technological change on cross-Strait relations and the policy impact that these may have for both mainland China and Taiwan.