Dr Caroline Fielder

Dr Caroline Fielder


I completed my undergraduate studies in Chinese 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 did my PhD in Leeds in East Asian Studies, having been awarded a prestigious White Rose East Asia Centre (WREAC) scholarship. 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. In 2013, after I completed my PhD, I took up a lectureship in Chinese Studies here at Leeds. I have enjoyed a variety of roles since taking up my post, and since January 2018 have been Subject Research Leader and PGR Liaison for East Asian Studies.


  • Subject Research Leader for East Asian Studies
  • PGR Liaison for East Asian Studies

Research interests

My current research explores the changing role of religion in Chinese society, focusing on the increasingly visible role of Chinese religiously-inspired charitable organisations, and examining their impact on a personal, local and international level. Themes covered in my research include marginality, identity and belonging in contemporary Chinese communities. My research interests also extend to the development of a wider ‘culture of charity’ within Chinese society. This includes gaining a better understanding of the impact of changes in legislation on the sector and the use of citizenship education in fostering a spirit of volunteerism in young people and as a means of creating an active and responsible generation of ‘good citizens’. 

<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

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>