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CGED Spotlight

Dr. Julia Bowes Received the 2019 Lerner-Scott Prize for the Best Doctoral Dissertation

Our committee member Dr. Julia Bowes (History) is the winner of the 2019 Lerner-Scott prize for the best doctoral dissertation in US women's history.

This is a hugely prestigious award, given annually by the Organization of American Historians.

Julia received the award from the OAH President for her dissertation, titled "Invading the Home: Children, State Power, and the Gendered Origins of Modern Conservatism, 1865–1933".

More details are available here:


Welcome New Colleague! - Dr. Elizabeth Lastra


Dr. Elizabeth Lastra

Assistant Professor, Department of Fine Arts

Gender and diversity related research interests: Religious and cultural diversity in medieval Spain Selected publications: “Judgment, Work, and Social Change: Reading a New Spirituality in the Sculpted Laborers of Santiago de Carrión de los Condes.” Studies in Iconography. 2018, v. 39, p. 167-206. 

Contact: lastra@hku.hk

Welcome New Colleague! - Dr. Julia Bowes

Dr. Julia Bowes

Assistant Professor, Department of History

Gender and diversity related research interests: Gender, the History of the Family, and US Conservatism

Conference Presentation: "Mother Love and Men’s Rights: Discourses of Domesticity and the Sovereign Home in Anti-Vaccination Politics in the United States, 1890-1918" at the American Historical Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, 2019.

Contact: jbowes@hku.hk

Welcome New Colleague! - Dr. Brian Walter King

1Dr. Brian Walter King

Assistant Professor, School of English

Gender and diversity related research interests: the discursive performance of identities and embodiments at the intersection of ethnicity, gender and sexuality

Selected publications: “Hip Hop headz in sex ed: Gender, agency and styling in New Zealand.” Language in Society. 47(4), 487-512.

Contact: bwking@hku.hk

Gender Rankings and HKU’s HeForShe Initiatives

Some observations from Professor Alexandra Cook, Chair of the Subcommittee on Staffing and Employment Issues, Committee for Gender Equality and Diversity, Faculty of Arts, HKU

In consulting the world university rankings, we find some interesting, but inconclusive, information concerning assessment of the University of Hong Kong’s performance on reducing gender inequality.

While QS did not seem to include this factor in their rankings, the THES 'University Impact Rankings’ provide some useful information. According to THES, these ‘are the only global performance tables that assess universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.’ This is a different league table to THES’s more well-known ‘World University Ranking.’

HKU is ranked 10th overall in the world for its performance in promoting four U.N. goals: good health and wellbeing (Goal 3), quality education (Goal 5), reduced inequalities (Goal 10), and partnerships for the goals (Goal 17).

Of the goals on which HKU is ranked, the most relevant would seem to be Goal 10: ‘reduced inequalities.’ HKU scored 64.1. To assess performance in this area THES measures 'universities’ research on social inequalities, their policies on discrimination and their commitment to recruiting staff and students from under-represented groups.'


Upon closer inspection, however, the percentage of the total score devoted to rectifying gender inequality is relatively low at 14.4%: 


  • Delivering programmes to recruit from under-represented groups (3.6%)
  • Anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies for staff and students (3.6%)
  • The existence of a diversity and equality committee or officer (3.6%)
  • Providing mentoring or other support programmes aimed at students and staff from under-represented groups (3.6%)

However, HKU is not ranked specifically for addressing gender equality (Goal 5); only Baptist University appears on the gender equality ranking for the HKSAR:


Without further information, we cannot be sure, therefore, how or if HeForShe was accounted for in creating these rankings. Was it perhaps folded into the reduced inequalities (Goal 10) and/or the partnerships (Goal 17) categories? Note in this regard that HKU’s highest score was actually for the partnerships category (94.8). Another feature of the ranking is that each institution seems to be ranked on its performance with respect to 4 goals only.  

