Dr Gerda Wielander
Head of Department
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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 UK universities including SOAS and Cambridge.
I first started teaching at the University of Westminster as Visiting Lecturer in 1999. In 2008 I was appointed Principal Lecturer in Chinese Studies and Director of the Undergraduate Programme. Since January 2014 I am Reader and Head of the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures.
My teaching covers a range of modules and topics on Chinese society and culture, modern history, society and politics of the PRC, post-Mao literature as well as Chinese language.
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 the meaning of socialism in the Chinese context. My current research analyses the links between notions of happiness and the Chinese political project. My interest also extends to Chinese understandings of the mind or 'spirit' and the 'unconscious' and the place of women in Chinese academia.
I am co-editor of the Journal of the British Association for Chinese Studies http://bacsuk.org.uk/journal and East Asian Languages Section Editor for Modern Languages Open http://www.modernlanguagesopen.org/