FORTHCOMING EVENTS FOR THIS YEAR
Frances Wood, the Curator of Chinese Collections at the British Library, on Joseph Needham and the Silk Road.
Wednesday 15 MAY 6.00 - 8.00pm
Strand Campus, King's College London, London WC2R 2LS
The nearest tube station is Temple and the location can be found at
This is the second in a series of talks linked to the forthcoming tour:
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF JOSEPH NEEDHAM: SACU TOUR FROM CHONGQING TO DUNHUANG SEPTEMBER 2013
The British Library collections include a mass of manuscripts from Dunhuang, and Frances has written various books on China including The Silk Road and The Diamond Sutra: the story of the World's Earliest Printed Book (from the Dunhuang caves).
Frances is a SACU Vice President.
Frances will talk to us about Needham's 1943 visit to the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas at Dunhuang, which took him and his party to one of the most significant sites of the Silk Road. Carved between the 3rd and 10th centuries out of a long cliff, near the point where the great Silk Roads diverge north and south around the Central Asian deserts, the caves were filled with Buddhist paintings and sculpture. Re-discovered in 1900, 'visited' by British, French, Japanese and Russian expeditions, in the 1930s and 1940s, Chinese artists and scholars were just beginning to study the ancient site. Joseph Needham's trip to the edge of the Silk Road was memorable for the effect it had on him but the group he travelled with included a fascinating array of characters who were to have a dramatic effect on Sino-British relations, on the creation of SACU, on the development of painting in 20th century China and more.
Entrance is free for SACU and Meridian members and KCL students. Members of the public are also welcome to attend and we encourage you to join one of our organisations!
On this occasion we will be making a collection for the people of Lushan County where the recent Sichuan earthquake has caused such devastation.
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF JOSEPH NEEDHAM: TOUR FROM CHONGQING TO DUNHUANG SEPTEMBER 2013
SACU, in collaboration with The Meridian Society, has organised a tour to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Joseph Needham’s tour through China in 1943 from Chongqing to Dunhuang.
Joseph Needham was a renowned biochemist, historian and sinologist, who is probably best known for his outstanding encyclopaedic work, Science and Civilisation in China, published by Cambridge University Press from 1954 over several decades.
Born in 1900, Needham graduated in biochemistry from Cambridge University, and while doing research there, in 1937 he met some Chinese scientists who aroused his interest in China’s ancient technological and scientific past. Having embarked on private study of classical Chinese, he was sent by the Royal Society as Director of the Sino-British Science Cooperation Office to Chongqing from 1942 to 1946. During this period he made several journeys through China, visiting scientific and educational establishments and collecting historical material and books.
The longest trip, in 1943, ended in Dunhuang, famous for its early Buddhist sculptures and manuscripts in the many caves there.
Back in Cambridge in 1948, he resumed his fellowship at Gonville and Caius College, and embarked on his life-time research for the publication of Science and Civilisation in China, of which he wrote 15 volumes with his collaborators and other volumes followed his death in 1995. Meanwhile he became Master of the college, aged 76.
In 1965, with Derek Bryan, a British ex-diplomat in China, Needham founded SACU. He was close to China during all those years, and honoured by the Chinese government and academic institutions. He was also honoured in the UK, becoming a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1946 and The British Academy in 1971 and was awarded the Order of Companions of Honour in 1992.
Click Here for more details of the tour
The series of talks relating to the SACU tour in the footsteps of Joseph Needham will cover various aspects of Needham’s work and interests. These have been organised in collaboration with The Meridian Society, and the tour itself will replace the annual Meridian tour this year, as we will be joining forces.
The PROGRAMME OF TALKS will run from March – October 2013, all based in LONDON, at the Strand Campus, King's College London, London WC2R 2LS.
The nearest tube station is Temple and the location can be found at
We’re grateful to the Lau China Institute for enabling us to hold these talks in King’s College London. We have gathered a fascinating range of speakers and are grateful for their participation:
Wednesday 13 MARCH 6.00 - 8.00pm: Jenny Clegg [see below] on ‘Gung Ho’: the movement for Chinese Industrial Cooperatives and its international supporters
Wednesday 15 MAY 6.00 - 8.00pm: Frances Wood (British Library; SACU Vice President) on the people who accompanied Needham to Dunhuang
Saturday 6th JULY 2.00pm (Joint Annual Meeting with Meridian): John Moffett (Needham Research Institute Librarian) on Needham’s Diaries and his journey to Dunhuang
Wednesday 16 OCTOBER 6.00 – 8.00pm: Michael Sheringham on the role of water and water control (hydraulic engineering) which Michael discussed with Needham and used relevant material from his then manuscript for Science and Civilisation in China.
