Addressing Sinophobia and Chinese Food Culture in an Age of COVID-19

Addressing Sinophobia and Chinese Food Culture in an Age of COVID-19 

Popular belief that COVID-19’s origins lie in Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood and Wildlife Market has led to a rise in hate-crime against the Chinese and the foregrounding of negative perceptions of Chinese food culture.

This interdisciplinary project – bringing together expertise in literature and language -- asks how we can use representations of Chinese food culture to understand and mitigate this recent rise in sinophobia.

It has two main aims: first, to expose the stigmatisation of the Chinese and their food culture in current press coverage of COVID-19 as a perpetuation of 20th- and 21st- century misrepresentations about the Chinese. Second, it seeks to deploy creative responses to sinophobia and food culture to enhance resilience within Britain’s Chinese community in order to mitigate the effects of racism.

The project includes collaborative partnerships with a number of Merseyside organisations and civic institutions including the Chinese Wellbeing charity and the Merseyside Police Community Engagement Team. We are also working closely with a leading anti-racist London-based charity, The Monitoring Group.

Researchers: Lucienne Loh (PI), Ursula Kania, Ross Forman (University of Warwick), Victorina González-Díaz.