Of late, China-related issues seem to be leading the headlines on an almost daily basis. But the study of China is, of course, so much, much more than what is appearing in the headlines. Indeed, even the term China encompasses so many different meanings—a geographically defined space; a community of diverse linguistic, cultural, and historical discourses and practices; an on-going and contested political and social project; and more.
At the University of Oxford’s China Centre we recognise this diversity and complexity, and given the current prominence of China-related issues see our work as more vital than ever. We host one of the largest assembled groups of China-focused students and scholars in Europe, are home to an internationally renowned collection of China-related and Chinese-language sources, and are proud to showcase a wide variety of world-leading China-related research across multiple fields.
As director, I believe that no discipline or approach has a superior vantage point when it comes to China-focused research, and that one of our true strengths at the China Centre is our ability to bring together those working across a multiplicity of fields and topics to share insights, findings, and perspectives. I see it as both a real privilege and a source of humility to be in the company of such a remarkable collection of colleagues, visiting speakers and scholars, and—last but certainly not least—students at all stages of their academic progress. The expertise of our Centre’s associates spans modern and ancient Chinese history, politics and international relations, philosophy and religion, art and literature, archaeology, business and economics, society and development, law and geography. Beyond the Centre’s prime focus on the social sciences and humanities, Centre associates also include earth scientists and medical scientists.
As a Centre, we see our mission is three-fold: first, to create opportunities to bring together those working on China within the University to engage in collaboration and exchange; second, to invite in a diverse, international cross-section of actors—from academia, from business, from the policy world and beyond—to share their China-related knowledge and findings with our academic community; and third, we seek to promote and communicate Oxford’s China-related expertise and research findings to a broader national and international audience outside the University. But underpinning all of this is the China Centre’s commitment to intellectual independence and academic freedom—both in inquiry and expression—which, as one of its most valuable assets, is to be treasured and protected.
Please, do take the time to browse around our website, where you will find information about our associates and their research, our events, videos and podcasts, and further information about the Centre and other China-related topics at the University of Oxford. I would also encourage you, if you have not already, to sign up here to our mailing list for the latest on news and events from our Centre. Lastly, if you would like to support the work we are doing, you can do so here. Thank you.
University of Oxford China Centre