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Contact Information


Visit Diana Yeh

D609B, Rhind Building

Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



Diana Yeh is Lecturer in Sociology, Culture and the Creative Industries in the Department of Sociology.

Prior to joining City, she taught at the University of Winchester, Birkbeck College and the University of East London. She has also held postdoctoral research positions at the universities of Bristol and Westminster and a fellowship with the journal Sociological Review.


Research interests

Diana's research interests lie in race and racisms, migration, diaspora, youth and cultural politics, with a particular focus on constructions and contestations of British Chinese and East Asian identities. She has conducted multi-sited fieldwork on the politics of identity and belonging among Chinese migrant artists in light of their translocal histories across Britain, South Africa, Italy, China and Taiwan.

Her book, The Happy Hsiungs: Performing China and the Struggle for Modernity, was published with Hong Kong University Press in 2014. Her current research explores the intersections of migration, racialisation and global youth cultures, and racial inequalities in the creative and cultural industries.

She is Principal Investigator of the British Academy/Leverhulme funded project, ‘Becoming East Asian: Race, Ethnicity and Youth Politics of Belonging in Superdiverse Britain’ with Tamsin Barber at Oxford Brookes University.

Committed to working beyond academia, Diana has presented her research on BBC Radio Four and Resonance FM, at institutions such as the Wellcome Trust, National Portrait Gallery and Tate Britain, and at the International Bookworm Festival in China. She has also acted as a consultant for the Royal Geographical Society and worked on a Knowledge Exchange Partnership for Bristol University with Penguin Books.


Books (2)

  1. Yeh, D. and Thorpe, A. (Eds.), (2018). Contesting British Chinese Culture. London: Palgrave.
    (Yeh, D., Contributor)
  2. Yeh, D. (2014). The Happy Hsiungs Performing China and the Struggle for Modernity. Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 978-988-8208-17-3.

Chapters (7)

  1. Yeh, D. (2018). The Cultural Politics of In/Visibility: Contesting ‘British Chineseness’ in the Arts. In Yeh, D. and Thorpe, A. (Eds.), Contesting British Chinese Culture (pp. 31–59). London: Palgrave. ISBN 978-3-319-71158-4.
  2. Yeh, D. and Thorpe, A. (2018). Introduction: Contesting British Chinese Culture. In Yeh, D. and Thorpe, A. (Eds.), Contesting British Chinese Culture (pp. 1–29). London: Palgrave.
  3. Yeh, D. (2015). Utopia beyond Cosmopolitanism: A Translocal View of Li Yuan-chia’. Viewpoint: A Retrospective of Li Yuan-chia (pp. 15–69). Taipei: Taipei Fine Arts Museum.
  4. Yeh, D. (2015). Staging China, Excising the Chinese: Lady Precious Stream and the Darker Side of Chinoiserie. In Witchard, A. (Ed.), British Modernism and Chinoiserie (pp. 177–198). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  5. Yeh, D. (2014). New Youth Mobilities: Transnational Migration, Racialization and Global Popular Culture. In Veale, A. and Dona, G. (Eds.), Child and Youth Migration: Mobility-in-Migration in an Era of Globalization (pp. 91–115). London: Palgrave. ISBN 978-1-137-28066-4.
  6. Yeh, D. (2014). Under the Spectre of Orientalism and Nation: Translocal Crossings and Discrepant Modernities. In Huang, M. (Ed.), The Reception of Chinese Art across Cultures (pp. 228–254). Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4438-5909-7.
  7. Yeh, D. (2008). Contested Belongings: The Politics and Poetics of Making a Home in Britain. In Lee, A.R. (Ed.), China Fictions/English Language: Essays in Diaspora, Memory, Story (pp. 299–325). Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi.

Journal articles (5)

  1. Yeh, D. (2014). Contesting the ‘model minority’: racialization, youth culture and ‘British Chinese’/‘Oriental’ nights. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 37(7), pp. 1197–1210. doi:10.1080/01419870.2014.859288.
  2. Yeh, D. (2012). Book Review: The Chinese in Britain, 1800–Present: Economy, Transnationalism, Identity. The Sociological Review, 60(2), pp. 380–383. doi:10.1111/j.1467-954x.2012.02083.x.
  3. Yeh, D. (2010). Pot Luck: Food and Art. The Senses and Society, 5(3), pp. 412–418. doi:10.2752/174589210x12753842356403.
  4. Yeh, D. (2000). Ethnicities on the move: 'British-Chinese' art - identity, subjectivity, politics and beyond. Critical Quarterly, 42(2), pp. 65–91. doi:10.1111/1467-8705.00287.
  5. Yeh, D. (2000). Groping in the Dark: Encountering the works of Steve McQueen. Room 5, 1(1), pp. 39–55.

Other Activities

Keynote lecture/speech

  1. Cultural Politics in Migration: Negotiating Identity, Belonging and Racism. Autonomous University of Barcelona (2015). The Impact of East Asia in Europe: Cultural Production, Politics and Society

Radio programmes (5)

  1. Li Yuan Chia. BBC Radio 4 Li Yuan Chia was one of the first significant Chinese abstract artists of the 20th century. This programme examines his career from the place he spent the last 28 years of his life: a stone farmhouse, built next to Hadrian's Wall in Cumbria. First broadcast 2009.
  2. The Chinese in Britain: Artistic Pursuits. BBC Radio 4 Recent research has uncovered the rich mix of writers, artists and intellectuals who were living in Britain before the Second World War. Anna Chen speaks to Diana Yeh about two of the earliest British Chinese to break the mould and make their mark on the British public. Chiang Yee’s enormously popular Silent Traveller books in London, Oxford, Edinburgh and the Lakelands cast a humorous Chinese gaze on British life. His friend Hsiung Shih-I became the first Chinese to write and direct a West End play with his 1935 adaptation of the popular Chinese story Lady Precious Stream which ran for 1000 nights in London to glowing reviews, was revived several times during the war and soon became a staple of repertory and school productions. First broadcast 2007.
  3. ‘O Other Where Art Thou?: The Yellow Peril’. Resonance FM Discusses yellowface, the return of blackface and whether it's all going backwards
  4. 'Paul Robeson, Meet Anna May Wong’. Resonance FM About the world's first internationally renowned African American singing star Paul Robeson and the Hollywood screen legend Anna May Wong. With Dr Diana Yeh talking about some of the forgotten pioneering Black and Asian stars of the stage in the early 20th century.
  5. Anna May Wong: A Celestial Star in Piccadilly. BBC Radio 4 Anna Chen presents a tribute to Hollywood's first Chinese-American movie star, Anna May Wong, star of the classic 1929 silent movie Piccadilly. Filmed in London, it made her a celebrity in Britain in the 1930s. Despite her talent, Wong struggled against racial prejudice throughout her career, and was banned from even kissing her leading men. However, her reputation is now enjoying a revival thanks to the restoration and re-release of Piccadilly.