The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

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Gary Sigley

Assoc/Prof Gary Sigley

Adjunct and Honorary Staff, Asian Studies

Contact details
Asian Studies Adjunct and Honorary Staff
The University of Western Australia (M257)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6488 3959
+61 8 6488 1167
Personal homepage
Room G01, Social Sciences Building, Perth campus
BA PhD Griff.
Gary hails from southeast Queensland where he studied Chinese Mandarin, Chinese Studies and Asian Studies at Griffith University completing his doctorate on China's population policy in 1996. He has been working at The University of Western Australia since 1997 and calls Perth 'home'. These days his time is split between Western Australia and China.

Key research
Contemporary China and its ongoing social, cultural and political transformation forms the broad focus of his research. More specifically, Gary’s research interests can be split into two areas: governmental and social policy reform in contemporary China on the one hand, and cultural heritage and community development on the other. With regards to the the former his approach is a critical combination of governmentality studies, sociology and political economy. In this field, especially in relation to governmentality studies, Gary’s contributions have been significant and pioneering. With regards to the latter his approach is inspired by his fascination with China’s rich cultural heritage and the important role ‘culture’ plays in social and political life. A new project in this area focuses on the cultural heritage preservation of southwest China’s Ancient Tea Horse Road (茶马古道). The development of cultural heritage tourism and the place of such development in terms of grass-roots communities is of particularly strong interest (and it is at this point that the two research areas overlap). You can read more about Gary’s research in this area by visiting his blog at:
Gary also supervises postgraduates with research projects focusing on China. He has supervised and cosupervised a number of postgraduate students to completion, researching topics ranging from the discourse of civilisation and citizenship in Shanghai to the changing identities of Han converts to Tibetan Buddhism in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

2013: ‘From Revolution to Government, From Contradictions to Harmony: Urban Community Policing in Post-Deng China’, in Randy Lippert and Kevin Walby (eds) Policing Cities: Urban Securitization and Regulation in a 21st Century World, London: Routledge.

2013: ‘The Ancient Tea Horse Road and the Politics of Cultural Heritage in Southwest China: Regional Identity in the Context of a Rising China’, in Helaine Silverman and Tami Blumenfield (eds), Cultural Heritage Politics in China, New York: Springer.

2013: ‘Cultural Heritage Tourism and the Ancient Tea Horse Road of Southwest China’, in Emile Kok-Kheng Yeoh (ed.), China: Developmental Model,
State-Civil Societal Interplay and Foreign Relations, Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya Press, pp. 487-500.

2009: (with Elaine Jeffreys) ‘Governmentality and China’, in Elaine Jeffreys (ed) Chinese Governmentalities: Governing Change, Changing Government, London: Routledge, pp. 1-25.

2007: ‘A Chinese Christmas story’, in Shi-xu (ed) Discourse as Cultural Struggle , Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, pp. 99-104.

2006: ‘Sex, politics and the policing of virtue in the People’s Republic of China’, in Elaine Jeffreys (ed) Sex and Sexuality in China, London & New York: RoutledgeCurzon, pp. 43-61.

2005 (republication in Thai): ‘Keeping it in the family: Government, marriage and sex in contemporary China’, in Liewkiet, P. et al (eds) (2005) Love and Hate: Violence Against Women, Women’s Studies Center, Chiangmai University.

2002: ‘Keeping it in the family: Government, marriage and sex in contemporary China’, in Margaret Jolly and Kalpana Ram (eds) Borders of Being: Citizenship, Fertility, and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, pp. 118-153.

1997: ‘Governing Chinese bodies: The significance of studies in governmentality for the analysis of birth control in China’, in Clare O'Farrell (ed) Foucault: The Legacy, Brisbane: Queensland University of Technology Press.


2014: (with Zhang Yingchun) ‘基于互联网技术的对外汉语教学:探索QQ聊天室具有跨文化沟通和第二元教学的作用’, [Internet technology and language teaching: On the utility of the QQ social networking platform for cross-cultural communication and the teaching of Chinese as a second language], 《世界汉语教学学会通讯》,[The International Society for Chinese Language Teaching Communique], 5: 1, pp. 18-22.

2013: ‘Metropole Power: Approaches to Centre and Periphery in Contemporary China’, International Journal of China Studies, 4: 2. Available online at: [accessed 9th September 2013].

2012: ‘The Ancient Tea Horse Road and the Politics of Cultural Heritage in Southwest China’, The China Heritage Quarterly, Nos. 30/31. Available online at: [accessed 7th February 2013].

2012: ‘Not for all the tea in China: A Manifesto for the Slow Tea Movement’, Chamagudao Yanjiu (Ancient Tea Horse Road Research), Vol. 2, pp. 55-63.

2011: ‘Social policy and social work in contemporary China: An interview with Xu Yongxiang’, China Journal of Social Work, 4: 2, pp. 103-113.

