Archive 2009
     
             
     

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

Gordon Mathews

Asylum Seekers in Hong Kong: The Paradoxes of Lives Lived on Hold

17 December 2009 Thursday 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History

There are some 5000 South Asian and African asylum seekers in Hong Kong, a number that has been rapidly growing. Some asylum seekers are fleeing political, ethnic or religious persecution, while others seek a means to stay in Hong Kong and make a living. The UNHCR and the Hong Kong government struggle to distinguish between genuine asylum seekers and economic asylum seekers, but this is extremely difficult. Asylum seekers receive assistance from the Hong Kong government, but it is minimal, and so some work illegally. Asylum seekers may wait four or more years for their cases to be decided, a situation that benefits economic asylum seekers, who work, but harms genuine asylum seekers, who are often terrified of working, since they may be caught and sent home to face torture or death. The Hong Kong government is trying hard to be humane, but its policy hurts those it is most designed to help. Can this situation be remedied?

Gordon Mathews has been studying Chungking Mansions, and teaching a class of asylum seekers there, over the past three years; this talk is based on what he has found. He is a professor of anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.


THE HONG KONG ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY AND THE CONTEMPORARY CHINA RESEARCH CENTER

RELIGION IN CHINA: SPACE, MONEY, AND HERITAGE

3 December 2009 Thursday
2:00pm-6:00pm

Room 707, Library Complex, Hong Kong Shue Yan University

Co-organized by Contemporary China Research Center at Hong Kong Shue Yan University and Hong Kong Anthropological Society.

Section 1: Religious Space and Heritage 2p.m. - 3:30p.m.
Chair: Professor Liu Tik-sang
Associate Professor, Division of Humanities, University of Science and Technology.

2:00 p.m. - 2:45p.m.

Space and Redemption: a View Drawn from some Folk Religions in Contemporary Hebei
Yang Der-Ruey
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Nanjing University.

2:45 p.m. - 3: 30p.m.

The Discovery of Culture and the Legitimation of a Local Religious Festival
Hua Zhiya
Phd candidate, Department of Asian and International Studies, City University of Hong Kong.

3:30 p.m. - 3:45p.m.

Tea Break

Section 2: Marketization of Religion 3:45p.m. - 6p.m.

Chair: Professor Tan Chee Beng
Professor, Department of Anthropology, Chinese University of Hong Kong.

3:45 p.m. - 4:30p.m.

Temples as Enterprises

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

4:30p.m. - 5: 15p.m.

Where is the Religious Market? Preliminary Reflections Based on Field Research in China.
David A. Palmer
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Hong Kong.

5:15p.m. - 6.p.m.

Motivations, Rewards, and Markets: An Analysis of 'Religious Activity' in Chinese Societies
Graeme Lang

Head, Professor, Department of Asian and International Studies, City University of Hong Kong


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

Chen Yingjun

Maids in Shanghai

19 November 2009 Thursday 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History

In the last few years, China has become an attractive destination for Filipina maids, who can secure higher wages than their Chinese counterparts, and, indeed, the average local citizen. This phenomenon has been growing despite the official ban on individual private employment of foreigners in the country. Given the fact of Filipina maids' low social status as undocumented domestic helpers and their comparatively high financial status, even among many local people, their experiences in mainland China are different from those of Chinese maids and of Filipinas working in Hong Kong and elsewhere in the world. In this talk, she explores the respective situations of Chinese and Filipina maids in Shanghai, and compare the similarities and differences of their lives, employment and relationship with their employers in recent years.

Chen Yingjun is an M.Phil graduate in anthropology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.


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

Selina Chan

Food, Memories and Identities in Hong Kong

13 November 2009 Friday 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History

This talk examines how punchoi is remembered, popularized, and reinvented with different variations and embodied shifting meanings for the New Territories inhabitants as well as other Hong Kong people in changing socio-economic and political environments. The way in which punchoi has been politicized and commoditized will be studied to reveal the changing relationship between different groups of people - the New Territories inhabitants, the rest of Hong Kong people, and other Chinese as well as non-Chinese. I argue that punchoi has been imbued with multiple layers of significance, involving linkages between local and national, emigration and Chineseness, urbanization and rural heritage as well as decolonization and identity politics.

Dr. Selina Ching Chan is an Associate Professor at Sociology Department and Associate Director at the Contemporary China Research Center in Hong Kong Shue Yan University. Her research interests are kinship and lineage, colonialism and identities, religion and tourism, cultural heritage and collective memories.


