Emily Williams


Emily Williams joined XJTLU in 2018. She is a cultural historian of modern China, with a particular interest in Maoist material culture and collections of so-called 'red relics' in contemporary China. She received her Ph.D. from Birkbeck College, University of London in 2016, and has taught at Birkbeck College, Christie's Education London, and the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.
  • Qualifications

    • Ph.D. - Birkbeck College, University of London - 2016
    • M.A. - Goldsmiths College, University of London - 2010
    • M.A. (hons) - University of Edinburgh - 2007
  • Experience

    • Fudan Fellow - Department of History - Fudan University Shanghai - 2017
    • Senior Teaching Fellow in Modern Chinese History - SOAS, University of London - 2016-2017
    • Lecturer in Arts of China - Christie's Education London - 2016-2017
    • Research Assistant - Chinese Poster Collection, University of Westminster - 2012-2014
  • Research interests

    • Twentieth-century Chinese history
    • Legacies of the Mao era in contemporary China
    • Mao-era visual and material culture
    • Material Culture History
  • Articles

    • ‘Dorothy Ko: The Social Life of Inkstones: Artisans and Scholars in Early Qing China’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, vol 82, issue 1 (2019), pp. 195-197
    • ‘Review of Curating Revolution by Denise Ho’, The Shanghai Literary Review, vol 4 (2018), pp. 110-114
    • Williams, Emily, "Collecting the Red Era in Contemporary China", Made in China, Issue 3 (2017): 78-83
    • Williams Emily, "Book Review: "Red Legacies in China: Cultural Afterlives of the Communist Revolution", Edited by Jie Li and Enhua Zhang," The China Quarterly, Vol 228 (2016): 1133-1135
    • Williams, Emily, "From kang to kong tiao: China's twentieth century cooling", Journal of Chinese Humanities, 1:1 (2015): 194-211
    • Williams, Emily, "Exporting the Communist Image: The 1976 Chinese Peasant Painting Exhibition in Britain" New Global Studies, 8:3 (2014): 279-305
    • Williams, Emily, "Long Live Chairman Mao (badges): buttons as revolutionary objects", Static, 9 (2013)
  • Books, monographs, compilations and manuals

    • Williams, Emily, Collecting the Revolution: British engagements with Chinese Cultural Revolution material Culture (Rowman & Littlefield, forthcoming 2021)
  • Chapters, cases, readings and supplements

    • Williams, Emily, "Who will serve the people? Red Collecting and China's moral crisis" in Pavlićević Dragan and Wang Zhengxu (eds), Social Relations and Political Development in China: Change and Continuity in the 'New Era' (London & New York: Routledge, 2021), pp. 52-71
  • Conference presentations

    • ‘A Problem Nation or a Model for the Future?: Representing Mao’s China in Britain’ Alterity & Connectivity: The Cultural Relationality Between China and the West United International College (BNU-HKBU), Zhuhai, China November 2019
    • “Collecting the ‘Red’ Era in Contemporary China: Objects and their Owners” XJTLU, China Talks Series, November 2018
    • “Collecting the Mao era in contemporary China” University of Manchester: East Asian Studies Research Seminar Series, March 2018
    • “China’s Red Collectors: Understanding history through material culture” Fudan Fellow Lecture, Department of History, Fudan University, November 2017
    • “Seeing Red: Collecting and Exhibiting Cultural Revolution Relics in a Global Perspective” SOAS, December 2016
    • “Seeing Red: Collecting and Exhibiting Cultural Revolution Relics in a Global Perspective” University of Leeds, November 2016
    • “Archiving the Mao Era as Visualised in Propaganda Posters: a case study of Beijing collector Dong Zhongchao 董忠朝” Joint East Asian Studies Conference SOAS, September 2016
    • “Collecting Mao: British Collections of Modern Chinese Material Culture” University of Nottingham Ningbo, April 2016
    • “Selling the Little Red Book in Hyde Park: The Chinese Cultural Revolution and the Counterculture in Britain” University of Edinburgh Chinese History Seminar, February 2015
    • “Experiencing Mao’s China: Western visitors and Cultural Revolution material culture” British Association of Chinese Studies (BACS) Annual Conference University of Newcastle, September 2014
    • “Maoist links: China’s Cultural Revolution and Britain” China Links: Connecting the World University of Nottingham, July 2014
    • “‘Dare to Criticize. Dare to Revolt.’ Participatory Art in Britain and the Cultural Revolution” 8th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale OCAT Shenzhen, July 2014
    • “Imagining Communisms: the 1976 Huxian Peasant Painting Exhibition” Imaging Globality: China's Global Projects in Culture University of Alberta, June 2013
    • “British Imaginings of China: the 1976 Huxian Peasant Painting Exhibition” Thursday Night Salon: Contemporary Chinese Art and Culture London, May 2013
    • “Maoist posters in London: A perspective from the University of Westminster” Translating China Series; China in Britain #5: Archiving University of Westminster, April 2013
    • “Long Live Chairman Mao (Badges): Authenticity in Mass-Produced Objects” Authenticity, Centre for Modern Studies Second Annual Symposium University of York, May 2012
  • Grants

    • Williams, Emily, Collecting the Red Era in Contemporary China 当代中国的红色收藏, XJTLU Research Development Fund (RDF), 2018-2021, 95,100RMB
  • Professional service activities

    • Programme Director, BA China Studies (2020-present)
    • Member, Academic Quality Sub-Committee (2019-present)
    • Deputy Chair, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Staff-Student Liaison Committee (2020-present)
    • Member, XJTLU Imprint Publishing Committee (2018-2020)
    • Chair, Departmental Learning & Teaching Committee (2018-2020)
  • Courses taught

    • CCS409 - Final Year Project (MA Thesis Supervisor)
    • CCS305 - Final Year Project (BA Thesis Supervisor)
    • CCS105 - Twentieth Century China
    • CCS203 - China: Social stratification and change
  • Professional memberships

    • Fellow, Higher Education Authority (2020)
    • Member, British Association of Chinese Studies (BACS)
  • Telephone

    +86 (0)512 81883253
  • Email

  • Address

    Department of China Studies
    Humanities and Social Sciences Building
    Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University

    Suzhou Dushu Lake Science and Education Innovation District
    Suzhou Industrial Park