2011: (with Li Jia) ‘'Affect' in International Language Education: A Case Study of the Confucius Institute at The University of Western Australia’, Yunnan Shifan Daxue xuebao (Duiwai hanyu jiaoxue yu yanjiu ban) (The Journal of Yunnan Normal University, Teaching and Research of Chinese as a Second Language Edition), 9: 1, pp. 76-81).

2010: ‘Cultural Heritage Tourism and the Ancient Tea Horse Road of Southwest China’, International Journal of China Studies, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 531-544.

2009: ‘Suzhi, the Body, and the Fortunes of Technoscientific Reasoning
in Contemporary China’, positions: east asia culture critique, 17: 3, pp. 538 – 566.

2009: (with Li Jia) (in Chinese) ‘Kaizhan haiwai hanyu jiaoxue he wenhua jiaoliu de tiaozhan yu jiyu: yi xi’ao daxue kongzi xueyuan wei gean’ (Challenges and opportunities in developing Chinese language teaching and cultural exchange in foreign contexts: The Confucius Institute at The University of Western Australia as a case study’, Yunnan Daxue Xuebao (Academic Journal of Yunnan University), 7: 1, pp. 32-36.

2006: ‘Chinese Governmentalities: Government, Governance and the Socialist Market Economy’, Economy and Society, 35: 4, pp. 487-508.

2004: ‘Liberal despotism: Population planning, government and subjectivity in contemporary China’, Alternative: Global, Local, Political, 29: 5, pp. 557-575.

2000: (with Song Xianlin) ‘Middle kingdom mentalities: Chinese Visions of National Characteristics in the 1990s’, Communal/Plural, 8: 1, pp. 47-64.

1999: (with Elaine Jeffreys) ‘On 'Sex' and 'Sexuality' in China: A Conversation with Pan Suiming’, Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, 31: 1, pp. 50-58.

1998: ‘Sex, State and the Family: Guest Editor’s Introduction’, Chinese Sociology and Anthropology, 31: 1, pp. 3-13.

1998: ‘“Peasants into Chinamen”: Population, reproduction and eugenics in contemporary China’, Asian Studies Review, 22: 3, pp. 309-338.

1996: ‘Governing Chinese bodies: The significance of studies in governmentality for the analysis of birth control in China’, Economy and Society, 24: 5.


2006: ‘From 'Jihua' to 'Guihua': A Preliminary Critique of Approaches to Understanding 'Governance' in the Chinese Context’, in Vickers, Adrian, and Margaret Hanlon (eds) Asia Reconstructed: Proceedings of the 16th Biennial Conference of the ASAA, Wollongong, Australia. ISBN 978-0-9580837-3-7. Available at:


2004: ‘Marketing Theory: Sexuality, Subjectivity and Government in China’, Asian Studies Review, 28: 1, pp. 75-82.

Roles, responsibilities and expertise
Willing to supervise postgraduate students in the broader area of Chinese Studies especially with a focus on culture, tourism, heritage, ethnicity and globalisation.
Future research
Gary is planning to undertake future research on China's emerging outdoor tourism/adventure tourism sector.
English and Chinese Mandarin.
Council Member, International Chinese Language Society, Beijing, China.
Member of Academic Advisory Board, International College, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.
Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA).
Chinese Studies Association of Australia (CSAA).
Chinese Teaching and Learning Association of Western Australia (CTLAWA).
Honours and awards
2012: Recipient of the Australian Prime Minister’s Endeavour Research Fellowship. To undertake research in Yunnan on the Ancient Tea Horse Road as a Visiting Scholar to Yunnan University.

2010: Endeavour Exectutive Award (Australian Government). Worked as a foreign expert for fourth months at the Confucius Institute Head Office in Beijing, the first foreigner to do so.

2008: Confucius Institute Outstanding Individual Performance Award. Awarded by State Councillor Mme Liu Yandong in the Great Hall of the People, Beijing.

2008: Participant in Australia 2020. A two day event initiated by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and held in Parliament House, Canberra. My contribution was in the field of Australia-Asia/China relations.

2007: Advanced Confucius Institute Award. Awarded by State Councillor Mme Chen Zhili.

2006: Exceptional Concept Award 2006. Awarded by the Perth Convention Bureau. $10,000.

2006: Keynote Speaker. Chinese Language Federation of Australia Annual Conference, Perth. ‘Chinese: World Language and the
Confucius Institutes’.

2006: Annual University of Third Age Lecture, Perth. Topic: ‘China Rising: Implications for Australia’.
In the Asian Studies programme, in addition to teaching intermediate Chinese, Gary lectures in contemporary Asian and Chinese Studies, teaching and coordinating Social Issues in Contemporary China (ASIA3003) as well as Australia and Asia(ASIA2002). More information about these units can be found at:
Useful links
Research profile
Research profile and publications

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Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM