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Teaching and adventures in China

There really is something very special about working at The University of Nottingham, with its two fully established and fully operational branch campuses at Ningbo, China and Semenyih, Malaysia. I just cannot imagine any other institution where it would be possible to have the opportunity to teach museums practitioners drawn from all over China, in…

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The contemporary Western view of Manchu China: Edmund Backhouse and J.O.P.Bland’s China under the Empress Dowager (1910)

┬áMy reading over the last few weeks has been very much focussed on a number of accounts dealing with the last- and arguably greatest- of the Manchu Empress Dowager, Cixi, or Tzu Hsi (1835-1908). Tzu-Hsi is a fascinating figure by whatever measure- a concubine on entry into the Forbidden City, she became the birth mother…

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Of wandering in the Forbidden City

In an earlier blog post about the Great Wall, I mentioned the Great Wall as one of the items on my bucket list. Well, guess what? The next item on that bucket list of mine is the Gugong, the Forbidden City, Beijng’s legendary Imperial Palace and Court until the eviction of the last Emperor, Puyi,…