Monthly Archives: October 2015

Prof Shen Dingli, Fudan University: 29 Oct 15-6pm

As a distinguished scholar we are delighted to host Prof Shen Dingli, Deputy Dean of the Institute of International Studies at Fudan University to deliver a lecture on China’s Peaceful Rise: Challenges & Opportunities.


China’s rise certainly brings more opportunities to the world: increasing import of goods and services; and increasing export of tourist purchasing power, to name a few.  In terms of soft power, China is rapidly investing on its green energy sector and collaborating on climate change.  It is a major force of international combat against terror and pandemic diseases.  It is more visible on UN peacekeeping and disaster relief missions abroad.  Meantime, its rise does alter the world balance of power.  China’s rising strength of export and investment brings it more competence in manufacturing and international finance.  Its land and maritime Silk Road program offers the prospects of a better connected Eurasian continent.  Its ambition on the global commons has yet to reconcile with the concerns of the others.  This lecture will address the aforementioned issues, analysing China’s policy contour and its regional impact, especially on its relations with the neighbours and the United States.


沈丁立教授 Professor Shen DinliProfessor Shen Dingli is Deputy Dean of  the Institute of International Studies at Fudan University.  His research and publications focus on China-US security relations; regional security and international strategy; arms control and non-proliferation; foreign and defence policy of China, and the US. He received his PhD in physics from Fudan in 1989 and from 1989 to 1991 he engaged in arms control studies at Princeton University. In 1996 he was awarded Eisenhower Fellowship. In 2002 he was invited by Kofi Annan the then Secretary General of the United Nations to advise him on strategy planning for his second term.

Currently he also serves as Vice President at several academic associations, including the Chinese Association of South Asian Studies, Shanghai Association of International Studies, Shanghai Association of American Studies, Shanghai UN Research Association and Shanghai Public Policy Association.

Essential Information

Thursday 29th October 2015 6pm-7.30pm
Project Room 1.06
50 George Square
This lecture is part of the Confucius Institute for Scotland Distinguished Lecture Series in which experts and scholars on China and Chinese culture are invited to give a lecture on their chosen topic.

It is also part of the Discover Day programme organised by Fudan University, the Chinese university partner for the Confucius Institute for Scotland.


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


Jiang Shan holds a Bachelor of Chinese Language and Literature from Fudan University. Currently she is a master candidate of Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Language (MTCSOL) at Fudan University. In 2012 she went to Fengchia University as an exchange student. She also worked as a language teacher in the International Cultural Exchange School of Fudan University for two years.

Jiang Shan enjoys making friends with people from different cultural backgrounds and is eager to share her knowledge about China and Chinese culture with them.


XUE Juan

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

XUE Juan holds a bachelor degree in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages. Now she is a master candidate for Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages (MTCSOL) at Fudan University.

She believes that teaching Chinese is not only a meaningful and wonderful thing for her own career, it also helps people from all over the world to know about China and develop a deeper understanding of Chinese culture through the tool of language learning. As a Chinese teacher in the Confucius Institute for Scotland, she has prepared to experience a totally different culture and enjoy a wonderful language teaching journey in Scotland.



Fudan University Discovery Day:
29 Oct 1pm-3.30pm

Partner of the Confucius Institute for Scotland, Fudan University is based in one of China’s most vibrant cities – Shanghai.

Find out more about Fudan University – and its network of Confucius Institutes – by dropping into the Project Room at 50 George Square on Thursday 29th October 1.00-3.30pm.  And join us for a special distinguished lecture from Fudan’s Prof Shen Dingli at 6pm.  Read on for more details.


Fudan University, based in the vibrant city of Shanghai is one of China’s leading Universities. Founded in 1905 Fudan University is composed of four campuses and has over 30,000 students.

In 2006 Fudan University was partnered with the University of Edinburgh as the Chinese partner in the about to be established Confucius Institute for Scotland. Since this time each year Fudan University sends teaching staff to the Institute to develop the Chinese language skills of the Institute and University students.

In addition Fudan also has partnerships with the Confucius Institutes in Auckland, Sydney, Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Nottingham Universities.


Drop in to the Project Room 1.06 in 50 George Square to chat through opportunities to study abroad for a semester or more. A number of University of Edinburgh students are currently studying at Fudan under joint programmes.   In addition each year there are a number of scholarship opportunities offered by various bodies to he University of Edinburgh and to the Confucius Institute network. Check these out by speaking to the exhibitors from Fudan University,
Auckland University’s Confucius Institute, Hamburg University’s Confucius Institute, Nottingham University Confucius Institute and the Confucius Institute for Scotland here in the University of Edinburgh.


Take a seat and enjoy a cup of Chinese tea and a cookie while listening to the evocative sound of the Pipa and the Bamboo Flute. You will also have the chance to watch various forms of martial arts – and perhaps even try these out for yourself at an informal workshop.

Evening Lecture

Our Distinguished Lecture speaker from Fudan is Prof Shen Dingli, deputy dean of the Institute of International Studies. His talk entitled “China’s Peaceful Rice: Challenges & Opportunities” will consider how China’s rise is changing the balance of power in a number of fields – with its ambitions continuing to divide its critics. Join us at 6pm in the Project Room for this fascinating talk

All welcome!

