British Association for Chinese Studies (BACS) annual conference

Announcement of postponement

This will not be a surprise, but nevertheless it is with regret that I have to announce that the 2020 BACS conference, scheduled for 9-11 September at the University of Birmingham, will be postponed for 12 months. The conference is now planned to be at Birmingham on 8-10 September 2021, with the BACS AGM proposed for Thursday 9 September at 2pm. At present we plan that in 2021 we will hold essentially the same conference, in the same place, although of course we will all have to see how the global situation develops in the intervening time.

This decision was taken by a meeting of BACS officers and the conference organiser, where we considered options to wait and see (continue with face-to-face planning with the option to switch to online no later than July), to go online now, or to postpone for a year. After considering all the factors we could think of, we decided that the safest, most practical and generally least bad option - and the one that would reduce uncertainty as much as possible - was for postponement. This decision was then sent to the rest of BACS Council to secure their approval. We hope that 12 months will be a long enough delay that it will be possible to hold the conference in a face-to-face format in 2021, but we are of course prepared to revisit this decision at a suitable time if that proves to be necessary.

All those who submitted proposals have already been contacted. The proposal submission system remains open, with a new deadline of 16 April 2021. Proposals that have already been submitted will remain on file and do not need to be resubmitted for 2021, but if proposers wish to amend or withdraw their proposals at any point up to the new deadline then they are free to do so. New proposals are of course welcome at any point up to the new deadline. We will renew the Call for Papers at a suitable time (ideally at the end of the calendar year 2020), after considering the international situation at that point.

We hope that this decision and announcement at least removes one uncertainty from your lives in these difficult times, and we very much hope that we will (be able to) welcome you to Birmingham in September 2021.

Wishing all of you and your loved ones safe and healthy,

Naomi Standen
BACS 2020-21 Conference organiser, on behalf of BACS Council


The Department of History and the School of History and Cultures is pleased to announce the annual conference of the British Association for Chinese Studies (BACS), to be held at the University of Birmingham from 8 September to 10 September 2021.

BACS holds a Chinese Studies conference each year at a different location around the UK, and this is the first time the meeting will be held in Birmingham.

Keynote speakers

Call for Panels & Papers

BACS members and non-members may all propose papers and panels. We welcome participants from all countries and backgrounds, and particularly encourage proposals including people from underrepresented groups and fields of study.

We invite panel proposals and individual paper abstracts from across the full range of humanities and social science disciplines, addressing topics related to the territory and peoples of the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, related regions, relations with other regions, and diaspora communities. Panels are expected to reflect the diversity of our profession, including, but not limited to, gender, ethnicity and career status. The diversity of panels will be taken into consideration during the selection process.

Submission of abstracts and panels

Where possible, we would like to make bursaries available to early career scholars based outside the UK. If you would like to be considered please indicate on the proposal form your connections to colleagues at the University of Birmingham or other UK universities.

All paper proposals must be submitted to our abstract submission system. Abstracts (max 250 words) for both individual papers and panel contributions should be submitted by April 2021, and should include the paper title and the name, affiliation and email address of the proposed presenter, together with optionally indications of career stage and gender.

For panel proposals (max 250 words) please download the panel submission form and attach this to each individual abstract in your panel in the abstract submission system. The panel submission form is essential and can be downloaded below.

Panels and papers will be selected by the organising committee, which will also assign submissions of individual papers to panels. Notification of acceptance will be made by mid-May 2021.

The British Association for Chinese Studies has an online peer-reviewed journal, BJoCS, and presenters are invited to submit their papers for consideration by the journal editors following the conference.

Panel Submission Form

Submit a paper

Key Dates

  • Call for Papers: Open
  • Deadline for submission of proposals (250 words): 17 April 2021
  • Notification of acceptance: by mid - May
  • Registration Opens: 1 June 2021
  • Early Bird Online Registration: by 30 June 2021
  • Standard Online Registration: by 17 August 2021
  • Final Programme: late August 2021
  • Conference dates: 8 September to 10 September 2021

BACS members are eligible for a reduced conference registration fee. Please visit here for information on how to become a BACS member, or to renew your membership.


We have a number of ensuite bed and breakfast rooms available in our Vale Student Village for £55. These will be bookable when registration opens.

If you would like to have more comfort but would still like to remain close to the conference venue, you can book accommodation at our on-site Edgbaston Park Hotel or Lucas House Hotel. For bookings please visit The University of Birmingham's conferences and events website.

The University campus is easily accessible by public transport from Birmingham city centre (approx. 10 - 15 mins); we have put together a list of accomodation in Birmingham for all budgets. Please visit our "Accommodation" pagefor more information.

Venue and travel

The venue for the BACS 2021 sessions will be confirmed closer to the event. We will indicate location once known on the University of Birmingham campus map.

If you have any specific accessibility requirements or any further queries, please contact the Events Coordinator, Elisa Tuijnder on

Directions to Birmingham and our Edgbaston campus are available on the"Getting here" page.

Food and drink

The BACS 2021 registration fee includes refreshments and lunch. With the exception of a conference dinner, for which there will be a charge, the conference will not organise any evening dinners.

For more information on food and drink options on and off campus visit our"Food and Drink" page.

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