Chinese media chiefs sign agreement with University of Birmingham

Chinese media chiefs visited the Shakespeare Institute, in Stratford-upon-Avon to sign an agreement to collaborate on publishing the University of Birmingham’s work in China. 

Representatives from Phoenix Publishing & Media Group met Professor Michael Dobson – Director of the University‘s Shakespeare Institute - to discover more about its research into the life and works of Shakespeare. 

Ahead of this month’s World Shakespeare Congress, they signed a formal agreement to bring the work of University experts in the field of English literature to a wide range of audiences in China. 

031She Jiangtao, Deputy General Manager of Phoenix Publishing & Media Group - pictured above with Professor Michael Dobson -  said: “Phoenix Publishing & Media Group see the University of Birmingham as a key strategic partner in the UK. We are very excited about working closely with the University and its experts in the coming months.”

The group visited the Shakespeare Institute as part of a visit to Birmingham when they met a range of academic staff from the University’s College of Arts and Law, including Dr Adam J. Ledger, Senior Lecturer, Department of Drama and Theatre Arts and Dr Hugh Adlington, Senior Lecturer, Department of English Literature.

Professor Michael Dobson said : A huge expansion of interest in the study and performance of the plays in China has been one of the most positive developments in Shakespeare’s worldwide reception in the twenty-first century. 

“At the Shakespeare Institute, we are already supporting our local collaborators the Royal Shakespeare Company as they assemble a new performance-friendly translation of the works into Mandarin, and we are extremely excited to be talking now with Phoenix about disseminating our scholarship via their impressive operation in Nanjing. 

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Lu Dapeng, Editor, Yilin Press is pictured above discussing Shakespeare with Professor Michael Dobson.The visiting group also comprised of She Jiangtao, Wu Di, Director of Publishing;  Gu Aibin, President of Yilin Press; Yuan Nan, Deputy Editor-in-chief of Yilin Press; and Yao Yi, Deputy Director of Literature, Yilin Press.

Professor Jon Frampton, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Director of the University of Birmingham’s China Institute, said: “Phoenix Publishing & Media Group and the University of Birmingham are natural partners. They are a hugely respected organisation, publishing a vast range of literature and research materials to audiences across China.

“The University of Birmingham is renowned for its expertise in English literature, particularly around the life and works of William Shakespeare. We are excited about working with Phoenix to develop new publishing opportunities in the coming months.”

The Chinese visitors also enjoyed a tour of the newly-refurbished Lapworth Museum of Geology at the University of Birmingham, which showcases one of the UK’s most outstanding rock, fossil and mineral collections, through a range of innovative and interactive exhibits.

The 2016 World Shakespeare Congress – four hundred years after the playwright’s death – starts on 31 July and will run in London and Stratford-upon-Avon to celebrate Shakespeare’s memory and the global cultural legacy of his works.

ENDS

Notes to Editors                      

  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries.
  • The history of collaboration between China and the University of Birmingham dates back almost to the foundation of the University in 1901. The China Institute was created in 2012 to reflect the University’s extensive academic activities its colleagues undertake in China.
  • The University’s China Institute co-ordinates the numerous China interests on the Edgbaston campus, including lectures and seminars, hosting incoming visits and encouraging interdisciplinary research across campus.
  • Phoenix Publishing & Media Group was established in September 2001. It publishes, prints and distributes books, periodicals, newspapers, electronic and audio-visual products.  Phoenix is now one of the most influential large-scale Chinese publishing and media groups.

For more information or interviews, please contact Tony Moran, International Communications Manager, University of Birmingham on +44 (0) 121 414 8254 or  +44 (0)782 783 2312 or t.moran@bham.ac.uk