9 May 2019

The Vagina Monologues 2019

“When you rape, beat, maim, mutilate, burn, bury, and terrorize women, you destroy the essential life energy on the planet.” 
Performance details
Date: February 21, 2019 (Thursday)
Time: 8pm to 10pm
Registration: 7:30pm 
Venue: Rayson Huang Theatre, Main Campus, HKU
Tickets: $20
 ***FREE OF CHARGE for current HKU STUDENTS***
If you are interested, please register at https://goo.gl/forms/qORwNFGyerYmXrNo2
If you have any enquiries, please contact Sophie Mak of the Lap-Chee College Global Diversity Team via lapcheediversity@gmail.com


[MOOC] Hong Kong Cinema through a Global Lens

The “rerun” of Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Hong Kong cinema will begin on 22 January 2019. This is a great opportunity for you to understand Hong Kong cinema's uniqueness and its continuing impact in transforming other national cinemas.
MOOC description
This pioneering online experience is under the direction of internationally-recognized film studies scholars Professor Gina Marchetti and Dr. Aaron Han Joon Magnan-Park from the HKU Department of Comparative Literature and Dr. Stacilee Ford from the HKU Department of History and American Studies Program with the creative assistance of HKU Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative (TELI). 
The course explores globalization through Hong Kong cinema featuring crisp analyses of the actors and filmmakers whose lives and films connect the local Hong Kong scene to global histories, events, and trends. Throughout the six-week course, students will encounter stars including Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Maggie Cheung as well as award-winning directors such as John Woo, Mabel Cheung, Andrew Lau, and Wong Kar-Wai. Each week a new film showcases talents, themes, and local-global connections.
More information and registration: http://bit.ly/hkcinema2019

1New Book Release - The Cosmopolitan Dream: Transnational Chinese Masculinities in a Global Age (世界性之夢:全球化時代的跨國中國男子氣概)

The Cosmopolitan Dream presents the broad patterns in the transformations of mainland Chinese masculinity over recent years, covering both representations (in film, fiction, and on television) and the lived experiences of Chinese men on four continents. Exposure to transnational influences has made Chinese notions of masculinity more cosmopolitan than ever before, yet the configurations of these hybrid masculinities retain the imprint of Chinese historical models.

For more info, go to https://hkuesd.hku.hk:8000/enotice/notice/10257/_notice.html?timestamp=1538977582695

2Welcome New Colleague! - Dr. Alvin K. Wong

Dr. Alvin K. Wong

Assistant Professor, Department of Comparative Literature

Gender and diversity related research interests: gender and sexuality in Chinese and Sinophone cultures, queer theory, feminism, transgender studies, queer Asian studies.

Selected publication: Co-editor of the special issue, “Queer Asia as Critique,” Culture, Theory, and Critique 58.2 (2017).

Contact: akhwong@hku.hk

[MOOC] Unconscious Bias: From Awareness To Action

Unconscious bias—everyone has it. But that doesn’t make us bad; it makes us human. While we cannot completely rid ourselves of unconscious bias, we can learn how to recognize it and lessen its impact in the workplace. These are skills that everyone can learn.

To enroll: https://www.edx.org/course/unconscious-bias-awareness-action-catalystx-ub1x

Report on Silent Witness: Why are women missing in Hong Kong academic leadership?

By Dr. Sarah Jane Aiston from University of Birmingham

The underrepresentation of women as academic leaders is a global phenomenon. Extensive research demonstrates that women fail to move through academic hierarchies and reach the most senior grades and leadership positions in higher education. The Hong Kong academy is no exception. Out of 110 positions at the level of Dean and above, figures from 2016 show that only 8 women (7.3%) are represented in the most senior leadership roles across the sector. Hong Kong does not currently have a woman President/Vice-Chancellor at any of its higher education institutions.

Click here for the report.

Stop Rubbing Salt in the Wound
Support Survivors, Break the Silence, and Respect Choices

Recently athlete Vera Lui Lai-yiu wrote on her Facebook on her 23rd birthday of a sexual abuse incident involving a couch a decade ago.  Her bravery and promotion of the hashtags #MeToo and #Metoohk are aimed at giving victims courage and making potential abusers think twice.  However, her courageous act met a lot of public criticism such as blaming her not to report to Police and take revenge.  To support her and all victims of sexual violence to speak up, we have launched an online petition about “Support Survivors of sexual violence, Break the Silence, and Respect choices” in response to the victim blaming culture.  Please support, sign and circulate to your friends.


'Court should be option in sex harassment cases'

Speaking during a forum on sexual harassment in the workplace, legal expert Puja Kapai on Monday urged the government to give the equality watchdog more leeway to take sexual harassment cases straight to court, without necessarily going through a mandatory conciliation process first.


Joint Statement on Yau Ma Tei Murder-Suicide Case
Issued by the Association for Concern for Legal Rights of Victims of Domestic Violence

Please click on the link below for a joint statement released by the Association Concerning Legal Rights of Victims of Domestic Violence to the press on September 14, 2017, with CGED as a co-signatory.

The statement is also featured on the Hong Kong Free Press website: