Emily Beswick

Emily Beswick

Twitter: @emilyb996
Email: emily.beswick@liverpool.ac.uk

Thesis Title

Archives and Exhibitions in Liverpool and North West England.


University of Liverpool and Tate Liverpool


Michelle Henning
Jordana Blejmar
Alison Jones

Research Summary

My research investigates forms of looking and engagement with photographs of the Chinese community in Liverpool (c.1920 – present), using autobiographical, creative and participatory approaches. At the core of the thesis is the concept of ‘diasporic visions’, drawing on Grace Cho (2008), Donna Haraway (1988) and Stuart Hall (1990). I explore ‘diasporic visions’ through my engagement with archival material as a member of the Chinese diaspora in the UK, a practice-based participatory project with East and South East Asian communities in Liverpool looking at family archives, creative artmaking and excavations into community archives. My research questions include: What photograph archives of the Chinese diaspora in Liverpool exist outside of institutional archives? Do family and community photograph archives resist or challenge dominant visual narratives of the Chinese diasporic community in Liverpool, and if so, how far? What modes of situated diasporic vision can be used to read these photographs? The project is a collaborative doctoral award with Tate Liverpool.

Research Interests

East and South East Asian communities,
British Chinese history,
creative methods,
participatory methods
and collaborative research.


‘Awkwardness, archives and (East and South East) Asian heritage.’ Museum and Participation: Loosening the Difficulty workshop, University of Leeds. June 14-15, 2023.

‘Creative encounters with archival photographs.’ Creative Methodologies in Action workshop, Centre for Health, Arts, Society and Environment, University of Liverpool. June 12, 2023.

‘Bridging the Gap: a reflective work-in-progress discussion on the experience of AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award research.’ NWCDTP conference, Lancaster University. June 6, 2023.

‘‘A Little Inhabitant of Pitt Street’: reading race in the photographic archive.’ Communication and Media PGR conference, University of Liverpool. May 23, 2023.

‘Diasporic visions: investigating photographs of the Chinese community in Liverpool Central Library Archives.’ History PGR conference, University of Liverpool. May 11, 2023.

‘Photography, Chinese History and Collaborating with the Tate.’ Interview for ‘Bending Boundaries’ podcast, December 2022. https://open.spotify.com/episode/1O5CDMpAuS2YeLrKIlwbU1?si=44addef3b1564a58

‘Collaborating with care: reflections on a pilot research project with Tate Liverpool.’ Symposium on Partnership and Collaboration in Postgraduate Research, Manchester Metropolitan University. October 26, 2022.


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