Archive 2007
     
             
     

THE HONG KONG ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY AND THE HONG KONG MUSEUM OF HISTORY

Luigi Tomba

How the New Rich are Changing Chinese Cities

12 December 2007 Wednesday 7: 00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History

The speaker will follow the tales of China's middle class, its conflicts to protect homeownership rights, and its role both in the transformation of urban social hierarchies, as well as in the construction of new post-industrial cities.

He will present two cases of how urban life and the built environment are affected by the emergence of mass home-ownership: one from Beijing, where homeowners are trying to protect their interests inside the sanitized environment of their residential gated communities; and one from Shenyang, where the traditional industrial districts are being transformed into gentrified residential areas.

Luigi Tomba is a political Scientist at The Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at The Australian National University. He lived and worked in China for several years and has been researching Chinese urban politics and society for the last 20 years, publishing on issues such as labour reform, community building, urban governance, class and social stratification. He is presently co-editor of "The China Journal".


THE HONG KONG ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY AND THE HONG KONG MUSEUM OF HISTORY

Wu Keping

Religious Revival and Civic Engagement in Southeast China:
Two Case Studies

15 November 2007 Thursday 7: 00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History

During the past two decades, China has witnessed a religious revival. Temples and churches have been reconstructed and expanded, some religious properties have been returned and the number of religious associations has been growing. In this presentation, I focus on the revival of two religious groups (one Pure Land Buddhist temple and one popular shrine) to examine the way in which voluntary religious participation promotes and restricts civic engagement.

Keping Wu (Ph.D., Cultural Anthropology, Boston University) is an instructor at the anthropology department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include religion, gender, ritual, performance, psychological anthropology, China and the U.S.


THE HONG KONG ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY AND THE HONG KONG MUSEUM OF HISTORY

Wang Danning

Son Preference, Family Size, and the Transformation of Working Class Family Life in Urban China in the 1960s

26 October 2007 Friday 7: 00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History

Due to the internal contradiction between the totalitarian model of industrialization and the increasing cost of massive urbanization, the Chinese state, instead of the individual families, first felt the massive urban population pressure and employed a series of urban management strategies to deal with the challenge in the 1950s and 1960s. This presentation will demonstrate that the micro level socioeconomic constraints that catalyzed individual Chinese urban families to adopt contraception were created by the state's urban policies and tensions generated by the local interactions on the daily basis. Different from the dominant demographic explanation of fertility transition that was based on the western experience, the case in Tianjin in the 1960s shows how a pro-natal family culture transformed in the development of Chinese socialism.

After obtaining her Ph.D. degree in the City University of New York, Wang Danning taught and conducted research in the New York region. She is currently an instructor in the Dept. of Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.


THE HONG KONG ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY AND THE HONG KONG MUSEUM OF HISTORY

Siu Kit-wah, Lydia and Chan Hing-yuen, Brevis

The Relationships of University Students: Two Analyses

27 September 2007 Thursday 7: 00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History

Aside from the pursuit of intellectual enlightenment, romantic relationships constitute an inevitable part of university life. Based on the anthropological research and fieldwork of two M. Phil. students in the Department of Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, this talk examines two aspects of romantic relationships among students, focusing on a historical perspective of how students have changed over the past 5-10 years. Lydia Siu's presentation focuses on how romantic relationships between Hong Kong students and mainland students are subtly guided by the political, economic and cultural environment. By exploring why local women remain so reluctant to date mainland men on campus, we look into Hong Kong-mainland relations today.  Brevis Chan discusses the paradoxes inherent in the consumption of internet pornography among university students. How does its consumption influence male-female relationships?  How does the internet used in this way alter human relations?

Siu Kit-wah, Lydia, and Chan Hing-yuen, Brevis, are M. Phil. students in the Dept. of Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.


THE HONG KONG ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY AND THE HONG KONG MUSEUM OF HISTORY

James Watson

VILLAGE GUARDS: LOCAL POLICE AND PROTECTION IN THE NEW TERRITORIES, 1898-1978

5 July 2007 Thursday 7: 00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History

James Watson is Fairbank Professor of Chinese Society and Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University.  Prof. Watson is an ethnographer who has spent over 30 years working in south China, primarily in villages (Guangdong, Jiangxi, and the Hong Kong region).  His research has focused on Chinese emigrants to London, ancestor worship and popular religion, family life and village organization, food systems, and the emergence of a post-socialist culture in the PRC.


THE HONG KONG ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY AND THE HONG KONG MUSEUM OF HISTORY

Alan Smart

SHEK KIP MEI AND THE FORGOTTEN FIRES
Political myth-making and colonial rule in Hong Kong

7 June 2007 Thursday 7: 00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History

One of the main pieces of evidence for colonial benevolence in Hong Kong was the massive public housing program.  A powerful legitimizing myth of response to a massive fire on Christmas Day 1953 became increasingly important between the 1966/1967 riots and the handover in 1997.  This talk will examine the nature of this myth, the forgotten fires, and the more complicated story of how public housing developed in Hong Kong.

