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HKU Events

Stance-taking and Affective-Discursive Practice: Enregistering Gender/Sexual Identities

Speaker: Professor Scott F. Kiesling

Date: 24 June, 2019 (Monday); 4:30-6:00pm

Venue: Room 7.45, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

Language: English

The invisibility of nannü pingdeng in an “Old Beijing” neighborhood; grassroots perspectives on changing gender relations since the eve of the PRC

Speaker: Dr. Harriet Evans

Date: June 6, 2019 (Monday); 4:00-5:30pm

Venue: Rm929, Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

Language: English

Details: https://sociology.hku.hk/events/nannu-pingdeng-old-beijing/


The School of English Seminar Series


Mr. John Scott Daly

Ms. Natalie Mo

Ms. Anneliese Ng

Date: April 18, 2019 (Thursday)

Time: 4:30pm

Venue: May Hall, Room 201

Martyring the Female Double in Jane Eyre and Emma
By Ms. Natalie Mo


The doppelganger is a recurring character across literary history. Within nineteenth-century British literature, it is most commonly associated with gothic fiction in which it functions as an externalization of the protagonist’s transgressive desires. This paper argues that this character type is common not only in gothic fiction but in realist fiction as well, reflecting overarching Victorian ideologies surrounding women and the domestic sphere.

Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar’s Madwoman in the Attic argues the dark double is as much a projection of the Victorian female author’s rage and anxiety towards her position, as an antagonist or foil to the heroine. My paper differs slightly in that I focus particularly on the female doppelganger’s lack of selfhood and interiority. She is an extension of the heroine and must ultimately be sacrificed, either by death or other misfortune, to symbolically fulfill her bildungsroman. This occurs in both gothic and non-gothic works. For instance, in Charlotte Brontë’s gothic novel, Jane Eyre, Rochester’s first wife, Bertha Mason leaps to her death at Thornfield Hall. In Jane Austen’s realist novel, Emma, Mrs. Augusta Elton is sidelined in Highbury by the end. The doppelganger is valued for her utility to the plot over anything else. I contend that this structural denial of personhood echoes the ideological contradiction regarding women’s place in Victorian society. Just as they were required to be domestic, self-sacrificing moral guardians, the doppelganger’s selfhood is suppressed in favor of the heroine, despite possessing the potential to be a protagonist and rounded character.

18 April 2019

Thursday, 4:30pm

Run Run Shaw Tower, 7.45

School of English, The University of Hong Kong
Replotting the Harlot’s Progress: Motherhood and Moral Agency in Gaskell’s Ruth
By Ms. Anneliese Ng


This talk examines how Elizabeth Gaskell offers an alternative plot for the fallen woman in her 1853 novel Ruth. Gaskell reworks the dominant plot of the fallen woman genre by revoking what Amanda Anderson calls “the downward-path principle.” It dictates that once a woman has sex outside the sanctified confines of marriage, she will continue her moral decay and sink into prostitution, disease and death. In Ruth, however, Gaskell departs from this convention. This talk argues that Gaskell reconfigures the fallen woman as an autonomous being capable of moral action, instead of being locked in moral regress. Through examining the role of motherhood in Ruth’s moral agency, this talk elucidates the maternal underpinnings of Ruth’s moral existence. Motherhood fortifies Ruth against succumbing to individual desire; it strengthens her capacity to act according to her moral beliefs.


“Jeep Girls” and American Servicemen in Post-WWII China


Dr. DU Chunmei

Associate Professor, Department of History, Lingnan University

Date: April 16, 2019 (Sunday)

Time: 12:00 – 1:00pm

Venue: May Hall, Room 201

Detail: www.hkihss.hku.hk/events/20190416


Translation and Women’s Identities: A Case Study of

Indigenous Women Translators in Early Twentieth-century China

Speaker: 尹姝慧 Miss Yin Shuhui

Date: May 3, 2019 (Friday); 5:30-6:45pm

Venue: Room 730, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus

Language: Putonghua


Historical and archival research in recent years has questioned the term “women” as a consistent category of identity throughout history, which has given rise to more nuanced discussions on a host of issues related to women. During the New Culture Movement in the early twentieth century, the emergence of translated literary works by female translators contributed to the construction and interpretation of women’s identity in China, in comparison with gender discourse in traditional China. Among them, Xue Qiying and Shen Xingren were two understudied female translators, whose works appeared in the influential journal La Jeunesse and invite fruitful analysis from the perspective of feminist identity construction. This study focuses on translation works by Xue and Shen and delves into the construction of the identity of “women” as part and parcel of postcolonial modernity and the roles played by translation in this process.

