The new Director of the Confucius Institute
29 September 2016
Dr Aaron Moore has been appointed as the new Academic Director of the Confucius Institute.
Aaron Moore is a Senior Lecturer in East Asian History in the University’s School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, whose teaching and research interests include modern history of China and Japan in comparison with Russian, American and British history.
Q&A with Aaron Moore, Academic Director of the Confucius Institute
How do you see the Confucius Institute contribute to the University’s research on China and which part of your new role are you looking forward to the most?
The Confucius Institute provides first and foremost a space for students, staff, and members of the public to learn more about China and, importantly, the Chinese language. In many cases it will be the first instance in which someone interested in China will be able to learn something about the country. Consequently, it will help us attract more students into Chinese studies, which in the long run will contribute to PhD recruitment and future research. Second, the Confucius Institute stands to play an important supporting role in the research funding environment of the university related to Chinese studies. Whether it is politics, economics, history, or literature, every field stands to benefit in some way. As Academic Director, I most look forward to seeing the Institute aid ongoing and future research projects and events, especially in collaboration with other internal and external sources of funding. This will help integrate the Institute into university research activities in a thorough and balanced way.
What will be your immediate focus as the new academic director?
My immediate focus as director is to review finances, see how the money is spent, and see where our support can make the biggest impact in expanding research on China at the University of Manchester. I look forward to any input from students or staff to this end. More immediately, we have a new building to launch, important guests to host from China and other UK universities, and a host of other events that everyone will hear more about shortly.
What do you see as the biggest challenge over the next five years?
The University of Manchester is a very large institution, and it's not uncommon that left hand and the right hand work in isolation. The biggest challenge, in addition to evaluating the budget and applying for more funds, will be to coordinate and support activities across many Divisions, Schools, and Faculties. Communication is often a problem here, and I hope that the Institute can contribute to alleviating it by supporting all Chinese studies activities on campus. It also will be challenging, but equally important in the current environment, to link university activities with China related events going on in the city of Manchester and the Northwest. In sum, there are many irons and many fires working at once at Manchester, and I would like the Institute to lend a hand whenever possible. Once again, students and staff should not hesitate to approach me with proposals, recommendations, and ideas.