SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Ms Jennifer Bond

BA History, University of Warwick, MA History, University of Warwick, MPhil Modern Chinese Studies, Oxford University
  • Overview
  • Teaching
  • Research

Overview

Staff Silhouette
Name:
Ms Jennifer Bond
Email address:
Thesis title:
Nationalism, Christianity and Feminism: Missionary Education for Girls in East China, 1923-1949
Year of Study:
3
Internal Supervisors

Biography

My interest in Modern Chinese History was sparked in 2007 when I spent six months teaching English in Hainan province. I am currently in my third year of doctoral studies at SOAS, University of London, (funded by the AHRC) supervised by Dr. Andrea Janku. My PhD explores the educational experiences of female missionary school pupils in East China, 1923-1949. I completed my BA hons (first class) from Warwick University in 2010 and MA in History (distinction) in 2011. My interest in modern Chinese history led me to undertake an M.Phil. in Modern Chinese Studies at Oxford University in 2012-2013 (funded by the AHRC), including a term at Peking University in 2012. I also undertook one year of intensive Mandarin study at Zhejiang University in 2013-2014 funded by a Chinese Government Scholarship. In 2015-2016 I completed my PhD fieldwork based at East China Normal University (ECNU), funded by a Confucius Institute scholarship.

PhD Research

My doctoral research explores the experiences of Chinese girls who attended missionary schools in 1920-40s Zhejiang and Shanghai. In particular my study probes what gender values girls took away from their education and the ways in which Chinese girls skilfully combined notions of Christianity, Nationalism and Feminism in their worldview. Although studies of mission schools from the missionary perspective exist, we know very little about how Chinese girls experienced mission education. Using pupils’ writings alongside missionary reports, local newspaper sources, and oral history interviews conducted with ex-missionary school pupils the thesis explores how mission school pupils envisioned their roles in nation building and positioned themselves amid growing anti-foreign hostility in Chinese society. I examine how pupils negotiated their multiple identities as female Chinese Christian Citizens. What did mission education mean to Chinese girls and how did they use Christianity to make sense of their roles in society? I argue that mission education gave women access to new networks, skills and leadership opportunities that helped them to negotiate and overcome many of the tensions and challenges faced by the ‘modern woman’ in 1920-40s China. In their participation in the school Student Union and YWCA we can see that there was no conflict between Christianity and Nationalism in their worldview. Instead, pupils used Christianity to strengthen their Nationalism and aspire to become leading social reformers and revolutionary participants. Having a better understanding of how pupils received their education is essential for reassessing the impact of missionary education in changing the position of Chinese women in the early twentieth century. By highlighting pupils participation in global networks for women such as the YWCA we can better understand how Christianity and international ideas about women’s education were adapted at the local level, helping to breakdown strict outmoded binaries between ‘tradition’ and ‘modernity’, ‘east’ and ‘west’ still prevalent in discourses about women’s education and social status today.

 

Conferences

  • Organiser of International Post-Graduate Workshop Refracting Gender in Modern China, New Voices, New Perspectives. (SOAS, 17-19 February 2017)
  • 传教士与宁波的女子教育:以甬江女中为例》Fourth Annual Chinese and World Cites History International Conference, Hangzhou Normal University. (December 2016)
  • 外国人的傀儡?信基督的贤妻良母?或是革命的殉道者?》关于1923年至1949年间中国浙江女子教会学校女生的多重身份研究 Christianity and Modern Chinese Education, International Conference, Shanghai University. (November 2016)
  • Internationalizing and institutionalizing women’s bodies: The YWCA within mission schools for girls in Republican Era Zhejiang, 1923-1949. European Association for Chinese Studies (EACS). (August 2016)
  • Foreign Puppets, Christian Mothers or Revolutionary Martyrs? The Multiple Identities of Missionary School Students in Zhejiang, 1923-1949. Association for Asian Studies in Asia (AAS in Asia). (June 2016)
  • Foreign Puppets, Christian Mothers or Revolutionary Martyrs? The Multiple Identities of Missionary School Students in Zhejiang, 1923-1949. Colombia Graduate Student Conference on East Asia, Columbia University, New York (February 2016)
  • “Our Country’s future leaders”: Yongjiang, the YWCA and Mission Education for Girls, Ningbo China, 1923-1949. British Association of Chinese Studies (BACS), China Post-graduate Network (CPN) conference, Bristol. (July 2015)
  • Nationalism, Christianity and Feminism: Missionary Education for Girls in Zhejiang Province, China, 1923-1949. SOAS, University of London, History Department East Asia Regional Seminar. (May 2015)           
  • “Our Country’s future leaders”: Yongjiang, the YWCA and Mission Education for Girls, Ningbo China, 1923-1949. Institute of Historical Research (IHR), Comparative Histories of Asia Seminar. (November 2014)
  • The Riverside Echo: Mission Education for girls in Zhejiang Province, 1923-1949. Nottingham University International Student PhD Conference. (July 2014)  
  • “Alas for the Girls of China!” Matilda Laurence and female mission education in Ningbo, 1869-1888. 15th Annual Harvard East Asia Graduate Student Conference (HEAS). (February 2012)
  • The Activities of Matilda Laurence and female missionary education in Ningbo, China, 1869-1888. Warwick University Postgraduate History Conference. (June 2011)

Affiliations

  • British Association of Chinese Studies (BACS)
  • European Association of Chines Studies (AAS)
  • Association of Asian Studies (AAS)

Teaching

  • H101: Approaching History
  • Module title: Gender, Education and Revolution: Women in Modern Chinese History

Research

  • History
  • Chinese Studies
  • Gender Studies
  • Study of Religions