SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Dr Amy Matthewson

PhD (SOAS), MA (University of Victoria), BA (British Columbia)
  • Teaching
  • Research


Staff Silhouette
Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Research Associate

School of History, Religions and Philosophies

Senior Teaching Fellow

Dr Amy Matthewson
Email address:
Thesis title:
Cartooning China in the Victorian Era: 'Punch,' Power, and Persuasion
Twitter: @Visual_Cultures


As an interdisciplinary researcher working at the intersection of history, cultural studies and art history, my research interest is on China and Globalisation.  My research focuses specifically on China's relationship with the global community, with special interest on British and Chinese contact as well as the processes of ideology and epistemology.

My PhD research explored the representations of China and the the Chinese in the popular British satirical magazine 'Punch' in the Victorian era.  Visual representations offer a textured understanding into how the magazine actively engaged with nationalist and imperialist discourse by positioning China as a convenient medium upon which an array of ideals or anxieties were projected.

These cartoons bring forth interesting questions relating to the broader relations between the circulation and dissemination of constructed 'knowledge' through popular media, the use of visual representation, and socially-inclusive (or exclusive) notions and attitudes.


  • Cartooning China: Punch, Power & Politics in the Victorian Era forthcoming
  • "Cartooning Anxieties of Empire:  The Fist Sino-Japanese War and Imperial Rivalries in Punch" Ming Qing Studies (2018) pp. 231-247
  • "The (Mis)Representation of Reality: 'Knowledge' and Image-Making in Glass Lantern Slides of China"  The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Socety, forthcoming
  • "Punch meets Jeddo: Representing Japan in Punch Magazine, 1852-1893" Global Victorians: When East Meets West, (ed) Dee Wu, forthcoming


  • Association for Asian Studies, Washington, U.S.A. (March 2018)
    Comparative Yellow Perilisms: Imagination, Reaction, and Continuation (presenter)
  • The Royal Asiatic Society, London, U.K. (February 2018)
    Mr. Punch and Chinamania: Blue Willowware in 'Punch' Magazine, 1874-1880 (presenter)
  • SOAS History Society, London, U.K. (November 2017)
    Visualising the ‘Other’ in British Caricature and Chinese Films (co-presenter)
  • The Research Society for Victorian Periodicals, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany (July 2017)
    China and Japan as Caricature in 'Punch' Magazine in Victorian Britain (presenter)
  • Nordic Association of China Studies, Aarhus, Denmark (June 2017)
    Younghy-Bung-Boo-Hoo: He Hurtee me Welly Much!: British Construction of ‘Chineseness’ in 'Punch' Magazine, 1894 (presenter)
  • International Congress on Visual Culture, Barcelona, Spain (May 2017)
    Visualising the First Sino-Japanese War in 'Punch' Magazine, 1894-1895 (presenter)
  • Association for Asian Studies, Toronto, Canada (March 2017)
    Cruel Despots & Childlike ‘Chinamen’: The Chinese as Caricatures in 'Punch' Magazine during the Victorian Era (co-organiser and presenter)
  • Institute of Historical Research History Lab Seminars, London, U.K. (February 2017)
    Visualising the Chinese: British Construction of ‘John Chinaman’ in 'Punch' Magazine, 1841-1901 (presenter)
  • Institute of Historical Research Doctoral Seminars, London, U.K. (January 2017)
    Humorous or Humiliating? Satirical Representations of the Chinese at the Great Exhibition of 1851 (presenter)
  • Joint East Asian Studies Conference, London, U.K. (September 2016)
    The Power of 'Punch': Satirical Representations of the Chinese, 1841-1860 (presenter)


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


  • H201: Historical Research (SOAS)
  • H212: Frontiers in History (SOAS)
  • H101: China in the Late Nineteenth Century


  • China in the Late Nineteenth Century
  • Sino-British relations Emipre and Imperialism
  • Visual and Material Culture Representation
  • Ideology, Epistemology Identity and Nationalism