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

Ju-chen Chen

Migrant Laborers in Beijing:
Social Divisions in Late Socialist China Past and Present

14 October 2009 Wednesday 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History

China has over one hundred million migrant laborers who have left their rural homes to work in cities. While migrant laborers are often seen as a homogenous group of poor and socially marginalized "peasants" and "outsiders," in reality they come from different places, choose diverse migration routes, and perform various jobs; they may never have worked the land. This presentation explores the personal dreams of migrant laborers, Beijing as it appears through the eyes of migrant laborers, the interactions of migrant laborers with others, and how migrant laborers allocate their earnings. Particularly, through examining the diverse and evolving family house building plans of migrant laborers, this presentation addresses wider issues concerning the role of migrant laborers in China's uneven urban-rural development and emerging social divisions.

Ju-chen Chen is Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She specializes in globalization, consumption and mass media, social divisions, and issues involving migrant laborers in China.


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

Graeme Lang

Energy and Culture: The Coming Reversal of Globalization Trends in China

17 September 2009 Thursday 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History

Increasing energy problems accompanying the 'peak-oil' period, along with problems in coal supply and resulting impacts on international trade and mass tourism will lead to re-localization of many forms of supply and exchange in China.   This will have many implications for cultural developments including education, worldviews, entertainment, and tourism, as well as for the reformation of cities.  Anthropologists and sociologists will explore and illuminate many of these processes in the coming decades, but will also need to address the ecological and resource reasons underlying these changes to fully understand and anticipate them.   In this talk, I explore these processes and problems, and speculate as to how they will affect China's future.

Graeme Lang is Professor and Head of the Department of Asian and International Studies at the City University of Hong Kong.  He has done extensive research on religion in China, and on China's environmental policies.  He is currently Vice-chairperson of the Hong Kong Anthropological Society.


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

Millie Creighton

The Korean Wave and Japanese Fandom: Transforming Historic tensions through Popular Culture

18 June 2009 Thursday 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History

This presentation looks at the popularity of the Korean Wave in Japan. It explores how the ethnic erotic economy shifted to Korean men, the intensive fandom of so-called middle-aged women over young male Korean stars, Japanese tourism to Korea to visit Winter Sonata drama sites, and Japanese engaged in Korean language learning. In exploring the recent popularity of Korea for Japanese, the presentation addresses larger issues concerning the relative impact of planned political interventions and popular culture in changing international relations, and women's attempts to invert gender hierarchies by challenging ethnic hierarchies. It addresses how this popular culture boom has begun to shift Japanese attitudes regarding historic tensions surrounding Japan-South Korean relations and towards resident Koreans in Japan.

Dr. Millie Creighton is an Asianist and Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. She has published extensively on Japanese popular culture, consumerism and minorities, as well as on Korean popular culture.


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

David Herold

Life at the Carnival: Netizens in China's Cyberspace

27 May 2009 Wednesday 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History

Our AGM will be held immediately following this talk.

The Chinese internet in recent times is noisy, chaotic, irreverent and critical of authority. It is a space in which mostly young users have fun, but where they also express their sentiments, thoughts, and criticisms of the system, the government, and the Chinese Communist Party. The CCP and the government are surprisingly tolerant of such criticism and even encourage netizens to make use of the internet to by-pass lower- level officials in order to reach the central government.

David Herold did his first undergraduate degree in Theology in Germany, then a double-major in Chinese and Social Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University, from which he also obtained his Ph.D. He lived in the PRC for over 9 years and has taught at Qinghua University. He has been a lecturer in the Department of Applied Sciences at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University since September 2007.


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

Lynne Nakano

Invisible Citizens: The Recent History of Unmarried Women in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai

30 April 2009 Thursday 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History

The talk explores how unmarried women find meaning and fulfillment in their lives in the three great East Asian cities of Tokyo, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Women in these three cities are marrying ever later in life. Women in Tokyo and Hong Kong marry on average at the age of 28, older than in many other places of the world including the United States. Shanghai women marry on average at the age of 27, the oldest average age of first marriage in the People's Republic of China outside of Hong Kong. Increasing numbers of women over the age of 25 remain unmarried in these cities. Yet in spite of their large numbers, and certain continued growth, this segment of the population is largely ignored by their governments and social institutions. The speaker argues that merely encouraging women to marry, the approach taken by governments, is not only unrealistic, but limits the potential of the unmarried to fully contribute to their societies. Many unmarried women, for example would like to care for and love children, but nurturing activities are discouraged or disallowed outside of the family unit. A more realistic and productive way forward would be to consider ways in which nurturing and intimate support may occur in social units outside of families. The speaker argues that societies need to accept the inadequacies of the nuclear family as the dominant social model and consider reframing the ways in which we form lasting and satisfying relationships with one another.

Lynne Nakano is Associate Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.


