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Lunch & Talk, Historical Photographs of China Digital Archives Project


In this informal talk, Professor Bickers will discuss the origin, objectives and methods of the Historical Photographs of China project and the Visualising China, 1850-1950 website. He will highlight some specific collections, reflect on challenges that the project has faced, and discuss opportunities for use, re-use, and collaboration.

Lunch will be served. RSVP: Katie Lennard (klennard@umich.edu).

Speaker Bio: Robert Bickers is Professor of History at the University 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.

This event is sponsored by the Visual Cultures Workshop and the Reorientations Interdisciplinary Workshop.

Other Events with Professor Bickers: 

"In the Absence of Archives: A methodological discussion with Robert Bickers and Scotti Parrish" 

Monday 3/31 at 4 pm in 3222 Angell Hall
Co-sponsored by the Eisenberg Institute of Historical Studies
Robert Bickers (History, University of Bristol) will be joined by Scotti Parrish (English, UM)  in an informal conversation about the methodological issues associated with doing research on undocumented or otherwise elusive archival subjects. A reception will follow the talk. RSVP to Alice Tsay (atsay@umich.edu).
Participants are encouraged to read "What We Can't Know," a short chapter from Empire Made Me, Bickers' biography of Richard Maurice Tinkler. The chapter reconstructs a period in Tinkler's life for which almost no documentary material exists. Copies are available on the Reorientations CTools site or by emailing Alice Tsay (atsay@umich.edu) and specifying whether you would like a digital or hard copy. (Requests for hard copies must be made by Monday 3/24 and the copies will be available on Wednesday 3/26).
Lecture, "World in Motion: Professional Circuits through 19th Century China" 
Tuesday 4/1 at 4 pm in 3222 Angell Hall
Co-sponsored by the Drama Interest Group
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.
Start Time: 4/2/2014  12:30 PM
Location: 3222 Angell Hall
Contact: klennard@umich.edu
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