The British Chinese Studies Network (BCSN), supports research and public engagement on the history and culture of British-Chinese communities and individuals. The network is dedicated to British-born and migrant UK residents of ethnic Chinese origin, including individuals from Southeast and East Asia and from Chinese global diasporic communities. The BCSN recognises that while constituting a long-standing minority ethnic group and a major overseas student constituency in the UK, the British Chinese community and its oral and written archive remain largely unstudied and unrecognised as a coherent field. In the wider context of BAME histories, the study of Chinese British communities is minimal and is, in effect, one of the many untold stories of British multiculturalism.
The BCSN seeks to gather, research and disseminate work that recognises the manifold contribution that British Chinese people have made to British national life. By promoting the study of British Chinese history and literature, fostering critical reflection on this body of work, and generating greater public awareness of Chinese minority ethnicity, the network endeavours also to contribute to the Decolonising the Curriculum movement and support wider community advocacy and political recognition. This initiative is particularly urgent at the present time, when the Chinese diaspora in Britain is very likely to grow significantly in the wake of political events in Hong Kong and while China and Chinese communities in Britain experience heightened public scrutiny against the backdrop of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The British Chinese Studies Network, is hosted by the University of Liverpool and the Open University. Initial work has involved outreach planning with community groups across the regions and nations of the UK, and workshops with the Liverpool Chinese British community, including local creative writers.
The network aims to bring together scholars, creative practitioners and community partners, and will encourage collaboration through a number of project pathways including: