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About me

I am Professor of Chinese Studies and Associate Head (External Relations) of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

I completed both undergraduate and graduate studies of Sinology at the University of Vienna. My studies also included extended periods in China and Singapore. My MA dissertation was a first translation into English of a text on historiography by Liang Qichao; my PhD was a study of reaction to the Chinese democracy movement by Malaysia's Chinese population as evidence in the country's print media.

My professional life includes work at the University of Vienna, translation and interpreting work in the field of traditional Chinese medicine in both Austria and the UK, and Visiting Lectureships at a number of leading UK universities.

I first joined Westminster as part-time Visiting Lecturer in 1999. In 2008 I was appointed Principal Lecturer in Chinese Studies and Director of the Modern Languages undergraduate programme. From January 2014 to July 2018 I was Reader and Head of the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures. 

Teaching

My teaching has covered a range of modules and topics on Chinese society and culture, modern history, history and politics of the PRC, including a history of the democracy movement, post-Mao literature, as well as Chinese language. I currently teach a course on concepts of happiness across cultures. 

Research

My research focuses on the link between the personal and spiritual to wider social and political developments in China. I have published on various different aspects of Christian thought and belief in contemporary China, on social organisations, and on the meaning of socialism in the Chinese context. My current projects include an exploration of happiness and the Chinese socialist project (including Chinese understandings of the mind in a historical perspective), the use of "faith" in contemporary Chinese political discourse, and the idea of "consensual creativity" at work on Chinese public walls. Together with colleagues at Westminster and the Westminster International University in Tashkent, I am also working on a project on the reception and effect of the Belt Road Initiative in Uzbekistan. 

I am co-editor of the British Journal of Chinese Studies https://bjocs.site and currently Chair of the post-1900 Levenson book prize committee for the Association of Asian Studies.

Publications

For details of all my research outputs, visit my WestminsterResearch profile.