joesepha-1Josepha Richard

Landscape History

Academic Qualifications

From 2012. University of Sheffield, PhD in Landscape History of China

2011-2012. University of Leeds, MA (1st), Advanced Chinese Studies

2008-2011. Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO), Paris,
BA (2.1), Chinese Studies including a year abroad at Sichuan University, Chengdu, China

2008-2010. Paris IV Sorbonne University, MA Research (1st) in Art History and Archaeology

2005-2008. Paris IV Sorbonne University, BA (Hons), in Art History and Archaeology

Research Biography

My research focuses on the art and history of gardens of China.

During my BA at the Sorbonne University, when I first studied the topic, I was interested in ‘classical’ examples of gardens such as the private gardens of Suzhou or the imperial parks in the Beijing area.

However, while researching for my two years of French Master Degree at the Sorbonne University, I grew more of an interest for less famous gardens such as those in the Lingnan region (around Guangzhou). My first Master dissertation was dedicated to a specific building found in many Chinese gardens, called the ‘dry boat’. It was the opportunity to compare different regional types of gardens, which led to my second Master dissertation focused on the modern Orchid Garden (Lanpu) in Guangzhou and a keen interest in Lingnan gardens.

After my year abroad in Chengdu, China, I became aware of an apparent neglect of regional garden styles outside Jiangnan (Suzhou area) and Beijing in scholarly studies.

Therefore I decided to explore this question in my MA dissertation "Criticising the regional bias in the Western study of Chinese gardens" at the University of Leeds, under the direction of Dr. Alison Hardie.

Thus I started a PhD in Landscape History at the Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield. I chose to focus on the Lingnan region of China, under the supervision of Dr. Jan Woustra and Dr. Alison Hardie (University of Leeds). My thesis is focused on 19th century Cantonese gardens. It will notably address the effects of the China Trade on garden building in and around the city of Guangzhou, and the regional characteristics found in these gardens.

Research Interests

Chinese History (with a focus on Qing Dynasty and the History of Western Travellers in China), Chinese Gardens and Architecture, Conservation and Heritage, Art History and Archaeology, Photography History

Twitter : @GardensOfChina