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Pinchbeck, M., Lo, L., 2022.

Talking Trees/??/??: a virtual journey to the East in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic

Output Type:Conference paper
Presented at:The Migration Conference 2022
Publication:The Migration Conference 2022: selected papers
Venue:Rabat, Morocco
Publisher:Transnational Press London
Dates:7/9/2022 - 10/9/2022
Pagination:pp. 59-64

Talking Trees/??/??: A virtual journey to the East in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic is a collaborative research project that provides students from the University of Nottingham (UoN) with the opportunity to 'Journey to the East' without travelling there physically. The project draws on the literature on student migration and chimes with previous projects delivered either separately or in partnership by Lo and Pinchbeck around notions of migration and belonging. It was devised in collaboration between Dr Lan Lo, Assistant Professor in Chinese Language, Culture and Society, from the UoN and Dr Michael Pinchbeck, Reader in Theatre (MMU) during the Covid-19 pandemic as an alternative to study placement for students taking Chinese on university degree programmes. It was part of a package of measures designed to address these students' language and cultural needs in the context of lockdown and restrictions on international travel including to China. This paper sets out the rationale for the project, the context in which it was developed, the questions it foregrounds, the theoretical assumptions that informed its design, as well as an initial evaluation of the main outcomes. It concludes by emphasising the value of such products, especially in the context of an uncertain international environment in which issues such as global health pandemics and political tensions between China and the West could have important implications for the future of placement programmes to China.