Alan Smart is Professor at the Department of Anthropology, University of Calgary, and has been conducting field research in Hong Kong and China since 1982. His research has focused on urban issues, housing, foreign investment, and social change. He is the author of The Shek Kip Mei Myth: Squatters, fires and colonial rule in Hong Kong, 1950-1963 (Hong Kong University Press, 2006).


THE HONG KONG ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY AND THE HONG KONG MUSEUM OF HISTORY

Samuel L. Judkins

THE RE-EMERGENCE OF HONG KONG CUSTOMARY LAW

10 May 2007 Thursday 7: 00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History

Hong Kong has gone through extreme cultural and legal change in the course of its history. From its founding as a British colony, Chinese customary law was an accepted way to deal with many family law issues up until the early 1970s when new laws did away with this system. However, stories of its demise have been greatly exaggerated. This presentation focuses on the continuing role Chinese customary law is playing in mainstream Hong Kong today by examining the increasing number of cases involving it. The re-emergence of customary law in the courts since the late 1990s sheds light on the reshaping of identity in post-1997 Hong Kong and how traditional customs fit this new Chinese identity.

Samuel L. Judkins is an M.Phil. student, Dept. of Anthropology, CUHK. He has a B.A. from the State University of New York, Geneseo.


THE HONG KONG ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY AND THE HONG KONG MUSEUM OF HISTORY

Mary Ann O'Donnell

Landmarks of Identity
An Anthropological Journey Through the Cityscapes of Shenzhen

4 April 2007 Wednesday 7: 00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History

When Shenzhen residents go to the office or factory, buy a house, frequent a mall, or hang out in bars they do so in contrast to what they imagine--for better or worse--life in their hometown is.  But this feeling of being a "Shenzhener" is bittersweet, as this talk explores.  On the one hand, most enjoy the opportunities and material benefits of living in one of the fastest growing cities in the world.  On the other hand, all miss "home," where "human feelings are thick," and yearn for "culture," a sense of deep emplacement in history, which Shenzhen is seen to lack. This talk takes the audience on several walks through key Shenzhen landmarks, illuminating the symbolic meaning of Shenzhen places, underscoring the triumphs and challenges of creating a new city, and addressing the paradoxes of being a "Shenzhener."

Mary Ann O'Donnell has a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Rice University. She is Vice Principal, Green Oasis School, Shenzhen Branch and Research Associate, College of Arts, Shenzhen University. She has been active as an anthropologist, teacher, translator, photographer, and dramaturge.


THE HONG KONG ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY AND THE HONG KONG MUSEUM OF HISTORY

Prof. Gordon Mathews

Chungking Mansions
A World Center of "Low-End Globalization"

7 March 2007 Wednesday 7: 00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History

Chungking Mansions is widely known in Hong Kong as a place to get good Indian food. It is less widely known for the important role it plays in grassroots world trade. Chungking Mansions is the central meeting point for tens of thousands of traders passing to and from China and their developing-world home countries, and an important node on the global trade path of mobile phones and other goods. Chungking Mansions is also temporary home for numerous other sojourners, from budget-minded tourists to political asylum seekers to temporary workers. Chungking Mansions is Hong Kong's United Nations. In this talk, based on extended fieldwork and residence in Chungking Mansions from May 2006 on, Gordon Mathews explores the intricacies of Chungking Mansions, and the people who stay there, and considers what Chungking Mansions can teach us about globalization in the world today.

Gordon Mathews is a Professor in the Dept. of Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Vice Chairperson of the Hong Kong Anthropological Society.


THE HONG KONG ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY AND THE HONG KONG MUSEUM OF HISTORY

Dr. John Whelpton

Ethnic Politics in Nepal

8 Feb 2007 Thursday 7: 00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History

This talk will look at the recent upsurge of activism in Nepal, a country of enormous cultural and linguistic diversity but one in which, until recently, the state was officially Hindu and the education system aimed purely at assimilation of all citizens into a single Nepali-speaking community. The focus will be on the overlapping and contested ethnic boundaries themselves and on the practical difficulties of achieving a form of multiculturalism that will satisfy a majority of the country's people.

Dr. John Whelpton is a Native English Teacher at Baptist Lui Ming Choi Secondary School in Shatin and taught English in Nepal from 1972 to 1974 and has been involved in research into Nepalese history and contemporary politics for 25 years. His most recent book, A History of Nepal, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2005.


THE HONG KONG ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY AND THE HONG KONG MUSEUM OF HISTORY

Selina Chan and Graeme Lang

The revival of Wong Tai Sin Temples in Jinhua

24 Jan 2007 Wednesday 7: 00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History

This talk examines the revival of five Wong Tai Sin temples in Jinhua over the last two decades and investigates the roles played by overseas Chinese, intellectuals and officials.

The interaction of these different parties will enhance our understanding of how these temples were appropriated differently by the various parties, whether as religious centers, heritage sites or as sightseeing parks aimed at attracting domestic and international tourists.

Selina Ching Chan is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, and Associate Director of the Contemporary China Research Center at Hong Kong Shue Yan University and Graeme Lang is Associate Professor in the Department of Asian and International Studies at the City University of Hong Kong.

 
       
   
       

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