University celebrates Confucius Institute anniversary

The University of Aberdeen will celebrate the first anniversary of its Confucius Institute and the 10th anniversary of the institution world-wide with two events this week.

On Friday (September 26), Dr Isabella Jackson will give a lecture at King’s Conference Centre entitled Unbound Feet: The Changing Status of Chinese Women, c. 1890-1950.

Dr Jackson will examine the changes that occurred in the early 20th Century for the women of China and examine how the developments in the fashion of women’s clothes and shoes provide a striking visual record of these changes.

The Confucius Institute will also host a family fun day on Saturday (September 27) which will give members of the public the opportunity to take part in free Chinese ‘taster’ classes and drop-in sessions in calligraphy, paper-cutting and tai chi.

There will also be an exhibition of Chinese clothing through the ages in the events area on the ground floor of the Sir Duncan Rice Library. People will have the chance to dress up and take photos of themselves in various Chinese costumes.

The Artisan Food Truck will be stationed on the Academic Plaza directly outside the Library, offering for sale various types of Chinese food for visitors to sample.

Professor Barbara Fennell-Clark, Director of the Confucius Institute of the University of Aberdeen and Dean of Chinese Affairs, added: “Dr Jackson’s lecture will provide fascinating insights into an extremely important time in Chinese history and the family fun day will give visitors of all ages a more informal chance to experience and learn about Chinese fashion and culture. These are fitting ways for us to celebrate World Confucius Day and our own first birthday”.

Dr Jackson said: “China experienced rapid changes in the first half of the 20th century and Chinese women were at the forefront of these changes. This year’s theme of fashion at the Aberdeen Confucius Institute allows us to see how the changing status of Chinese women was revealed in changing clothing for women. In particular, the sharp decline in footbinding meant women’s shoes had to change radically, reflecting wider social trends. It is an exciting period in Chinese history and I am delighted to be giving this lecture.”

For more information about these events please visit or All events are free to attend; however, booking is required for the lecture and the Chinese language ‘taster’ classes. For bookings please email Dr Isabel Seidel at