Details: http://www.hku.hk/chinese

The Forum: Media Portrayal of South Asians in Hong Kong


Mr. Yonden Lhatoo, Chief News Editor at South China Morning Post

Ms. Puja Kapai, Associate Professor of Law, and Deputy Director and Fellow of the Centre for Comparative and Public Law at the University of Hong Kong

Dr. Fernando Cheung, Legislative Councillor, Social Worker and retired lecturer

Date: April 14, 2019 (Sunday)

Time: 2:00 – 4:00pm

Venue: Convocation Room, MB218, 2/F Main Building

Language: English

Registration: https://hkuems1.hku.hk/hkuems/ec_hdetail.aspx?guest=Y&ueid=64059


Society of Fellows in the Humanities: Spring Programme

Political Questions and Sexual Answers: Women’s Pornographies and Social Activism in Hong Kong and San Francisco

Speaker: Katrien Jacobs, the Chinese University of Hong Kong

Date: April 8, 2019

Time: 5:00PM

Venue: Room 4.36, 4/F, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus

Detail: https://sofhku.com/2019/04/01/april-8-katrien-jacobs-political-questions-and-sexual-answers-womens-pornographies-and-social-activism-in-hong-kong-and-san-francisco/


Comparing Youthful Muslim Masculinities in Hong Kong and the Netherlands


Dr. Murat Es,


Urban Studies Programme

Department of Geography and Resource Management

The Chinese University of Hong Kong


Date: 10 April 2019 (Wednesday)

Time: 13:00-14:00

Venue: Room 829, 8/F, Knowles Building, HKU

Details: https://www.arch.hku.hk/event_/comparing-youthful-muslim-masculinities-in-hk-and-netherlands/?fbclid=IwAR3sutdUaOE2hbpOIyqqpAnDz54lIIklyy2AHf7XXiMJaJi9ugTdX8vyaPg


Events at HKIHSS in April

Spirituality, Religion and Society Lecture Series

Raising the Dead = Girl Power?

Charismatic Practice and Women’s Authority in a Chinese Christian Church

Speaker: Dr. Melissa Wei-Tsing Inouye (Senior Lecturer, Asian Studies, University of Auckland)

Date: 1 April 2019 (Monday)

Time: 12:00 nn – 1:00 pm

Venue: Room 201, 2/F, May Hall, The University of Hong Kong

Details: www.hkihss.hku.hk/events/melissa-inouye-20190401

(This event is organized by the “Rethinking Spirituality and Religion in Asia” Cluster.)

Making Modernity in East Asia Lecture Series

The Birth of the Modern Global Script Regime: From the Typewriter to Unicode

Speaker: Dr. Raja Adal (Assistant Professor of History, University of Pittsburgh)

Date: 1 April 2019 (Monday)

Time: 4:00 – 5:30 pm

Venue: Lecture Hall, G/F, May Hall, The University of Hong Kong

Details: https://mmea.hku.hk/events-activities/adal

(This event is jointly organized by the CRF Project “Making Modernity in East Asia: Technologies of Everyday Life, 19th – 21stCenturies” (RGC CRF HKU C7011-16G) and School of Modern Languages and Cultures, The University of Hong Kong.)

