Interdisciplinary Conference and Exhibition: Thinking Chinese 思華 ・ 華思

London, UK

31st Mar – 1st Apr 2015

Thinking Chinese Exhibition poster-s 


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

Both conference and exhibition explore 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.

The British Chinese Workforce Heritage Project is a three-year HLF funded Oral History project collecting the life stories of British Chinese individuals in different industries.


Day One – 31st Mar

Chinese Community History

Michael Murray, Heritage Lottery Fund: Funding Chinese Heritage in the UK

Li Chungwen, 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 and its Legacy

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:

Representing Chinese Medicine

  • Prof Therese Hesketh (Chair), UCL Institute for Global Health
  • Prof Michael Heinrich, UCL Pharmacognosy
  • Prof David Colquhoun, UCL Pharmacology
  • Prof Volker Scheid, University of Westminster
  • Prof Adrian Renton, University of East London:
  • Institute for Health and Human Development
  • Dr Kaicun Zhao, Association of Traditional
  • Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture UK

Thinking Chinese Gala Dinner and Performance Evening, China City 6:30 pm
Ming-Ai (London) Institute and University College London present a Gala Fundraising Dinner.

A four course traditional banquet, music from Liz Liew and Dr Cheng Yu and a lion dance to mark the opening of the ‘Thinking Chinese’ exhibition and Conference at UCL, raise money for local charity Camden Chinese Community Centre and celebrate the achievements of the Chinese community in the UK.

Individual tickets and tables may be booked by contacting

Day Two – 1st Apr

Representing Chineseness

David Yip: Being the Chinese Detective

Dr Anne Witchard, University of Westminster:
Maidens and Mandarins: China on the Pantomime Stage
Dr Diana Yeh, University of Winchester: The Hsiungs in London
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

Food and Identity

Dr Vivienne Lo, UCL History: Dimsum Diplomacy

Li Chungwen, Ming-Ai (London) Institute: British Chinese Food Culture Project: Video-show

Eugenics and China

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


Roundtable Discussion: What does it mean to be Chinese?

Presentation of results of participatory arts activities: North Lodge, 23rd – 29th March
In the week before the conference UCL students and members of the public will be engaged to
discuss: ‘What does it mean to be Chinese? What does being Chinese mean to you / society?’

British Chinese Workforce Heritage Project Completion Ceremony & Thinking Chinese Exhibition Reception South Cloisters, UCL Join us to celebrate the completion of the ground-breaking three-year oral history project and launch of the Thinking Chinese exhibition.



Download the public conference Leaflet as PDF…

Download the gala dinner leaflet as PDF…

Download the registration form as PDF…


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