Posts tagged: International History in the Faculty of History

PCH Staff Engagement at Nankai University, PR China

During the course of the summer, two members of Politics and Contemporary History were involved in teaching and lecturing at Nankai University, Tianjin, China. Dr Moritz Pieper presented a research paper at the Zhou Enlai School of Government, while Prof Alaric Searle delivered a four-week course on ‘Classic Works of British Historiography’ to undergraduates in the Faculty of History.

The title of Moritz’s talk was ‘Mapping Eurasia: Comparing the Competing Public Diplomacies of Russia’s “Greater Eurasia” and China’s “Belt and Road”’, which he delivered on 19 June. In his guest lecture, he presented a survey of the public diplomacies of China’s Belt and Road initiative and Russia’s vision of ‘Greater Eurasia’. Despite a level of economic competition between the operating modes of the economic land corridors envisioned under China’s ‘new Silk Road’ initiative and the Russian-dominated Eurasian Economic Union, Moritz argued, a convergence of interests between Russia and China on the global plane might temper the effects of regional rivalry.

 

Moritz Pieper delivering his paper at Nankai University

 

The presentation reflects Moritz’s current research project on the Belt and Road Initiative and its significance for Central Asia, for which he was awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s Early Career Research Scholarship. Students and staff alike engaged in a lively discussion about Central Asia, Trump, and IR afterwards, followed by some Peking duck sampling.

Alaric Searle’s course, which was delivered in the Faculty of History at Nankai during July, was part of his role as Distinguished Visiting Professor, which he has held since June 2016. Alaric noted: ‘It is always interesting to teach in China because students will often have a very different perspective on history. Some parts of British history are, not surprisingly, less well-known to Chinese students, so it is always interesting to try and explain unknown territory to them.’

Professor Searle is also involved in some research collaboration with Chinese historians. On these projects, he commented: ‘There are currently two collaborative projects I am working on with Chinese colleagues. One is nearing completion, while the other is still in its early stage. But, to coin a phrase … watch this space!’


Salford-Nankai Cooperation Up and Running

Prof Alaric Searle, who was appointed Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Faculty of History, Nankai University, Tianjin, PRC, in June of last year, has already started to cooperate with staff from Nankai. Within the framework of his recent Visiting Fellowship to Pembroke College, Oxford, and the Changing Character of War (CCW) Programme in particular, undertaken during his sabbatical in Semester 1 of AY 2016/17, Alaric was able to arrange a guest lecture in Oxford by Dr Wang Wei of Nankai.

Dr Wang, Lecturer in International History in the Faculty of History at Nankai, delivered a talk on 23 January as part of the CCW lecture series entitled, ‘British Planning for the Postwar World Order: The Role of the Foreign Research and Press Service, 1939-43’ at Pembroke College. Alaric commented: ‘It was one of the great blessings of the Visiting Fellowship on the CCW Programme in Oxford that I was able to make the suggestion that Dr Wang deliver a lecture at Pembroke. I am most grateful to the Director of CCW, Dr Rob Johnson, for agreeing so readily to the suggestion. It is one example of the type of cooperation which I am hoping to pursue with the Faculty of History at Nankai in the future.’

 

Nankai Lecture

During the course of the visit to Oxford, Prof Searle and Dr Wang also had the opportunity to meet with Rana Mitter, Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China, at the University of Oxford China Centre. Prof Mitter, who is well-known for his research on twentieth century Chinese history, most recently through his book China’s War with Japan, 1937-1945: The Struggle for Survival (2013), discussed a variety of topics and projects relating to Chinese history with Alaric and Wei.

China Centre Building University of Oxford

Dr Wang is currently spending a year in the Department of International History, London School of Economics, as a Visiting Scholar. Wei commented: ‘I am immensely grateful to Professor Alaric Searle for making it possible for me to give talks in Oxford and soon in Salford. I look forward to visiting Salford; and, I hope more staff and students from Salford can come and visit Nankai in the future.’

Dr Wang will be visiting Salford University in April/May of this year and will be delivering a guest lecture. She also intends to take the opportunity to conduct archival research in the People’s History Museum and the Working-Class Movement Library. Alaric noted: ‘I am delighted that Wei is able to come to Salford. Much of her research intersects well with the interests of staff in Politics and Contemporary History. It will be a great way to cement the relationship with Nankai and for students and colleagues in English, Politics and Contemporary History to get to know her as well. We look forward immensely to hosting her for two weeks in Salford.’