Spirituality, Religion and Society Lecture Series

The Post-Secular Problematic and the Theory of Secularization

Speaker: Benjamin Schewel (Lecturer, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Groningen; Associate Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, University of Virginia)

Date: 2 April 2019 (Tuesday)

Time: 12:00 nn – 1:30 pm 

Venue: Room 201, 2/F, May Hall, The University of Hong Kong

Details: www.hkihss.hku.hk/events/benjamin-schewel-20190402 

(This event is jointly organized by the “Rethinking Spirituality and Religion in Asia” Cluster and the Faith and Science Collaborative Research Forum at the University of Hong Kong.)

Interdisciplinary Lunchtime Seminar

Translating Domesticity in Chinese History and Historiography

Speaker: Dr. Elizabeth LaCouture (Director, Gender Studies Programme; Assistant Professor, Gender Studies and History, School of Humanities, Faculty of Arts, The University of Hong Kong)

Date: April 9, 2019 (Tuesday)

Time: 12:00 nn – 1:00 pm

Venue: Room 201, 2/F, May Hall, The University of Hong Kong

Details: https://www.hkihss.hku.hk/events/elizabeth-lacouture-20190409

Interdisciplinary Lunchtime Seminar

“Jeep Girls” and American Servicemen in Post-WWII China

Speaker: Dr. Du Chunmei (Associate Professor, Department of History, Lingnan University)

Date: April 16, 2019 (Tuesday)

Time: 12:00 nn – 1:00 pm

Venue: Room 201, 2/F, May Hall, The University of Hong Kong

Details: https://www.hkihss.hku.hk/events/du-chunmei-20190416

All are welcome | www.hkihss.hku.hk | ihss@hku.hk | 3917-5007

Gender Studies Seminar Series
Fireside Chat: Faith and Feminism

Speaker: Dr Donna Freitas

Moderator: Professor Maureen Sabine

Date: 13/3/2019 (Wed)

Time: 17:00 – 18:30

Venue: HKU Foundation Chamber, Hung Hing Ying Building, HKU

Language: English

Registration: https://hkuems1.hku.hk/hkuems/ec_hdetail.aspx?guest=Y&ueid=62395

Detail: https://genderstudies.hku.hk/events/1180/


Gender Studies Seminar Series
Writing women into Chinese Australian history

Speaker: Dr Kate Bagnall, The University of Wollongong

Date: 21/3/2019 (Thur)

Time: 16:30-18:00

Venue: Rm 4.36, 4/F, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

Language: English

Registration: https://hkuems1.hku.hk/hkuems/ec_hdetail.aspx?guest=Y&ueid=62133

Detail: https://genderstudies.hku.hk/events/writing-women-into-chinese-australian-history/


Troubling Conscience: Religious Freedom and Health Care in Modern America

Speaker: Dr Ronit Stahl (UC Berkeley)

Date: 25/3/2019 (Mon)

Time: 16:30 – 18:00

Venue: Rm 4.36, 4/F, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

Language: English

Detail: https://www.history.hku.hk/news_s18_stahl.html


Gender Studies Seminar Series
Beyond the Binary: Gender in Biblical and Rabbinic Texts

Speaker: Rabbi Dena Bodian

Date: 26/3/2019 (Tue)

Time: 16:30 – 18:00

Venue: Rm 4.04, 4/F, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

Language: English

Registration: https://hkuems1.hku.hk/hkuems/ec_hdetail.aspx?guest=Y&ueid=62122

Detail: https://genderstudies.hku.hk/events/beyond-the-binary-gender-in-biblical-and-rabbinic-texts/


The Legal Construction of the Work-Retirement Nexus: A New Social Contract for Older Workers in China 

Speaker: Dr. Mimi Zou

Date: March 12, 2019 (Tuesday)

Time: 1:30pm – 2:30pm

Venue: A723, 7/F, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

Language: English


The prolongation of one’s working life is quickly becoming a social, economic, and legal norm in China, as policymakers are confronted with the challenges of population ageing and a shrinking workforce. The debate over retirement and pension reform in China and other ageing societies reveals a complex and multi-faceted relationship between labour regulation and social protection. A special feature of the work-retirement nexus in China is the employment classification of a worker who remains in the workforce past their statutory pension age. Under Chinese labour law, once a worker reaches the pension age, their labour contract is deemed terminated at law and subsequent work arrangements are governed by general contract law. This exclusion of post-retirement workers from the scope of Chinese labour law has largely been unchallenged until recently, as a growing number of disputes concerning their employment classification have been brought before local courts. This talk undertakes a close textual analysis of the courts' application of the relevant laws and regulations at national and local levels. Specifically, it seeks to answer the following questions:

1) How have Chinese courts approached disputes over the employment status of post-retirement workers with reference to the relevant laws and regulations?

