Monthly Archives: August 2015

“Chinese Rules” Tim Clissold
29th Sept 15

The latest book from Tim Clissold “Chinese Rules” intriguingly subtitled ‘Mao’s Dog, Deng’s Cat, and Five Timeless Lessons from the Front Lines in China’ is an attempt to explain how China works.

Join the Confucius Institute for Scotland and the China Britain Business Council at this late afternoon talk in which the author, known by the title of his first book Mr China, will discuss the book,  much of the content of which is drawn from his experience of seeking carbon capture investment opportunities in China when the carbon credit market was booming in the noughties.

From the back cover: “Combining exuberant storytelling, sly humour, and counterintuitive insights, Chinese Rules traces Clissold’s latest adventures, providing an object lesson in the contradictions between reality and conventional belief that continue to make China a fascinating, perplexing, and irresistible destination for Westerners”.

The talk will take place at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, High School Yards, Infirmary Street, Edinburgh EH1 1LZ from 15.30 – 17.00 on Tuesday 29th Sept 2015.

This talk, which is also supported by SDI, should interest anyone engaged with China through their business or research interests. Registration should be made through the following China Britian Business Council link.

Memory, Gender and Change in China: Symposium 11 Sept ’15

This day long symposium is organised by WAGnet (Women and Gender in Chinese Studies network) and will take place on Friday 11th September 2015 at the Confucius Institute for Scotland.


The outline programme for the day is shown at the bottom of this page or you can download the WAGNet Symposium Programme. To listen to a podcast record of the day please click here.

Symposium Themes from Speakers

  • New wave feminism
  • LGBT communities
  • Campaigns against violence against women
  • Dating and violence
  • Reproductive cultures
  • Technologies of intimacy
  • Politics of photographic representation of the female body
  • Socialist masculinities
  • Men’s role in family planning and contraception
  • Transnational feminist organizing


Programme overview Titles and Participants
Welcome and introduction
Welcome from the Confucius Institute for Scotland

Introduction to the day: Dr Sophia Woodman, University of Edinburgh

Keynote Address
Prof. Harriet Zurndorfer, Leiden University                    Men, Women, Money and Morality:  Gender and the Development of China’s Sexual Economy
1030-1100 Tea/Coffee Break
1100-1230Panel 1:
Tradition and change
Moderator: Prof. Fiona Moore, Royal Holloway, University of London

Speakers: Dr. Alison Hardie, University of Leeds
Dr. Wu Shengqing, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Dr. Xuelei Huang, University of Edinburgh
Dr. Francesca Bray, University of Edinburgh

1230-1330 Lunch
1330-1500Panel 2:
Socialist heritage and contemporary resonances
Moderator: Prof. Francesca Bray

Speakers: Dr. Wang Xiangxian, Tianjin Normal University
Prof. Fiona Moore
Dr. Wang Xiying, Beijing Normal University
Dr. Derek Hird, University of Westminster

1500-1530 Tea/Coffee Break
1530-1700Panel 3:
From global to local: reflections 20 years after the UN Fourth World Conference on Women
Moderator: Dr. Xuelei Huang

Speakers: Feng Yuan, Media Monitor Network for Women & Shantou University
Dr. Robin Runge, George Washington University Law School
Dr. Wei Wei, East China Normal University
Dr. Sophia Woodman

1715-1815 Networking reception

Please note that the organizers intend that this Symposium generate a broad conversation on related themes, so participants are welcome to bring their own concerns and questions, as well as responding to what the speakers have to say.


Francesca Bray is a historian and anthropologist of science, technology and medicine in China and elsewhere. One special focus of her research is gender regimes, another is agriculture, food and identity. Her most recent books are Technology, gender and history in imperial China: great transformations reconsidered (Routledge, 2013), and Rice: global networks and new histories (Cambridge, 2015).

Feng Yuan has been working on gender and women’s rights issues in China since the mid-1980s. From 1986-2006, she worked as a journalist, and from the 1990s on co-founded several women’s NGOs, including Media Monitor for Women Network (1996-), Anti Domestic Violence Network/Beijing Fanbao (2000-2014) and Equality (2014-). She is also a guest professor at the Center for Women’s Studies at Shantou University.

Alison Hardie has just retired as Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Leeds, and remains a researcher with the White Rose East Asia Centre.Her research interest is the cultural history of the late Ming; she has written on women’s use of gardens at that time. She has recently completed a monograph on the poet, playwright and politician Ruan Dacheng, and is now working on political drama in the Ming-Qing transition

Derek Hird is a Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Westminster. His research focuses on men and masculinities in China.His research focuses on men and masculinities in China. He has written on topics such as white-collar men, androgyny and domestic violence, and is currently researching the experiences of transmigrant Chinese men in London. He is the co-author of Men and Masculinities in Contemporary China (Brill 2013).

Huang Xuelei is Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. Her research interests include early Chinese cinema, social and cultural history of late Qing and Republican China.Her research interests include early Chinese cinema, social and cultural history of late Qing and Republican China. Her publications include Shanghai Filmmaking: Crossing Borders, Connecting to the Globe, 1922-1938 (Brill 2014) and several essays in Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, Twentieth-Century China, etc.

Fiona Moore is Professor in Business Anthropology at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her research interests include gender and ethnic diversity in multinational corporations and cross-cultural management.She is currently conducting a study of Taiwanese professional networks in Toronto.

Robin Runge is an Associate Professorial Lecturer in Law at The George Washington University Law School where she has taught Public Interest Lawyering and Domestic Violence Law since 2004, including in the clinical education program. Since 2007, Professor Runge has worked with civil society organizations and the judiciary in China to develop curricula and conduct trainings for Chinese lawyers and judges on domestic violence, and has consulted on local, regional and national policies and laws to respond to domestic violence in China. In 2014, she co-authored a report containing recommendations for China regarding its national anti-domestic violence law.

