Archive 2011
     
             
     

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

An Anthropological Talk by Sealing Cheng

Human Trafficking: An Anthropological View

Wednesday 14 December 2011, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

In the last decade, "human trafficking" has become a major concern of governments, NGOs, and those who are concerned about human rights. This talk provides a brief history of human trafficking as a socio-political concern. It then proceeds to discuss how policies designed to stop human trafficking are implemented by the state in the U.S. and Asia, and how they impact people on the ground, including migrants and sex workers, in ways both positive and negative. The talk aims to provide a critical understanding of human trafficking by exploring how it intersects with the politics of immigration, ethnicity, and sexuality.  It also discusses how anthropologists can contribute to the understanding of trafficking through their on-the-ground ethnographic perspective, a perspective all too often lacking in most discussions of the issue.

Sealing Cheng is Associate Professor of Women's and Gender Studies, Wellesley College, USA. She is the author of On the Move for Love: Migrant Entertainers and the U.S. Military in South Korea (2010).


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

An Anthropological Talk by Paul O'Connor

Muslims in Hong Kong: Islam, Youth and the Chinese Metropolis

Thursday 10 November 2011, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Over 220,000 Muslims live and work in Hong Kong, encompassing a variety of ethnic backgrounds. Islam has long been a feature of the territory with Muslim traders and soldiers present during the Opium wars. Over a hundred and seventy years later, Islam remains a part of everyday life in the territory. Muslims find in Hong Kong an environment that may be challenging, particularly in terms of racial prejudice and its associated obstacles to work and education; however, Muslims also enjoy the freedom which Hong Kong delivers. In terms of religious belief and practice, Muslims encounter little to no prejudice in Hong Kong and value this tremendously.

This talk is based on research interviews with a collection of young Muslims at various schools throughout the territory. It also draws from historical analysis of the origins of Hong Kong's Islamic community and interviews with a diverse array of Muslims. This talk explores the daily ambiguity that a multiethnic group of young Muslims experience, and in particular, details the conflict that Muslims have with Chinese food, and the different ways young people decide what is safe and acceptable for them to eat.

Paul O'Connor received his PhD in Sociology studying Muslims in Hong Kong. He is currently writing a book on the everyday experiences of Muslims in the territory.


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

An Anthropological Talk by Tracey Lie-Dan Lu

How does the past shape the present?
The Impact of an Archaeological Site on its Contemporary Chinese Surroundings

Thursday 20 October 2011, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

It is commonly assumed that archaeological sites are not closely related to the world today and have little impact on people's lives. However, based on preliminary fieldwork at a Grottos, which is a UNESCO World Heritage in Gansu Province, PRC, it is apparent that the use and management of this archaeological site since 1979 has had significant impact on the local community in terms of economics, social structures and religious practice.

I have analyzed three villages for this project. The first village is located next to a heritage site called the Moon Spring, which has been closely associated with the Grottos. The second village is geographically near the Grottos. The last one is at the edge of a city for tourists to access to the Grottos, and is relatively far away from the Grottos and the Spring. Although the opening up of China, the development of tourism and globalization all have impacted the three villages, the economic and social structures of the villages significantly vary, and the variance is very much a result of the use and management of the Grottos and the Spring, as I will explore in this talk.

Tracey Lie-Dan Lu is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong specializing in archaeology and cultural heritage studies. She has written, among numerous other books and articles, the recent article "Some Issues on the Management of Archaeological Sites in Mainland China."


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

An Anthropological Talk by Gordon Mathews

Ghetto at the Center of the World: Chungking Mansions Revisited

Thursday 22 September 2011, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

This talk, based on Mathews' new book on Chungking Mansions, explores aspects of the building not touched upon in the author's previous talks to HKAS.  The talk will begin by going over the basic facts of the building and its African and South Asian traders, merchants, asylum seekers, and tourists, and then consider some more particular questions:

  • Who are the owners of Chungking Mansions, and how do they understand the building?
  • What is the hierarchy of guesthouses and restaurants in the building?
  • Why do half of traders in Chungking Mansions fail, and what are the keys to success for a trader?
  • When and how do merchants behave honestly and when and how do they cheat?
  • What do police tolerate in the building, and what do they not tolerate?
  • How does Islam, a moral glue of the building, operate in conjunction with Hong Kong tolerance, and how does it sometimes chafe against that tolerance?
  • How and why does Chungking Mansions "work" in being a peaceful site of globalization, and how is its globalization under threat?

Gordon Mathews is a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the author of "Ghetto at the Center of the World: Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong" (University of Chicago Press, 2011).


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

An Anthropological Talk by Joyce Lau

The Jane Goodall Story: From Africa to Hong Kong and Around the Globe

Wednesday 31 August 2011, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

In 1960, 26-year-old Jane Goodall started her groundbreaking study of wild chimpanzees in Tanzania. Her work would prove to be more successful than anyone could have possibly imagined. She would become known as "the woman who redefined man". As much as she loved her work, she decided to give up her career as a primatologist and became an activist some 20 years ago. Today, her work revolves around mobilizing action on behalf of not only chimpanzees, but of all animals, people and the environment. Her youth education program, "Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots", empowers young people to create positive change. In Hong Kong and across the globe, hundreds of thousands of Roots & Shoots members are taking action to address issues ranging from homelessness to countryside cleanups. The talk will look at the extraordinary life of Jane Goodall and the global movement she started.