2) How does this classification rule interact with other regulatory and institutional frameworks to construct a particular kind of social contract for older workers in China?

3) How can this social contract become more inclusive and promote decent work?

Although there is extensive social science scholarship on retirement and pension issues in China, there have been relatively few critiques of the rule concerning the classification of post-retirement workers. This talk aims to fill in this gap, which is significant in terms of addressing decent work deficits for a growing group of Chinese workers. Beyond exposing substantial divergences in judicial approaches in different localities, this paper also examines how such a rule interacts with various pressures on older workers to work longer, including regulatory and institutional weaknesses such as a lack of age discrimination protections. Based on a normative framework of substantive equality and decent work, I argue the case for a new social contract for work and retirement in China in light of the substantial policy challenges arising from seismic demographic shifts.

Seats are limited. 

Online Registration: https://hkuems1.hku.hk/hkuems/ec_hdetail.aspx?UEID=62466&guest=Y

Enquiry: Ms. Shelby Chan (shelbyc@hku.hk)

The “Self” of Hong Kong Identity and Romance in Hong Kong Pre-Handover Short Stories

Speaker: Jamie Wing-Tung TSE

(MPhil candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature)

Supervisor: Dr. Sze-Wei ANG

Date: 5 March 2019

Time: 5— 6pm

Venue: Rm 4.36, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

Respondent: Shimin ZHANG


How should one define Hong Kong identity? Is there a “Hong Kong identity” in the first place? This seminar discusses the development of Hong Kong identity by exploring Hong Kong romance stories written in the Pre-Handover Period (1982-1997). With a close reading of two short stories written by local writers in their own language, namely Xi Xi’s “A Girl Like Me” (1983) and Dung Kai Cheung’s “Cecilia” (1992), I look at how the connection between romance and Hong Kong’s identity is woven into a post-colonial experience of self-searching. The sense of displacement and anxiety that the two protagonists experience in their doomed romance mirror Hong Kong people's uncertainty towards their future and collective identity when the 1997 Handover approached.

The Pre-Handover Period plays an essential part in the shaping of Hong Kong identity as the handover to Communist China imposed a sense of crisis on Hong Kong society which drove the locals to an urgent search of a collective identity. It was also a distinct period in which Hong Kong society openly and widely discussed questions of autonomy and

identity for the first time. Hong Kong Pre-Handover literature, therefore, serves as a necessary constituent to forming as well as understanding Hong Kong’s culture and identity. On the other hand, there is a lack of studies on Hong Kong romance literature since scholars have stigmatized this genre as commercialized products for casual consumption.

However, I would like to argue that Hong Kong Pre-Handover romance narratives do not only provide emotional

escapism, but also catharsis to Hong Kong people’s fear of losing their culture and identity in the face of critical change.


International Women's Day Research Workshop: Situating Gender & Diversity Research in 2019

Date: 1 March 2019

Time: 11:30— 1:30pm

Venue: Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, Centennial Campus

For its signature International Women's Day event this year, WSRC is hosting a lunchtime research workshop on Situating Gender & Diversity Research in 2019. This workshop aims to showcase the breadth and depth of interdisciplinary gender and diversity research activities at HKU and will feature scholars from across Faculties, including WSRC Convenor Puja Kapai and Board Members Prof Gina Marchetti, Dr Stacilee Ford, Dr Elizabeth LaCouture, and Dr Caroline Dingle.


