Dr Caroline Fielder

Dr Caroline Fielder


I completed my undergraduate degree in Modern Chinese and Management Studies at Durham University and my MPhil in Theology and Religion at the University of Birmingham. My MPhil thesis was based on field research in Fujian and Anhui provinces and explored the growth of Protestant Christianity in China, specifically in rural areas where growth was at its most dynamic. I was awarded a prestigious White Rose East Asia Centre (WREAC) scholarship to do my PhD in East Asian Studies at University of Leeds. My PhD thesis explored the recent re-emergence of religiously inspired charitable organisations in China and examined their role in shaping nascent forms of civil society.

My professional life has been varied and rewarding and includes five years in business followed by considerable time working in the charitable sector both in UK and China (including three years working for the Amity Foundation in China, and eight years as Director of China Desk for CTBI). I have taught in China at a variety of tertiary institutions, including three years in Jiangxi province and a sojourn as a visiting scholar at Renmin University of China. I was appointed as Lecturer in Chinese Studies at University of Leeds in 2013. Since taking up my post, I have enjoyed a variety of leadership roles, including being MA Programme Manager, Subject Research Leader and PGR Liaison for East Asian Studies.

Research interests

My current research interests roughly fall into two main project areas. The first of these is inspired by new patterns of migration and looks at recent changes within Chinese diaspora communities here in the UK. Exploring seldom heard and marginalised stories around beliefs and values within those communities this project seeks to delve deeper into the various factors that shape the identity of Chinese individuals living outside their ancestral homeland. This research seeks to promote a more accurate and nuanced understanding of the Chinese diaspora's complexities by highlighting some of the rich diversity of experiences within the community, challenging monolithic perceptions and highlighting the rich tapestry of Chinese culture, values and beliefs.

In parallel to this project, I am still involved in an earlier project which explores the resurgence of religiously inspired charitable organizations within Chinese society. This project explores the evolution of a vibrant "culture of charity" that has taken root within Chinese communities, examining its profound implications from personal, local, national, and even international perspectives.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD (University of Leeds)
  • MPhil (University of Birmingham)
  • BA Hons (Durham University)

Professional memberships

  • British Association of Chinese Studies
  • European Association of Chinese Studies
  • Association for Speakers of Chinese as a Second Language
  • Centre for Religion and Public Life
  • Universities’ China Committee in London (UCCL)

Student education

My teaching covers a range of modules and topics at both undergraduate and postgraduate level on contemporary Chinese culture and society, as well as research methodology and Chinese language.

Research groups and institutes

  • Politics
  • Chinese
  • Cultural studies
  • Asia Pacific Studies
  • East Asian Studies
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>