Upcoming Events

The Enterprising Self: Disability and Digital Entrepreneurship in China

2018/2019 School of Chinese Research Seminar

The Enterprising Self: Disability and Digital Entrepreneurship in China

Dr Haiqing Yu
(RMIT University, Australia)

地點 Venue: Room 730, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus
時間 Time: October 4 (Thursday), 4:30-6pm
演講語言 Language: English

This article examines the rise of the digital economy and its impact on disability entrepreneurship in China. In particular, it analyses the neoliberal logic that underscores the promotion of disability e-entrepreneurs represented by Mr. Cheongsam. Building on Aihwa Ong (2006)’s formulation of “neoliberalism as exception” and “exception to neoliberalism” and following Hentyle Yapp (2017)’s argument on “disability as exception,” it argues that disability has not only been treated as exception in China’s postsocialist trajectories of development both within and without, but also as a new form of exceptionality in digital transactions among the Chinese state, China’s digital champions, individual digital entrepreneurs, and average citizens. The framework of disability as exception and exceptionality opens up our critical enquiries about the invisible human infrastructure that underpins digital transactions in China.

Dr Haiqing Yu is Associate Professor and Vice-Chancellor’s Principal Research Fellow in the Digital Ethnography Research Centre, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, Australia. She researches the sociopolitical and economic impact of China’s digital media, communication, and culture on China, Australia and the Asia Pacific; and is currently working on projects related to China’s digital expansion in Asia, Chinese-language digital/social media in Australia, and digital economies of disability.



2018-19 School of Chinese Hon-yin and Suet-fong Chan Professorship Endowment Lecture Series

2018-19 School of Chinese Hon-yin and Suet-fong Chan Professorship Endowment Lecture Series

Hon-yin and Suet-fong Chan Professorship Endowment Lecture Series

時間 Time: Tuesday, 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
地點 Venue: Room 730, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong
September 18, 2018
Chi Tak Chan
Associate Professor, Hong Kong Institute of Education

“Flow and Rootedness: The Development Model of Hong Kong Literature from the Postwar Period to the 2000s”




[ROOM CHANGE] Venue: Room 436, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
October 2, 2018
Leo Ou-fan Lee
Sin Wai Kin Professor of Chinese Culture, Chinese University of Hong Kong

“The Legacy of the New Culture Movement: Some Recent Reflections”




October 9, 2018
Chia-ling Mei
Distinguished Professor and Chair of Department of Chinese, National Taiwan University

“Derivative Aesthetics and Cultural Politics: The Translocal Vision in the Retelling of Old Tales”



October 23, 2018
Olga Lomová
Professor and Director, Institute of East Asian Studies, Charles University at Prague

“Daodejing and the Beginning of Orientalism in Central Europe”



October 30, 2018
Yinde Zhang
Professor of Comparative Literature, université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3

“’Chinese Literature’ and Heterolinguality: French Explorations”



November 13, 2018
Te-hsing Shan
Distinguished Research Fellow, Institute of European and American Studies, Academia Sinica, Taiwan

“Yu Kwang-chung’s Poetry Translation: Theory, Criticism, and Practice”
余光中的詩歌翻譯: 理論、批評與實踐



November 20, 2018
Margaret Hillenbrand
Associate Professor of Modern Chinese Literature and Cultures, University of Oxford

“The Art of the Unsayable in Contemporary China”



November 27, 2018
Andrea Riemenschnitter
Chair Professor of Modern Chinese Language and Literature, University of Zurich

“Post-Utopian Returns: The Afterlife of Peach Blossom Spring in Contemporary Chinese Literature and Landscape Aesthetics”




All are welcome, but seats are limited. The titles in Mandarin Chinese indicate lectures in that language; otherwise all lectures are in English.

[ROOM CHANGE]The Legacy of the New Culture Movement: Some Recent Reflections

2018-19 School of Chinese Hon-yin and Suet-fong Chan Professorship Endowment Lecture Series

The Legacy of the New Culture Movement: Some Recent Reflections

Professor Leo Ou-fan Lee
Chinese University of Hong Kong

Time: Tuesday 2 October 2018, 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Venue: Room 436, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong
Language: English

This lecture will explore the question: What constituted “New Culture” during the May Fourth period and what concretely was achieved and/or misconceived? It will also explore the issue of the newly established academic disciplines as well as new concepts and “theories” of literature as contributors to the New Culture, and, finally, try to assess the overall legacy of the New Culture Movement from a contemporary perspective. This lecture will not discuss the student movement, nor anti-traditional ideologies, and it will use publications such as The New Culture Encyclopedia to explore related issues.

About the speaker
Profesor Leo Ou-fan Lee is the Sin Wai Kim Professor of Chinese Culture at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Prior to joining the CUHK, Professor Lee taught at University of Chicago, UCLA, and Harvard University. He was elected fellow of Academia Sinica in 2002, and is world-renown for his scholarly publications on literature and culture of modern China, in such classic books as The Romantic Generation of Modern Chinese WritersVoices from the Iron House: A Study of Lu Xun; and Shanghai Modern: The Flowering of a New Urban Culture in China, 1930-1945. He also writes extensively on Hong Kong, and these books include City Between Worlds: My Hong Kong as well as Musings: Reading Hong Kong, China, and the World.

