Nick McGee awarded Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship

MCI scholar in residence Dr Nicholas McGee has been awarded a prestigious three-year Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship for a research project on “Chinese Indenture in the Transvaal and Modern China’s Encounter with Africa”.

MCI scholar in residence Dr Nicholas McGee

It will explore the birth of modern Sino-African relations, when the Qing Chinese government agreed to a deal with Britain to transport some sixty-thousand Chinese workers to labour in gold mines in South Africa’s Transvaal colony between 1903-1910.

Through multilingual archival work, Nick will examine how this contested transimperial venture functioned to introduce and shape conceptions of Africa and its peoples in China—and how these conceptions influenced the emergence of Chinese modernity. 

In this way, the project hopes to offer a ground-breaking contribution to understudied histories of the globally significant present-day relationship between China and the African continent.

The Early Career Fellowship is a highly competitive research grant awarded annually by the Leverhulme Trust to support the work of early career scholars. 

The award supports 36 months of full-time research and includes funding for research expenses. The research will be undertaken at Durham University under the mentorship of Dr. Chris Courtney. But Nick will remain a Scholar in Residence at MCI.

Nicholas McGee has been involved with the Manchester China Institute since 2019, and has most recently been working as a Lecturer in Chinese History at Durham University. His work explores questions of migration, nationality, and empire in 18th, 19th and 20th-century China. He is currently developing a book manuscript on the origins of the modern relationship between the Chinese state and the Chinese diaspora.