We will issue more details but meantime do put the dates in your diary! It is not necessary to register for the evening talks so please just turn up.
Entrance is free for SACU and Meridian members and KCL students>
Members of the public are also welcome to attend and we encourage you to make a small donation or better yet, join one of our organisations.
Each talk will be fascinating whether or not you are intending to join the SACU Tour!
Wednesday 13 MARCH 6.00 – 8.00pm in Room KO.20: Jenny Clegg on ‘Gung Ho’: the movement for Chinese Industrial Cooperatives and its international supporters
Jenny Clegg will talk about how, on his first expedition in China in 1943, Needham was accompanied for part of the way by New Zealander, Rewi Alley. Alley had been instrumental in persuading the Nationalist Government to launch a movement of industrial cooperatives in 1938 - the Chinese Industrial Cooperatives (CIC), also known as Gung Ho (work together) –to support China’s anti-Japanese resistance. CIC and its international committee provided an important context for Needham’s wartime expeditions and he himself was a strong supporter of the organisation and the ‘Bailie’ schools with their ‘hand and brain’ teaching methods.
This talk will outline the work of CIC and consider its significance. It will also discuss the establishment of the Bailie school in Shandan by British volunteer, George Hogg, and then will finally look at Gung Ho’s revival in the late 1980s as well as at the recent development of cooperatives in China.
Jenny Clegg is a writer and former university lecturer in Asia Pacific Studies. She has researched and published work on ‘Gung Ho’ and on cooperatives in China over a number of years. She has been a lifelong member of SACU and is currently a vice-president.
The Lau China Institute conducts research and teaches academic courses on contemporary Chinese politics, governance, business, history and society, and has also built new links with Chinese organizations in business, government, education and the cultural and creative sectors. Through these activities, and as part of the College's broader internationalisation strategy, the Institute aims to contribute to a growing interdisciplinary interest in China among both students and academics at King's.
The Meridian Society and SACU are promoting this series of talks as part of their ongoing collaboration in furtherance of the shared objective to increase understanding about China amongst the peoples of the UK.
SACU is now receiving bookings for the Tour but it is not too late to come along – If you want more information, please contact Richard Poxton at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hugo de Burgh: Through a Glass Darkly: China's Media: developments and dilemmas
Professor Hugo de Burgh is the Director of the China Media Centre and Professor of Journalism at Westminster University. After graduating in Chinese Studies and gaining his PhD at SOAS, he taught Chinese history at Edinburgh University.
Hugo de Burgh founded the CMC at Westminster University, and he organises conferences and academic exchanges with students, journalists and acadmics on the media from China. In 2007, Hugo spent 3 months as Visiting Professor at Qinghua University, Beijing.
His publications include 'China, Friend or Foe?' and 'China's Environment and China's Environmental Journalists'.
|Iain Robertson. Contemporary Chinese Art: its innovations and extravagances
Iain Roberston is a lecturer in arts policy and management at City University. He is a member of The National Art Collections Fund and Association Internationale des Critique d'Art. He is an adviser to the Asia Art Archive and responsible for information on Asian art developments in London. His recent publication is: A New Art from Emerging Markets and his next publication is Understanding International Art Markets.
|Nick Holdstock. The Tree That Bleeds: A Uighur town on the Edge.
Nick Holdstock lived and taught English in a small town, Yining, in Xinjiang Province in far west China during the early 2000s. He stayed there for three and a half years living amongst the local Uighur Moslem and Han Chinese, which he observed with a keen eye and through his camera lens. In July 2009, after his return to Britain, there were demonstrations and clashes between the Uighur and Han populations in the provincial capital of Urumqi, which were harshly suppressed by the authorities. Nick decided to investigate the background and details of these clashes, and went back to Xinjiang in March 2010 to collect information for his book, The Tree That Bleeds.
|Julia Lovell. Chinese writers and their impact in the world
Julia Lovell will join others literary experts in discussing the role of Chinese writers from the period of literary renaissance in China (c. 1915-1925), in comparison and connection with the English modernist writers, particularly of the Bloomsbury Group, including Virgina Woolf.
Julia Lovell graduated in Chinese studies from Cambridge University and has written, amongst other books, a Penguin translation of the short stories of the pioneer of the Chinese literary movement, Lu Xun (The Real Story of Ah-Q, and Other Tales of China). Julia is presently teaching at Birkbeck College, and her other books include: The Politics of Cultural Capital: China's Quest for a Nobel Prize in Literature and The Great Wall: China Against the World 1000 BC-AD 2000. Her most recent publication is:The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China.