24 April 2014
SOAS, University of London announces the official launch of the SOAS China Institute (SCI), an expert resource for the wider world of business, policy and media, promoting interdisciplinary, language-based understanding of China, next month.
To celebrate the launch on 28 April 2014, the first of the new SOAS China Institute Lecture Series ‘China: The Landscape’ will take place, facilitating a discussion on Chinese economic, political, social and cultural reality.
The SCI is led by Professor Michel Hockx, Professor of Chinese, also President of the British Association for Chinese Studies, who in his distinguished career has played a pivotal role in promoting language-based Chinese Studies across all the disciplines at SOAS and more widely in the UK.
Professor Hockx is joined by Deputy Director Dr Jieyu Liu, a feminist sociologist, who has published widely on gender, sexuality and socio-economic development in China.
At this inaugural event, a panel of experts from a wide range of sectors will offer their views on the landscape of Chinese expertise that they face in their personal and professional interaction with China, reaching across conventional boundaries and aiming to identify ways in which China experts from different backgrounds can do more together to promote a more informed understanding of China in all its variety.
The panel includes SOAS alumna Rosemary Foot, Professor of International Relations at Oxford; Dr Wen-Guang Shao, Managing Director of Phoenix Chinese News & Entertainment Limited; Stephen Lillie, Director for Asia Pacific at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Simon Robey, Chairman of the Royal Opera House.
Professor Hockx commented: “At a time when so many are jumping onto the China bandwagon, the need for real experts’ understanding of China could not be greater. Universities do not have the monopoly on such expertise. As China’s star continues to rise, so does the rest of the world’s need to understand it and through the SOAS China Institute we hope to nurture the unique expertise that we have and bring it into dialogue with the wider world, government, business, media, education, the arts, NGOs and beyond.”
The SCI represents nearly fifty China specialists from across SOAS’ portfolio of disciplines including politics, economics, law and languages and culture. The SOAS China Institute aims to be one of the world-leading centres for China expertise and pre-eminent in London. In addition to outreach and knowledge transfer, the SCI is developing eight interdisciplinary research areas on China, as well as offering, from September 2014 onwards, two new high-level postgraduate training programmes in Chinese Studies.