SOAS University of London

SOAS China Institute Centenary Project

15 March 2017

Over the last two centuries, large numbers of Chinese workers, soldiers, business people, scholars, students and adventurers, have set out from China to settle in all corners of the world. It is estimated that there are over 50 million Chinese living outside the Greater China region.

As part of the SOAS’ centenary celebrations, SOAS China Institute is leading a centenary project examining the experiences of overseas Chinese. Through oral history interviewing, this project aims to help allow the overseas Chinese communities to have a voice and be proud of their identities. Key topics under exploration include their experiences of migration, family interactions and the making of their identities.

Two major events will be organized to document the stories and the trends that have been taking place in the overseas Chinese communities. First is an academic conference in China together with our centenary partner Zhejiang University. Second is an exhibition to offer a valuable snapshot of the memories collected, which will take place in China Exchange in May 2017.

 1. SOAS-Zhejiang University conference – Mapping Migration, Changing Identity and the Establishment of Overseas Chinese Communities.
 Zhejiang University, Haining Campus, 22-23 April 2017.

 Keynote lecture: Ensuring Chinese Identities in History

 Professor Wang Gungwu, National University of Singapore.

 2. SCI exhibition – British or Chinese? Stories of Migration, Family and Identity, China Exchange, 22-26 May 2017. Opening reception: 22 May 2017 6pm. 
Project leader: Jieyu Liu
Project members: Shahrar Ali,Stephanie Guz, Roman Kierst, Jane Savoury, Li-Sa Whittington, Di Wu

We would like to thank all the women and men who participated in this project for their generosity in spending time with researchers and telling us interesting stories about their life experiences. We are also thankful for the financial support from SOAS centenary planning committee. Finally, special thanks to Ludovica Meacci who helped with interviewing some of the participants and Eona Bell, Mandana Seyfeddinipur and Freya Aitken-Turff who helped with preparation for the exhibition.