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Elizabeth Smith Rosser Undertakes Research for new BBC Radio Series on Chinese History

9th April 2018

Pembroke graduate student Elizabeth Smith Rosser (DPhil Oriental Studies, 2016) has been working as a researcher in the production of a twenty-part BBC 4 Radio series on Chinese history, titled Chinese Characters.

The series is comprised of twenty essays by historian Professor Rana Mitter which explore Chinese history through the life stories of key personalities. 

The BBC was seeking somebody to assist with the premodern aspects of the series. As Elizabeth’s DPhil topic is Chinese literary history between the years 960 and 1644, this provided a great opportunity for her to develop her research.

Over a period of ten months she gained a breadth of experience in media production, ‘As well as fulfilling tasks related to the programme, over the course of eleven months I was given the opportunity to shadow at a variety of areas within the BBC including drama, live news, orchestras, as well as post-production and other technical departments.’

Elizabeth recommends the Chinese Characters series for all audiences. She commented: ‘It was a privilege to help shape content that will reach so many people. The series is highly entertaining and introduces a wide range of phenomenal lives. Prof. Mitter has managed to throw a spotlight on less canonised figures such as Kumārajīva and women factory workers of the 1930s, while at the same time providing fresh perspectives on those more familiar names like Confucius and Chairman Mao.’

The series will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on a daily basis from 9th April 2018 at 13:45 and will run for four weeks. After the initial broadcast they will be available online through BBC iPlayer Radio in podcast format.

BBC Broadcasting House, London, where the series was recorded and put together
BBC Broadcasting House, London, where the series was recorded and put together
Elizabeth Rosser
Elizabeth Rosser