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Thinking Storytelling in Hong Kong: Traditions, Practices, Opportunities


Organized by School of Chinese, The University of Hong Kong

Sponsored by the Louis Cha Fund in the Faculty of Arts, The University of Hong Kong

Thinking Storytelling in Hong Kong: Traditions, Practices, Opportunities

Date: June 29, 2023 (Thursday)

Time: 9:00 am – 17:45 pm

Venue: CBA, Chow Yei Ching Building

About the symposium 

Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of human social communication. Even as we heed the Hong Kong SAR Government’s advocacy of “telling the Hong Kong story well,” we realize that the act of telling stories is long embedded in different kinds of human exchange, in ways that exceed this current reminder to do it “well.” In recent years, as Hong Kong finds itself amidst deep political tensions and life-threatening global health crises, many of its residents have been compelled to do soul-searching reflections on their lives. In such a context, storytelling has once again emerged as an indispensable form of action from the most intimate situations to the most public debates, and from the most trivial mundane messages to the most solemn historical rationalizations. What are some enduring examples of stories being circulated in and about Hong Kong? What are the effects of their being repeatedly told over time? How might stories provoke and incite, and how might they unify and bring people together? What forms of storytelling tend to be generative, and what forms of storytelling tend to be quickly forgotten? Beyond raising these fundamental issues of storytelling as a commonly shared experience spanning different languages and media, it is important not to lose sight of the rich conceptual and experimental possibilities that revolve around stories in a wide-ranging variety of registers, from literature to art and music, from propaganda to advertising, and from academic discourse to social media gossip.

This one-day symposium will showcase the multidisciplinary perspectives and debates on the traditions and opportunities as well as practices of storytelling. It aims to bring together scholars from different fields and subfields, and encourage research initiatives at HKU in a subject area where the humanities, interpretative social sciences, and other forms of knowledge production can have meaningful conversations.

Agenda of the symposium




9:00 am


9:30 am – 11:00 am

Panel 1

When Hong Kong Becomes a Signifier

Prof. Calvin Hui (William & Mary)

Prof. Stephen Chu (HKU)

11:15 am – 12:45 pm

Panel 2

-- Thinking Storytelling in Hong Kong: How Machines Extrapolate

-- From Endangerment to Ferality: Telling Hong Kong Stories via Animal Tropes

Prof. Xuenan Cao (CUHK)

Dr. Daisy Tam (HKBU)

Dr. Winnie Yee (HKU)

Dr. Emily Zong (HKBU)


14:30 pm – 16:00 pm

Panel 3

-- The Fundamental Tenets of Early Hong Kong Modernism

-- Hong Kong’s ‘Tolstoy Vogue’: A Preliminary Study of Hong Kong Cinema in the 1940s and Adaptations of Resurrection

Dr. Chung-To Au (EdUHK)

Dr. Vivien Wei (HKU)

Prof. Mary Wong (LN)

Dr. Shuk-Man Leung (HKU)

16:15 pm – 17:30 pm

Plenary Session

Mr. Chan Koonchung

Prof. Rey Chow (DUKE)

17:30 pm – 17:45 pm

Closing Session

Registration: Please click OR scan the QR code on the post to register for the symposium.

For enquiries, please contact Dr. Danny Chow at

ALL are welcome!