Guest lecture at University of Antwerp, “Pushing Beyond the Numbers: Researching Chinese students in Belgium (1900-1950) with Digital Aided Methods”

At the invitation of Eline Ceulemans, I gave an online lecture to bachelor students of history at the University of Antwerp on November 21, 2023. The presentation introduced the usage of data and digital methods in historical research. Using my preliminary research on the Chinese students in Belgium (1900-1950) as an example, we iterated over the different steps of the process, from envisioning how to organise data to analysis, and lined out the different questions, limitations and challenges that come with doing this type of research. Since the students are expected to conduct research on the Belgian expansionism in late Qing (1861-1911) at the end of their bachelor, the lecture was also an opportunity to focus on the Chinese perspectives in the story of Sino-Belgian contacts, whether we talk about the students arriving in Belgium or the people involved in the educational exchanges with Belgium. Although it was my first time to teach, it was a lovely experience and I hope that this “first dip” in data-driven research gave the students some idea of the possibilities.


  • The Thumbnail contains a photo from the archives of Société des Auxiliaires des Missions (SAM). Citation: “Chinese students’ outing 3” Whitworth University (2017). Album 15: SAM and Chinese Students in Europe, 1929-1931. Paper 58. https://digitalcommons.whitworth.edu/album15/58
  • The Photos of the presentation are taken and provided by Eline Ceulemans.



Cite this blog post
Nora Van den Bosch (2023, November 29). Guest lecture at University of Antwerp, “Pushing Beyond the Numbers: Researching Chinese students in Belgium (1900-1950) with Digital Aided Methods” Elites, Networks and Power in modern China. Retrieved April 19, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.58079/o8mv

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