Paul Bevan


Associate Member of the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Faculty / College Address:

China Centre


Research Interests:

My research largely concerns the impact of Western literature and art on China during the Republican Period (1912-1949), particularly with regard to periodicals, newspapers and magazines. I am also currently researching on guide books of nineteenth century Shanghai. From 2018 to 2020 I worked as Christensen Fellow in Chinese Painting at the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford and my research focusses equally on the disciplines of literature and art.

Current Projects:

My current research focuses on popular fiction and the visual arts as they appeared in periodicals and magazines published in Shanghai during the first two decades of the twentieth century.



2024 (forthcoming): Murder in the Maloo: A Tale of Old Shanghai. By Qi Fanniu and Zhu Dagong, translated by Paul Bevan.

2021: The Adventures of Ma Suzhen: An Heroic Woman Takes Revenge in Shanghai. By Qi Fanniu and Zhu Dagong, translated by Paul Bevan.

2020: ‘Intoxicating Shanghai’: Modern Art and Literature in Pictorial Magazines during Shanghai’s Jazz Age (Brill, Leiden).

2015: A Modern Miscellany - Shanghai Cartoon Artists, Shao Xunmei’s Circle and the Travels of Jack Chen, 1926-1938 (Brill, Leiden).

Edited volumes

2022: Paul Bevan, Anne Witchard, Da Zheng (eds.), Chiang Yee and his Circle: Chinese artistic and intellectual life in Britain 1930-1950 (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2022).

2023: Paul Bevan and Susan Daruvala (eds.), One Man Talking: Selected Essays of Shao Xunmei (Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong Press, 2023)

Essays in Academic Journals and Books

Forthcoming (2024): “Fraternal Revenge – the Legends of Ma Suzhen and Ma Yongzhen: From Shanghai Silent Film to Hong Kong Martial Arts,” book chapter in Film History and Development of Screen Culture in and Beyond Greater China (Routledge).

Forthcoming (2024): “The Cloth Banknotes of the Workers and Peasants Bank of the Sichuan-Shaanxi Soviet Government,” encyclopaedia entry in the Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of World Textiles.

July 2023: “Ma Yongzhen: ‘He Fought with his Fists in the Capitals, North and South’,” in Arts of Asia (Summer 2023), pp. 48-54.

November 2023: “Sappho’s Younger Brother: Shao Xunmei, Translation and his Golden House Bookshop,” Chapter 11 in Cosima Bruno, Lucas Klein and Chris Song (eds.), The Bloomsbury Handbook of Modern Chinese Literature in Translation.

2020, “Zhang Chongren: A Chinese Sculptor and his part in Hergé’s Tintin and the Blue Lotus” in The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, China vol. 80 no. 1 2020, pp. 277-299.

May 2020: ‘The Impact of the Work of Miguel Covarrubias on the Artists of Shanghai’ in Anales, Journal of the Institute of Aesthetic Investigations of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas), issue 116, May 2020, pp. 17-49.

April 2019: ‘The Guizhou Auto Dollar’ in The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. Volume 29, Issue 2 April 2019, pp. 345-359.

October 2018: ‘The Qianlong Emperor’s English Clocks: to China and Back - Baubles, Bells and Booty’ in Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society (TOCS) vol. 81 (2016-2017), pp. 103-109.

2017: ‘Hyvän onnen symbolit kiinalaisessa Taiteessa’ (Auspicious Symbols and Motifs in Chinese Art), in Mary Ginsberg and Marjo-Riitta Saloniemi (eds.): Kielletty kaupunki: Elämää Kiinan Keisarien Hovissa (The Forbidden City: Life in the Court of Chinese Emperors) (Tampere: Vapriikkipp, 2017), pp. 82-95 - catalogue for an exhibition of eighteenth-century objects from the Palace Museum, Beijing, at the Museum Centre Vapriikki, Tampere, Finland.

Book Review: Wang Yiyan: Modern Art for a Modern China: The Chinese Intellectual Debate, 1900-1930. (London and New York Routledge, 2021). The Burlington Magazine (October, 2021), pp. 963-964.

Book Review: Christopher Rea: The Age of Irreverence: A New History of Laughter in China. (A Philip E. Lilienthal Book in Asian Studies) Oakland: University of California Press, 2015. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies vol. 79 no. 3.

‘Two Silk Embroideries in the Ashmolean Museum’ in Asian Textiles: Magazine of the Oxford Asian Textile Group, no. 63 (February 2016), pp. 2-6.

2009: ‘A New Year’s Gift’ [an essay on a Tang dynasty poem by Ma Huaisu] in The International Netsuke Society Journal, vol. 29 no. 3 (summer 2009), pp. 26-29.


2023: Shao Xunmei and Paul Bevan (tr.), “Paris in the Springtime” with an introduction by Paul Bevan: “Shao Xunmei, a Chinese Poet in 1920s Paris”  MCLC Resource Center, Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, The Ohio State University.

2019 ‘Comparative Research on the Work of Shen Congwen and Nakagami Kenji’ by Shiroya Takeo 城谷武男, Paul Bevan (Translator) in The Routledge Companion to Shen Congwen (Routledge: London, 2019).

2010-16: Translation of inscriptions on objects in the Royal Collection for John Ayres: Chinese and Japanese Works of Art in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen. London: Royal Collection Trust, 2016, also preparation of glossary and general historical advice.

Blog Posts and Online Essays

2018, series of three blog posts, to coincide with the Ashmolean exhibition ‘A Century of Women in Chinese Art’:


2016: ‘Tracing the Chinese Origins of Two Automaton Clocks from Anglesey Abbey’ in National Trust, ABC Bulletin, Autumn Issue 2016, pp. 3-4.

2016: Blog post, Ashmolean Museum: ‘Pure Land: Images of Immortals in Chinese Art’.

2016: Project Report: The Pagoda Clock at Anglesey Abbey. British Inter-university China Centre (BICC) Cultural Engagement Postdoctoral Fellowship.

2015: Blog post, Edison Visiting Fellow at the British Library: ‘Classical Music in the Jazz Age’.

Exhibitions (Ashmolean Museum)

Chinese Art 1949-1979 (co-curator).

The Naked Form in Chinese Modern Art (curator).

Lui Shou-kwan (Chinese Painting Gallery) (co-curator).

Cultural Revolution: State Graphics from the 1960s to the 1970s (William Morris Gallery, Ashmolean travelling exhibition) (co-curator).

A Century of Women in Chinese Art (co-curator).

Pure Land: Images of Immortals in Chinese Art (co-curator).


Paintings and Drawings by Ding Cong (Later China) (curator).

Paintings and Calligraphy by Wucius Wong (Later China) (curator).

Paul Bevan