Puja Kapai (Faculty of Law, HKU)

'When Equality Elides the Gatekeepers of Equality: A Gender Gap Analysis of the Legal Profession'

Gina Marchetti (Dept of Comparative Literature, HKU)

'The Look, the Leer, the Glare, the Glance and the Gaze: #MeToo, Visual Politics, and Screen Culture in Hong Kong and the People's Republic of China'

Stacilee Ford (Dept of History and American Studies, HKU)

'Leading Men: Gender, Generation, and Globality'

Elizabeth LaCouture (Gender Studies and Dept of History, HKU)

'The Intersectionality of Everyday Life in Chinese History'

Caroline Dingle (School of Biological Sciences, HKU)

'Women in Science in Hong Kong'

Isabella Seif (Faculty of Law, HKU)

'CEDAW and Refugee Protection in Asia'

Register now at https://hkuems1.hku.hk/hkuems/ec_hdetail.aspx?guest=Y&ueid=62306

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at womensrc@hku.hk


Repression and Purification: The Modes of Endings of the Stories of Wanton Women in Ming-Qing Fiction

Speaker: 胡子伊 Miss Hu Ziyi

Date: March 1, 2019 (Friday); 5:30-6:45pm

Venue: Room 730, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus

Language: Putonghua


The story of wanton women is an important subject of Ming-Qing fiction. From Water Margin to A Dream of Red Mansions, it grew abundant from the sixteenth to eighteenth century China, developing a variety of ending patterns and emotional tendencies. The pattern of miserable endings such as graphic killing and karmic consequences occupies a prominent position, suppressing the dangerous wanton women. At the same time, some endings also show the potential of purification of the wanton women characters: a few wanton women transformed from “lascivious” to “chaste” through suicide; the unpunished or happy endings in some cases weakened the negative characteristics of the adulteress, provoking readers’ tolerance. This talk examines these patterns in light of their narrative effects of “repression” or “purification”, thus to reveal the complex attitudes of male novelists towards wanton women characters, understand their constructive and rebellious nature, and finally explore the socio-cultural connotations and gender discourse behind it.

The Question of Class in Contemporary Latin American Cinema

 [Venue change to] CPD-LG.59, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
Speaker: Dr. Mercedes Vázquez Vázquez
Date: 20 Feb 2019 (Wed) 4:30 - 5:30pm
Venue: [Venue change to] CPD-LG.59, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
Language: English

The Question of Class in Contemporary Latin American Cinema responds to the renewed interest in class by examining the aesthetics and politics of class in a representative selection of films from the contemporary cinemas of Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina. It explores the relationship of cinematic practices to conflicting socio-political transformations taking place in these five countries, such as the intensification of neoliberalism, the turn to the left, and the growth of the middle classes in the period from 2003 to 2015. The combined textual and industrial analyses of films through the lens of class allows for a contextualization of the trend of depoliticization in Latin American film and the observation of its limitations.

Dr. Mercedes Vázquez Vázquez is a Lecturer and Honorary Assistant Professor in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at The University of Hong Kong.


Extraordinary Lives/ Extraordinary Careers:
Networking for People Who Don’t Do Networking

Speaker: Dr. Julianne Yang
Date: February 28, 2019 (Thursday)
Time: 3:30 pm–5:30 pm
Venue: Common Core Lounge, MB150, Main Building
Description: To many, networking can seem like a daunting or awkward activity, but it doesn't have to be. While the word “networking” might put people off, networking is a great way to make friends, learn about the world, and a key skill for building a career. In this interactive workshop, you will learn how to reframe your idea of networking so that it becomes a meaningful part of your life. Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, majoring in business or philosophy, networking is a practical skill you can learn. Through individual and group exercises, you will begin to see networking less like a chore, and more like an experience you can enjoy and a skill you can hone.
Registration Link: https://bit.ly/2RzOpXm
Read more about her: julianneyang.com
For enquiry, please contact Miss Charmaine Tse at charmainetse@hku.hk.