Wang Xiangxian is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Tianjin Normal University.Her research interests focus on gender and family planning, domestic violence, fatherhood and masculinity and feminist history. She is the author of several books including Introduction to the Second Sex (Tianjin People’s Press, 2010), Intimate Violence: A Case of 1,015 University Students (Tianjin People’s Press, 2009) and Gender in Everyday Life (Tianjin People’s Press, 2009). She has been active in organizing campaigns against intimate violence on campus.

Xiying Wang is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Development and Public Policy at Beijing Normal University. Her major research interests include gender studies, feminist theory and human sexualities, qualitative research methods, gender-based violence, sex education, and women living with HIV/AIDs.

Wei Wei is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the School of Social Development, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China. His research focuses are LGBT communities and movements, urban queer spaces, Chinese masculinities and HIV/AIDS prevention. He is the author of two Chinese books: Going Public: The Production and Transformation of Queer Spaces in Chengdu, China (2012) and Queering Chinese Society: Urban Space, Popular Culture and Social Policy (2015).

Sophia Woodman is a Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Social and Political Science. Her research interests include citizenship, human rights and social movements in contemporary China, with a focus on the every day politics of citizens, including the gendered character of citizenship. A publication on these themes is Law, translation and voice: the transformation of a struggle for social justice in a Chinese village, published in Critical Asian Studies in 2011.

Harriet T. Zurndorfer is an Affiliated Fellow of the Leiden Institute for Area Studies in the Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University in the Netherlands where she has worked since 1978. She is founder, and editor-in-chief of the journal Nan Nü: Men, Women and Gender in China. She has been a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College (Oxford), Visiting Professor at the Sorbonne, and a participant in the London School of Economics-sponsored project Global Economic History Network (2003-06), and is currently researching a book on Chinese women’s inequality in the post-socialist era.


This symposium and the preceding two days of workshops are sponsored by the Confucius Institute for Scotland, the Universities China Committee in London and Women and Gender in Chinese Studies Network (WAGNet).

To register for the public symposium please click here.

Dai Linli

Position: Teacher
Telephone: +44 (0)131 662 2180

Dai LinliDai Linli graduated from Xi’an University of Technology with a Bachelors of Arts in 2001.  Until 2003 she worked as in English teacher in Changzhou University before undertaking further study at Fudan University to achieve her Masters in Higher Education Administration.  Since graduating in 2006 she has worked on core curriculum development, undergraduate mentor services and residential college construction.




Calligraphy at Edinburgh Castle

Calligraphy students from the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s classes, can this year see the work of their class tutor, artist Chi Zhang, projected onto the walls of Edinburgh Castle.

Augmenting the China presence at this year’s Tattoo were members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army along with dancers and dragons. Topping it all was a stunning projection of Chi’s originally calligraphy.

calligraphy original
For those who do not yet read Chinese this translates as
‘Edinburgh Military Tattoo Welcomes Friends from China’.


This projection, onto the already stunning backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, was warmly applauded especially by the many Chinese present in the audience.

To find out more about calligraphy please click here and to enrol in one of Chi Zhang’s classes please click here.

First night review: It’s Only Words

Scotland China Association Website Editor Graham Thompson attended the first night of Its Only Words from Chinese speaking Louise Reay. His verdict? “This show is a lot of fun!”

Graham also said “True to the show’s claim, even someone who understands very little Chinese can get a lot of laughs from her performance, and quite a few clever insights into human behaviour. Chinese-speaking friends who saw the show reported her Chinese language was spot on – both in meaning and style of delivery – so Chinese visitors to Edinburgh may find this very entertaining ! 这一喜剧小品也会赢得中国游客的兴趣 !”   Read the full review here

The first edition of fest one of the many publications designed to help audiences find shows also carries an interesting read about Louise and her motivation for the show. Despite studying the language and living in Beijing she struggled to pick up on non verbal clues. “I realised that I had spend either years learning vocabulary but it was never really about the words”.  Her mission is to make comedy out of “universal human experiences rather than national differences”. Does she succeed?  Absolutely.

Practical comment? – the venue is small so book early to ensure you get a seat.  In common with many Fringe venues it can get warm so be prepared.

It’s Only Words, daily at 16.15 except 18 August at the Community Project’s Little Kirk, at the bottom of Candlemaker Row. Book here.

Win a Trip to China:
Creative Competition

Submit a photo, video, essay or piece of fine art to the China Unlimited website and you could win one of 15 trips to China.  The deadline for submissions is Monday 31st August 2015.

The ‘China Unlimited’ contest celebrates the 40th Anniversary of China-EU ties. It is open to all citizens of the 28 EU Member States..

Full details can be found on the China Unlimited website where selected artworks and entries are also posted.  Even if you opt not to enter you can vote for your favourites in every category.

Good luck!

China Unlimited’ is a joint project of the Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the European Union and Atlas International Culture (AIC) in collaboration with the College of Europe and Lancaster University Confucius Institute.

Spotlight Taiwan Lecture Series 27th Aug 15.00-17.00

As part of the Spotlight Taiwan programme, Ang Li, one of the most prominent woman writers in Taiwan today will give a lecture on “Sex Food and Politics” on Thursday 27th August 15.00-17.00.

In this lecture, she examines the intertwining of gender, food and politics, which continues to break new ground of literary reflection, creating a new space of questions involving female sexuality and Asian women’s literature in the international literary scene.

Taking place at the University of Edinburgh’s Project Room 1.06, at No 50 George Square booking is required.  To reserve a place please email