All are welcome




Sinitic Brush Talk: Classical Chinese as a Written Lingua Franca in Premodern East Asia

2018-19 School of Chinese Research Seminar

Sinitic Brush Talk: Classical Chinese as a Written Lingua Franca in Premodern East Asia

Professor David C.S. Li
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

時間 Time: 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Thursday 11 October 2018
地點 Venue: Room 730, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus,
The University of Hong Kong
Language: 英文 English

This paper presents evidence of written Chinese being widely used among literati of Chinese as a lingua franca or ‘scripta franca’ in East Asia, which broadly comprises nations now known as China, Japan, South Korea and North Korea, and Vietnam. That common lingua-cultural practice, being a time-honored tradition in sinographic East Asia, is generally known as 筆談 (Mand.: bĭtán; Jap. hitsudan ひつだん; Kor. pildam 필담, Viet. bút đàm), literally brush talk or brush conversation. While extant brush talk data has been documented in a vast array of literature published in these East Asian languages roughly since the Tang dynasty in China (618–906), in this paper our brush talk data will mainly be drawn from secondary, published sources involving inter-ethnic cross-border communication dating back from late Ming dynasty (1368–1644) until the 1910s. A survey of the relevant literature shows that brush talk tended to occur in four recurrent contexts, omprising both transactional and interactional communication: (i) coastguards checking the identities of alien seamen whose vessels were wrecked after being blown off course by a storm; (ii) foreign visitors asking locals for factual information; (iii) deep conversations between diplomats, courtiers or scholars; and (iv) exchange of poetic verses and artistic improvisations. Despite being written communication, the functional equivalent of speech acts like greeting and expressing (dis)agreement is enacted seamlessly, albeit by brush and ink on paper. The context may be more official or convivial. As a written lingua franca, Sinitic or sinogram-based brush talk (i.e., using Chi. 方塊字 fāngkuàizì, Jap. kanji, Kor. hanja, Viet. Chữ Hán, Chữ nho, Hán tự, or Hán văn) in premodern East Asia appears to be unique or sui generis and is clearly under-researched from the linguistic and sociolinguistic points of view. We will assess the degree of its uniqueness by briefly comparing the lingua franca functions of Latin in medieval Europe.

About the Speaker
Professor David C.S. Li is Professor and Head of the Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. His research expertise covers bilingual interaction and code-switching (translanguaging), multilingualism in Greater China, Chinese learners’ EFL learning difficulties and error-correction strategies, Cantonese as an additional language in Hong Kong, South Asian Hongkongers’ needs for written Chinese, World Englishes, ‘Hongkong English’, and ‘China English’. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including Multilingual Hong Kong: Languages, Literacies and Identities (Springer 2017) and Chinese-English Contrastive Grammar: An Introduction (with Zoe Luk; HKU Press, 2017).

All are welcome



Images of Aging and the Aesthetic of Actuality in Chinese Film

2018/19 School of Chinese Research Seminar

Images of Aging and the Aesthetic of Actuality in Chinese Film

羅福林教授Professor Charles A. Laughlin
維吉尼亞大學University of Virginia

時間Time: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Monday, September 24, 2018
地點Venue: Room 730, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus,
The University of Hong Kong
演講語言Language: 普通話Putonghua


A cultural symbolism of age was in evidence in early 20th century China, when the New Culture Movement of the 1920s institutionalized a fetishization of youth that accompanied revolutionary discourse for decades. Modern China’s revolution would attack the elderly representatives of cultural tradition while glorifying the purity and energy of youth. Since the turn of the 21st century, the meanings of both youth and old age have undergone a fundamental transformation: youth no longer signifies hope for the nation, but rather beauty, wealth, and ambition. Today’s elders, on the other hand, are the ones who experienced China’s tumultuous twentieth century. They were often precisely those virile youths who built the nation or witnessed its emergence, yet they now largely silent and invisible observers of an ironically unfamiliar and unwelcoming world.
Laughlin examines documentary and narrative films from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan over the past 20 years in which aging and dying are foregrounded (even when it is not the theme of these films). This evinces an aesthetic of actuality that has played a role in modern Chinese culture since the emergence of Chinese reportage literature in the 1930s, and which can be said to have been further developed visually in documentary filmmaking since the 1990s, which later had stylistic and thematic impact on narrative film as well. The aesthetic of actuality in all of these forms counteracts the socially anodyne effects of popular culture and mainstream narrative film, giving viewers a “reality check” that undercuts the ideology of the aesthetic and provides a corrective to mainstream discourses on aging and many related, sometimes sensitive, issues. At the same time, this study offers the opportunity to contrast the aesthetics of verbal reportage literature from the visual language of film, and how images of aging shed light on these differences.


Prof. Charles A. Laughlin is Weedon Chair Professor of East Asian Studies at the University of Virginia. He received his PhD in Chinese literature from Columbia University in 1996. He has published extensively on modern Chinese literature, including Chinese Reportage: The Aesthetics of Historical Experience (Duke, 2002) and The Literature of Leisure and Chinese Modernity (Hawai’i, 2008). Most recently he co-edited By the River: Seven Contemporary Chinese Novellas (Oklahoma UP, 2016). His current research is on the engagement with desire in Chinese revolutionary and socialist literature, and on the meaning of images of aging in Chinese films of the 21st century.

All Welcome


A new course on “The Story of Mandarin 官話演進史” (CHIN 1123)

A new course on “The Story of Mandarin 官話演進史” (CHIN1123) will be offered by the School of Chinese in semester 2 starting from 2018-2019.
(The proposed new course will be open for enrolment in Sem 2 of 2018-19 (Friday 9:30-11:30) subject to Senate approval.)

For course infromation, please click the link here.