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

William Meacham

Rock Carvings in Hong Kong

2 April 2009 Thursday 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History

The speaker will describe the rock carvings in Hong Kong, which come from the Bronze Age, dating to about 1500 to 1700 B.C. and from the early historical period, whose dating is controversial. Also discussed will be the rock carvings in Macau and Zhu Hai, as well as the possible religious significance of these prehistoric monuments.

William Meacham has been affiliated with the Centre of Asian Studies since 1980, and was Chairman of the Hong Kong Archeological Society from 1985 to 1996. Among his many field projects, the largest was the 16-month survey and rescue excavation at Chek Lap Kok, prior to the construction of the new airport. His new book on the rock carvings is a revised and enlarged edition of an earlier work published in 1976.


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

Victor A. Vicente

Authenticity and Historical Imagination in Turkish Sufi Music

11 March 2009 Wednesday 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History

Despite a longstanding official ban, Sufi Islam is now resurgent in Turkey. Music, dance, and ritual associated with the famous 13th century saint Jelaleddin Rumi in particular have not only found state sponsorship, but are also used to stimulate tourism and to promote the image of a tolerant Turkey to a leery European Union. This presentation traces these recent developments and analyzes the debates over spiritual and musical authenticity that they have generated.

Victor A. Vicente is Assistant Professor of Music at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He specializes in the musical cultures of Turkey and the Middle East as well as of Portugal and the broader Lusophone world. His research is both historically and anthropologically grounded and involves the study of music and dance within such contexts as tourism, colonialism, and cross-cultural politics.


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

Joseph Bosco

Globalization and Sport: An Anthropological Analysis of the History
of the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens

4 March 2009 Wednesday 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History

Hong Kong has become famous among rugby fans over the past 30 years for an annual rugby tournament, the Hong Kong Sevens, which sells out the Hong Kong Stadium and attracts thousands of tourists. It is by far the most elaborate and popular stop of the International Rugby Board Sevens series. Why is Hong Kong so prominent? The talk will examine the history, rituals and meanings of the tournament, and show how the globalization of business has been essential to the rise of the tournament. The nationalism, gender play, and general carnival atmosphere of the tournament reflect the emerging values of the contemporary global order.

Joseph Bosco is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has done research in economic anthropology and on religion in Taiwan and South China. He has been a coach and manager for mini and colts rugby in Hong Kong as a member of the Flying Kukris Rugby Football Club.


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

Bernard Wong

Hong Kong Immigrants in North America

11 February 2009 Wednesday 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History

The number of immigrants coming from Hong Kong into the U.S. has increased since the implementation of the 1965 Immigration Law. Throughout the past four decades, many changes in the sending and receiving countries, the mother country and the world have taken place. The attitudes of the U.S. toward immigrants, minorities, the civil rights movement, U.S.-China relations, the restructuring of the U.S. economy, and globalization have affected the lives of Hong Kong immigrants, who have developed a number of adaptive survival strategies from participating in the existing Chinese ethnic economy in Chinatowns, to the building of new Chinatowns, to expanding and innovating this ethnic niche, to engaging in the global economy via Hong Kong and China. The talk will discuss how the Hong Kong immigrants have developed survival strategies in the changing world. While making the usual accommodations to the U.S., they have maintained their cultural identity via the policy of multiculturalism and use both their social, cultural and economic resources to shape their existence in U.S. society.

Bernard Wong is Professor of Anthropology at San Francisco State University.  He is the author of The Chinese in Silicon Valley: Globalization, Social Networks, and Ethnic Identity (2005). Being the Academic Visitor of the Department of Anthropology, he will deliver another talk on the Chinese in Silicon Valley on 13 February 2009 in the CUHK campus.


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

Chan Yuk Wah

17 years of border politics and tourism
in the China-Vietnam borderlands

15 January 2009 Thursday 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History

Borderland tourism has thrived in the China-Vietnam borderlands since the reopening of the China-Vietnam land border in 1991. Within the space of border tourism, there have been increasing contacts and interaction between Chinese and Vietnamese, which has brought about interesting social and cultural phenomena. The talk examines 3 layers of border politics: the politics of borderland, gender, and relations. Borderland politics refers to the anthropology of frontiers in which politics of nationality, identity, class and gender can be perceived and examined. Gender politics in the Vietnam-China borderlands entails the negotiation of love, sex, as well as historical memories between Chinese men and Vietnamese women. Constructing networks of relations has been considered essential for leading a successful borderland life. Relation politics played out within the social processes of relation-building manifests specific trans-border power dynamics, which in turn enshrines certain aspects of the wider China-Vietnam relationship.

Dr. Chan Yuk Wah is now teaching at the Department of Asian and International Studies in the City University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include overseas Chinese in Vietnam, Vietnamese diaspora, tourism and Vietnam-China relationships.

 
       
   
       

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