Political Questions and Sexual Answers: Women’s Pornographies and Social Activism in Hong Kong and San Francisco

Speaker: Katrien Jacobs, CUHK

Date: Monday, April 8, 2019, 1700 

Venue: Room 4.36, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus

Language: English


Details: https://sofhku.com/2019/02/08/society-of-fellows-spring-programme/


Sexual Orientation and Fundamental Rights - The Emergence of Constitutional and Supranational Standards in Europe?

Centre for Comparative and Public Law of the Department of Law

Speaker: Judge Lech Garlicki (Former Judge of European Court of Human Rights)

Date: Friday, February 15, 2019, 1830 – 2000

Venue: Academic Conference Room, 11/F., Cheng Yu Tung Tower

Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong

Language: English

Registration: https://hkuems1.hku.hk/hkuems/ec_hdetail.aspx?guest=Y&ueid=62309&fbclid=IwAR2FjHEtSj8n7YpCgJgam0iLOEkhO8FUtg23CFG6XCAhqa2KpBUz1WSIuPE

Website: https://hkuesd.hku.hk:8000/enotice/notice/11414/_notice.html?timestamp=1549324743554&fbclid=IwAR037iB5rHxWK677dWzC1BhXY-c2CZkypPkbPGCJaz6c-8mxp0XBPGDohhQ

For inquiries, please email Winnie Law at winniewm@hku.hk


明清時期的職業女性:穩婆與仵作 The Professional Women in the Ming and Qing Dynasty: Midwives and Coroners

Speaker: 顧玥 Gu Yue
Date: Friday, December 14, 2018, 1730 – 1845
Venue: Room 730, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus
Language: Putonghua

Midwives played an important role during the process of childbirth for females in ancient China. Different from their images of quack doctor who sought nothing but profit that have been portrayed in public novels in the Ming and Qing Dynasty, under the lenses of social medical history, midwives cannot be easily replaced due to the fact that they were professionals in the real society. Besides the duties of children delivery and inducing abortions that have been widely known, midwives’ duties of inquest have been seldom mentioned. Due to the influence of traditional moral values, especially the feudalist notion of virginity, the roles played by midwives as female examiners gradually developed during the Ming and Qing Dynasty. Their duties not only included examining maidenhead, distinguishing sex, and selecting wet nurses for the palace, but they were also officially employed by the government. Midwives examined female corpses, and they played the role of coroner when criminal cases happen. With the development of this duty, midwives who worked for government gradually distinguished themselves from other midwives who only delivered babies, and forming an independent group. This talk will focus on this group of professional women in ancient China from a multi-dimensional perspective.


Details: http://web.chinese.hku.hk/main/2018/12/03/the-professional-women-in-the-ming-and-qing-dynasty-midwives-and-coroners/

The Domestic Lives of Village Videos: Making Sense of the World through Grassroots Media in Southwest China

Speaker: LUO Yu (Department of Chinese and History, City University of Hong Kong)

Date: Tuesday, December 4, 2018, 1200 – 1300
Venue: Room 201, 2/F, May Hall, The University of Hong Kong
Language: English

Amateur, low-quality videodiscs are a common household object in Tai-speaking Buyi (Bouyei) villages in Guizhou, southwest China. Mostly owned by women, these videos ranged from life-cycle rituals and household feasts to public performances and official events, and from copied Asian soap operas to songs and dramas tracing historical origins. In some cases, Buyi males were hired to produce these videos and distributed them informally. Focusing on the ways in which villagers watched, replayed, and discussed these “village videos” on a regular basis, this paper examines how quotidian practices as such shape Buyi culture and heritage. I argue that these communally engaged media practices are inherently rooted in domestic domains through which locals make sense of their lifeworlds, while embedded in the larger contexts of inter-ethnic relations and rural transformations. This paper specifically discusses the politics and aesthetics of “good-looking” (li ye in Buyi language) – both visually appealing and entertaining – that often appeared in villagers’ comments on grassroots videos and in local Buyi’s discussions of branding heritage-tourism. It also reflects on the fieldwork experience of engaging media products with villagers to rethink memory, identity, and belonging

Details: https://www.hkihss.hku.hk/en/events/seminar-by-dr-luo-yu-20181204/