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Robert Bickers, "World in Motion: professional circuits through 19th century China"
Please join Reorientations and the Drama Interest Group for
This lecture explores the acceleration of travel, and the interaction of various performers with China, c. 1850s-1890s. It uses "professionals" in an old sense, of theaters and performers, and discusses amateur and professional music, circuses, a Chinese giant, jugglers and acrobats.
Robert Bickers is Professor of History at the Unviersity of Bristol. He specializes in modern China, and the history of colonialism, and in particular of the British empire and its relations with China and the history of Shanghai (1843-1950s). Work in this field includes the books Britain in China (1999), and Empire Made Me: An Englishman adrift in Shanghai (2003), and The Scramble for China: Foreign Devils in the Qing Empire, 1832-1914 (2011). His interest in the world of British colonialism more broadly underpins the new volume in the Oxford History of the British Empire companion series that he has edited on British communities across the worlds of formal and informal empire. He is also interested in cemeteries and photographs and their post-colonial lives, clipper ships, lighthouses and meteorology in China.
He is Director of the British Inter-university China Centre, has been a Co-Director of the AHRC-funded REACT Knowledge Exchange Hub, and led an ESRC-funded project, 'Colonialism in comparative perspective: Tianjin under nine flags' (2008-11). He directs the 'Visualising China' initiative, and its underlying Historical Photographs of China digitisation programme. He also formely ran an AHRC-funded project on the history of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service.
Location: 3222 Angell Hall