A ground-breaking two-day interdisciplinary conference on British Chinese history and representations of Chineseness in the UK, co-organised by University College London (UCL) and Ming-Ai (London) Institute was held at UCL Main Quad Pavilion on 31st March and 1st April 2015.
As one of the keynote speakers, Dr Kai Liu delivered a presentation entitled ‘Beyond Translation: Yan Fu and the Inception of Chinese Modernity’. He first introduced Yan Fu and his stories of studying in the UK and later became a great translator, educator and enlightenment thinker in the modern china; then he highlighted Yan Fu’s critical contributions on the ideas and thoughts of China’s modernisation through his translations, writing and presidency of Peking University and Fudan University.
The conference, and associated exhibition, brought together academics, heritage professionals and representatives from the Chinese community. The speakers include Dr Vivienne Lo (UCL History); Mr Michael Murray (Heritage Lottery Fund); British-Chinese actor David Yip; Robert Fleming (National Army Museum); Prof Tim Barrett (SOAS); Prof Jonathan Liu (Regent’s University London). The event also featured a roundtable debates on Chinese medicine and its legalisation in the UK, an exhibition on the history of British Chinese. Both conference and exhibition explore the history of British Chinese from the 19th Century until the present days and highlighted the British Chinese’s contributions to the British society by working in different professions ranging from chef, manual labours to the professionals, diplomats, scientists, writers, performers and artists.