Free Lectures in May

01 May 2014

Uni-Glas-CI1.    May 12th 2014 Lecture

Title: "Migrants and Mobilization: Labour Politics and Political Stability in China".

Speaker: Marc Blecher, Professor of  Politics and East Asian  Studies, Oberlin College, United States.

Date: Monday 12th May at 5.45pm, followed by drink reception at 7pm

Venue: Sir Charles Wilson Lecture Theatre, University of Glasgow.

Abstract: Migrant workers have built much - perhaps most - of the dazzling new China. For their trouble, they have been subjected to miserably low wages, dreadful working and living conditions, draconian factory authority, and oppressive, exclusionary state policy. All this they have endured without a great deal of complaining. Yet migrant workers' pain threshold has had its limits, which employers have helped to discover by pushing so ruthlessly beyond them. Migrants have evinced a capacity for ardent, courageous, and often successful collective action. Its stimuli, repertoires, discourses and capacity for contagion have varied over time and space. Some analysts have detected nascent, potentially destabilizing class-based politics here, while others see something much more akin to bread-and-butter labour-management conflict. Which is right? What are the implications for the regime's urgent hope of building a "harmonious society"?

This promises to be a fascinating talk by a leading international specialist in Chinese labour politics.

To book a space on this talk please go here:

For any queries please email:

2.    Lecture: 'Ultimate Power Dressing' Chinese Imperial Costume and Textiles During the Qing Dynasty: 1644-1911

Date: Monday 19th May at 6pm, follow by drink reception at 7pm

Venue: Sir Charles Wilson Lecture Theatre, University of Glasgow

The lecture will be given by Mr David Rosier, he will bring a small collection of the textile samples for display at the talk.

This lecture provides a comprehensive insight into how highly decorative and expertly created costume and textiles were utilised at the Chinese Imperial Court to denote the rank and status of the wearer. Insignia and symbols, defined within extensive regulations, identified where the person resided in the 12 Ranks within the Imperial family or the 9 Ranks which existed for both Civil (Mandarin) and Military Officials.

Consideration will be given to the utilisation of the Dragon as an emblem of Imperial association together with the birds and animals that signified the ranks of the civil and military officials. In addition to textiles there will be consideration of dress accessories that were utilised to determine rank.

The focus will be on the Qing Dynasty but contrasts with examples of imperial costume from the earlier Ming Dynasty. The images used will be predominantly drawn from our collection. Where practical a range of textiles illustrated in the talk can be displayed.

Lecturer Biography:

A Chartered Insurer by profession and a Fellow of the Assurance Medical Society, with extensive international experience as an author and lecturer in Medical Risk Assessment. Whilst living in Hong Kong (1991-2004) assembled, with his wife Wendy, a collection of approximately 700, predominately Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Imperial and related textiles, costume accessories and embroidery tools. Past Committee Member of the Hong Kong Textile Society and speaker on Imperial Insignia and Badges of Rank.

On returning to UK in 2004 began regular lecturing, with a display of relevant textiles, on topics related to Chinese Imperial Costume and the system of Insignia of Rank. Groups visited include Embroiderers' Guilds and other textile focused organisations, Oriental Art and Historical groups, Costume Societies,

National Trust and a range of groups interested in arts, history and Asia.

Accredited Lecturer - National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS)

To book a place please go to:

For any queries please email: