Prof Gerda Wielander

Prof Gerda Wielander

I am Professor of Chinese Studies in the School of Humanities, Director of the Contemporary China Centre and REF lead for Modern Languages and Linguistics. I edit the Open Access book series cultural china for University of Westminster Press.

From August 2018 to January 2024, I was Associate Head of the College of LIberal Arts and Sciences with responsibility for external relations I provided leadership across Humanities, Social Sciences, Law, and Life Sciences in relation to employability, global engagement, and knowledge exchange, working closely with Heads of School and Professional Service teams to implement the University’s strategy in relation to these key areas. I also devised strategies for outreach work and public and community engagement and contributed to new interdisciplinary course development. As part of the University's senior management team, I was a member of several university level governance committees. 

From 2013-2018 I was Head of the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures as well as the department's research director. I am REF Unit of Assessment lead for Modern Languages and Linguistics and a researcher and editor of international standing. I am a member of the British Academy's Strategic Committee for Languages in Higher Education and Chair of the Universities China Committee in London (UCCL).

My research focuses on the link between the personal and spiritual to wider social and political developments in China. I have published on various different aspects of Christian thought and belief in contemporary China, on social organisations, and on the meaning of socialism in the Chinese context. My current projects include an exploration of happiness and the Chinese socialist project (including Chinese understandings of the mind in a historical perspective), the use of "faith" in contemporary Chinese political discourse, and signifying practices in post-socialist China. Together with colleagues at Westminster and the Westminster International University in Tashkent, I am also working on a project on the reception and effect of the Belt Road Initiative in Uzbekistan. Please refer to Westminster Research for a full list of publications. 

I was editor of the British Journal of Chinese Studies 

  • Contemporary China Centre