China’s Health, Environment and Welfare (CHEW) is an interdisciplinary platform for graduate students from any University of Oxford school, faculty or department to meet, collaborate and share findings and ideas related to our three focus areas. CHEW was founded in 2013 and staged its inaugural Conference in 2014. CHEW also hosts regular seminars and shares information about events, conferences and new research findings through its various online platforms. CHEW is generously supported by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Dickson Poon China Centre, University of Oxford.
Our committee for 2016-2017:
Dr Loretta Lou
Loretta Lou is one of the co-founders of CHEW. She has recently finished her doctoral degree in anthropology at the University of Oxford and is now a Postdoctoral Associate at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology (ISCA). Her doctoral thesis is an ethnographic study of “green living” and its implications for self-understanding, social relations, ethics, and political mobilization in post-handover Hong Kong. Two questions underpinned her research on the green living movement. First, what makes people want to “go green”? What motivates “ordinary citizens” to take part in a social movement? Second, while “responsibilization” has an undeniable influence on why people want to better themselves, what other theoretical conceptualizations might the practice of “self-cultivation”/”self-care” afford us in the age of neoliberalism?
Along these lines, Loretta is developing three research projects at the moment: 1) The notion of self-cultivation (xiushen) in China and the radical politics of self-care and self-love in contemporary social movements ; 2) How Chinese environmentalists construe biotechnology and other nature-culture “hybrids” (Latour 1991, 1999); 3) Disenchantment and re-enchantment in modern China.
Irina Fedorenko is reading for a DPhil at the School of Geography and the Environment as a Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust scholar. She writes about Civil Society and Environmental Activism in Russia and China. Irina has spent over 14 months doing action research in Moscow, Vladivostok, Beijing, Kunming and Hong-Kong. Her Academic interests range from environmental communications and framing to legal reforms and international development. She has presented at the global academic conferences and published in area studies journals, but beyond Academia her work has been featured by UNESCO and think-tanks such as International Institute for Environment and Development. She has also worked as a Teaching Assistant and tutor at the School of Geography, Oxford. Irina received a “Nautilus” Academic Achievement Award from Green Templeton College for leading the CHEW Research Group in 2013/2014. Previously Irina completed with Distinction an MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance with Distinction at Oxford in 2012. For her BA she studied at Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok, Russia, where she has first developed an academic interest in the closest neighbor, China.
Guanli Zhang is reading DPhil in Geography and the Environment on the Oxford-CSC Scholarship. He is a member of St Antony’s College and a research student in Technological Natures Cluster in School of Geography and the Economy, University of Oxford. His doctoral project covers the issue of environmental knowledge seeking and green social mobilisation of rural residents in China, with a geographical focus on the Lake Taihu Basin. Before joining Oxford, Guanli received his MSc in International History from London School of Economics and Political Science, MSc in International Relation, Bachelor in Laws and Bachelor in Economics from Peking University, China. Apart from the anthropology of environment, Guanli also maintains academic interest on energy politics in Caspian region and Europe.