Chinese Studies Seminar Series
Semester One

This term the Chinese Studies seminar series features three visiting speakers on 21 October, 4 November and 18 November. All seminars will take place at 50 George Square from 15.00-17.00 in either G.05 or G.06.   The next lecture is on Wednesday 4 November.

Wednesday 4 November G.05 : 17.00-19.00

Dr Gerda Wielander (University of Westminster)
Happiness in recent Chinese socialist discourse – has Ah Q become a role model?

Happiness and prosperity have been core to Chinese socialist thinking from its inception. The Revolutionary Alliance Programme of 1905 used the term fuzhi to express its aspirations for a new society, a term most recently reintroduced by Xi Jinping in 2013. Socialism has never just been an aspiration to prosperity and redistribution of resources; it has always also held the promise of a new society, which would bring spiritual as well as materialistic transformation. In psychological terms, this anticipated transformation was built on the concept of “revolutionary spirit” (Larson 2009).

In this talk I argue that the emphasis on happiness we see in Chinese political discourse today ties in with the renewed emphasis on socialist values. It also highlights the ideological dilemma the party is facing as a ruling party which continues to espouse visions of ‘groundbreaking changes’ and future utopian societies while at the same time trying to elicit quiet contentment from all, including the most disaffected, by focusing their minds on seeing the glass half full. While adopting the proper spirit remains a key characteristic of subjective feelings of happiness, what exactly constitutes the proper spirit has changed from revolutionary optimism to something more akin to Ah Q’s “spiritual victory” method.

Gerda Wielander is Reader in Chinese Studies and Head of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Westminster, London. She obtained her Masters and PhD degrees from the University of Vienna with theses on Liang Qichao’s historiography (MA) and the contemporary Chinese language press in Malaysia (PhD). Her main research interest lies in the link between the personal and spiritual to wider social and political developments in modern and contemporary China. She is the author of Christian Values in Communist China (Routledge 2013) as well as several journal articles and book chapters. She is currently working on an interdisciplinary edited volume with the working title Perspectives on Chinese Happiness.

Wednesday 18 November G.06

Dr Phillipa Lovatt (University of Stirling)
Sound Music and Memory in JIa Zhangke’s ‘Hometown Trilogy

In Jia Zhangke’s ‘Hometown Trilogy’ the complex diegetic soundscapes, which are often recorded using the documentary method of ‘direct sound’, are represented as ‘occupied’ spaces: acoustic realms that are densely layered with the competing discourses of reform-era China. This paper explores how this experience of lived space during the period of China’s rapid transformation in the years following the end of the Cultural Revolution is articulated through sound and music. Through detailed analysis of particular scenes in Xiao Wu (1997), Platform (2000), Unknown Pleasures (2002) and his first student film Xiaoshan Going Home (1995), the paper will discuss how the layering of acoustic space within the films communicates the ways in which social and personal memories are connected by establishing both the atmosphere of an era within the diegetic space of the film through music, radio or television broadcasts for example, and by setting the (sometimes conflicting) emotional tone for each scene.

Wednesday 21 October G.05 – Now completed

Dr Charlotte Goodburn (Kings College, London)
Rural-urban Migration, Citizenship and China’s 2014 hukou reforms

In July 2014 the State Council announced ground-breaking hukou reforms, abolishing the urban/rural distinction that has existed since the 1950s. Much scholarship on citizenship in China, influenced by Dorothy Solinger’s important work, has focused on urban versus rural hukou as defining a binary system of unequal citizenship, privileging urbanites and denying genuine membership to rural people. Rural-urban migrants are in the worst position of all since, despite making up a third of China’s urban population, they are often unable to access urban state resources, including education, healthcare, housing schemes and social welfare.

Based on this picture, we might expect the 2014 hukou reform to have an equalising effect. However, this paper draws on the author’s research in Shenzhen and on other work on rural-urban migration to argue that, in fact, citizenship statuses are more complicated than Solinger’s model implies. In particular, the distinction between local and non-local, interpreted differently in cities of different sizes and now enshrined in the 2014 hukou reforms, creates a hierarchy of citizenship statuses with varying impacts on migrants of different ages, genders and areas of origin. Rather than moving towards universalization of Chinese citizenship rights, then, the current trajectory is actually one of increased citizenship differentiation.

The paper concludes by proposing an alternative theoretical model of Chinese citizenship, based on recent literature on international migration and citizenship. Drawing on concepts such as “probationary” citizenship, “localised” citizenship and “undocumented” migrants, it suggests a more nuanced way of thinking about citizenship and rural-urban migration in China.


Meet the team-new staff arrive

The autumn term regularly sees the Institute welcome new colleagues from our partner, Fudan University in Shanghai.  This year we are delighted to welcome six new staff each of whom will be with us till August 2016.  You can see the profiles of four of our new staff in the About Us section of the website.

Liu Xiang
Li Yuhan
Xie JIng
Chen Yihan

We warmly welcome our new colleagues.