Professor Sarah Dauncey is a China specialist with 30 years' experience in visiting and studying China. She joined the School of Sociology and Social Policy in 2016, having previously served as Deputy Head and Director of Teaching at the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies. Prior to coming to Nottingham in 2014, she was at the University of Sheffield where she helped to establish the Chinese programmes and served as Deputy Director of the Sheffield Confucius Institute, and before that she was at the University of Durham, where she completed her PhD in late-Ming fashion and women's culture.
Outside the university, she is a member of various journal editorial boards, including Disability & Society, The China Quarterly and British Journal of Chinese Studies, Chair of the Universities China Committee in London (UCCL), and member of the advisory board of China Vision, a charity that works to support disabled people in China and East Asia.
Professor Dauncey's research focuses on disability in China, in particular the way in which the changing Chinese socio-political environment has transformed the cultural encoding of disability from the end of the Cultural Revolution. Her work has been supported by the British Academy, the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, the Universities China Committee in London, the White Rose East Asia Centre and other organisations. She is co-editor of Writing Lives in China, 1600-2010: Histories of the Elusive Self (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), as well as various book chapters and articles in key Area Studies and Disability Studies journals. Her recent book Disability in China: Citizenship, Identity and Culture was published by Cambridge University Press in 2020.
She is an active promoter of Chinese Studies and Chinese language learning. She was the co-founder and co-editor for 6 years of the Journal of the British Association for Chinese Studies (JBACS) and is Honorary President of the Association for Speakers of Chinese as a Second Language (ASCSL).
She is also a Senior Fellow of Advance HE and has received awards at both Sheffield and Nottingham for her excellence in teaching and leadership.
Identity politics; disability and welfare; gender and sexuality, pre-modern and modern Chinese society and culture; Chinese film, literature and life writing; late-imperial women's culture and fashion; teaching Chinese as a foreign language; distance learning.
Professor Dauncey has substantial experience teaching and examining a wide range of classes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, from lecture courses to language classes, from pre-modern Chinese… read more
Professor Dauncey has pioneered a new field relating to disability in modern Chinese culture. A hugely neglected area of study, her work has focused on the development of new ways of understanding… read more
SARAH DAUNCEY, 2017. Shi Tiesheng: Writing Disability into Modern Chinese Fiction Chinese Literature Today. 6(1), 48-55
SARAH DAUNCEY, 2017. Special and Inclusive Education. In: W. J. MORGAN, Q. GU and F. LI, eds., A Handbook of Education in China Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. 290-313
SARAH DAUNCEY, 2017. Gendering the Chinese Disabled Body: Explorations at the Intersections of Disability and Masculinity in Contemporary China NAN NÜ: Men, Women and Gender in China. (In Press.)
Professor Dauncey has substantial experience teaching and examining a wide range of classes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, from lecture courses to language classes, from pre-modern Chinese culture to contemporary Chinese society, from research methods to teaching Chinese as a foreign language. In 2009 she was awarded a prestigious Senate Award for Excellence in Learning and Teaching by the University of Sheffield, and in 2016 she was awarded a Lord Dearing Award at the University of Nottingham for her contribution to transformation of teaching in her School and the enhancement of student learning. She is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Since arriving at Nottingham she has convened and/or taught on the following modules:
- Introducing Social Policy (UG1)
- Approaches to Chinese Studies (UG1)
- China: Civilisations, Cultures and Societies (UG1)
- China: Beyond the Headlines (UG2 and UG4)
- Dynamics of International Social Policy (UG2 and PGT)
- Exploring Social and Cultural Life Through Films (UG3)
- Investigating Social Policy (ESRC, DTC)
- Dissertation (UG and PGT)
Professor Dauncey has pioneered a new field relating to disability in modern Chinese culture. A hugely neglected area of study, her work has focused on the development of new ways of understanding disability in a non-Western context. In particular, she has examined how people with various types of impairment are depicted in different types of media and how these images contribute to the formation and articulation of identities, both collective and individual. She has recently completed a British Academy-funded project entitled 'Disabled but not Useless: Disability and Identity in Modern Chinese Literature and Culture', which focuses on key political personalities (e.g. Zhang Haidi), writers (e.g. Shi Tiesheng, Han Shaogong, Bi Feiyu), film directors (e.g. Xie Jin), whose lives and works have influenced the way in which disabled people are viewed and view themselves in the post-reform era. The results of this project are published in her groundbreaking monograph Disability in China: Citizenship, Identity and Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2020).
Professor Dauncey's current research continues to build upon her foundational work on disability culture and identity in modern China. She was commissioned by the Oxford Bibliographies in Chinese Studies to compile the section on 'Disability Studies on China' (2016) and is working on several new intersecting individual and collaborative research projects:
- Disability and the politics of memory in twentieth century China.
- Intersection of gender and disability in contemporary China.
- Special and inclusive education in China.
- Superhuman, subhuman: mediating Chinese myths of disability.
- Disability and me: the role of storytelling in empowering Chinese people with disabilities.
- Representing disability and impairment in Chinese museums and heritage sites.
ORCID ID 0000-0002-9457-8430
Nominated as a dedicated outstanding mentor in 2014 at the University of Sheffield, Professor Dauncey is committed to the development of early career researchers. She welcomes PhD students or Master by Research (MRes) students interested in the following areas:
Disability and gender in modern China; identity construction (particularly marginalised groups); the cultural, political and social history of mainland China; literature, film and life writing in modern China; fashion and consumption in mainland China.