Joyce Lau is a facilitator of the Jane Goodall Institute (Hong Kong). She supports Roots & Shoots members to engage with their community and make a difference through the various programs they set up.


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

An Anthropological Talk by Samuel Hung

Protecting Chinese White Dolphins in our Backyard

Wednesday 6 July 2011, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Since the Chek Lap Kok airport construction in the 1990s, the Chinese white dolphins have been extensively studied in Hong Kong. Much has been learnt about their population biology since then, and long-term monitoring studies revealed that the dolphin population has remained relatively stable in the past decade. However, with the upcoming waves of coastal development around Lantau Island, their future survival is seriously in doubt. In this lecture, the speaker will share his first-hand local experience of studying these magnificent creatures, and present the latest information on various aspects of this important member in our marine ecosystem. The attendees will also learn about the threats the dolphins are facing, as well as the latest research on how to conserve their living habitats through detailed habitat use study.

Samuel Hung Ka-Yiu has been studying the Chinese white dolphins and other marine mammals in Hong Kong and China since 1998. He currently serves as the Director of the Hong Kong Cetacean Research Project and the Chairman of the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society.


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

An Anthropological Talk by Avital Binah-Pollak

Tiger Parents or Little Emperors? Childhood and Parenthood in Contemporary Urban China

Wednesday 15 June 2011, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

In the course of the past three decades the Chinese government has been promoting a new discourse on childhood which highlights children's individualism and personal freedom. In contrast to the values promoted by the new discourse, in reality many of the old, traditional values persist. This gap derives in large part from the dominant role played during the early stages of child-rearing by grandparents. Grandparents tend to perpetuate traditional values and practices like obedience and lack of independence, and they tend to maintain a firm grip on the child's body. However, young parents, who also play important role in the process of child-rearing, tend to resist the grandparents' attitudes and practices. Thus, the early stages of child-rearing in contemporary China are a hotly contested domain, and my talk aims to explore the tensions and the complex range of dilemmas embodied in this domain.

Avital Binah-Pollak has a MA degree in anthropology from the University of Haifa, Israel and she is currently a PhD candidate at the CUHK.


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

Pink Dolphin Tour

9.30am, Saturday, 21 May 2011
Tung Chung, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

The HKAS is running a Pink Dolphin tour on Sat 21 May to fit in with our 6 July talk on 'Dolphins and Development' by Samuel Hung, Director of HK Dolphin Conservation Society (HKDCS).

Samuel will explain how development is affecting the lives of the local pink dolphins. You can also talk with other researchers on board as we look at the dolphins. You can take some lunch if you like.

The cost for adults is $170, while under 16s are $70. The prices include a small donation to HKDCS.

As this tour is quite popular, and as seating is limited, please write to us to as soon as possible to make your booking.


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

An Anthropological Talk by Astrid Chang

Internet Censorship and Nationalism in China

Wednesday 4 May 2011, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Most Chinese have overlooked the problem of internet censorship since the situation has already been a part of their taken-for-granted daily lives. But there is a group of people who have experienced both the domestic and overseas cyber-worlds who are well aware of China��s internet censorship. They are the informants in this ethnographic research, which seeks to understand how those who have lived outside China understand internet censorship within China in order to provide a useful glimpse into how nationalism and internationalism interact within a globalizing China. Though their perceptions vary, a paradoxical nationalism, defending a government they feel ashamed of was expressed repeatedly during my interviews. This talk argues that censorship contributes to a "paradoxical nationalism" in China today.

Astrid Chang is an M.Phil student in the Department of Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.


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

An Anthropological Talk by Ravindra Jain

Diaspora, Trans-nation, and Nation: Reflections from India

Tuesday 12 April 2011, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Lecture Theatre 4, Esther Lee Building, CUHK

Initially the definitions and suitability of the concept 'diaspora' are discussed. This is followed by an exposition of the notion of 'trans-nation'. Three dimensions of the contemporary diasporic phenomenon, as a case study of globalization, are outlined: markets, technology and networks. After elucidating the tension between trans-nation and nation in contemporary geo-political context, the discussion moves to the strength and weakness of conceptualizing and building into the analysis of diaspora, the dimension of nation and nationhood. The discourse is exemplified with reference to the Indian situation.

Ravindra Jain is Emeritus Fellow at University Grants Commission; National Fellow at Indian Council of Social Science Research; Tagore National Fellow in Cultural Studies, Ministry of Culture, Government of India; Chair, Indian National Confederation and Academy of Anthropologists.


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

An Anthropological Talk by Yaqian-Liang

Making Gold from Fungus: Trade and Consumption of the Medicinal Fungus Chongcao in China

Thursday 7 April 2011, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

The Lecture is conducted in English.

Since the 1990s, a Tibetan medicinal fungus (Cordyceps sinensis) that grows out of a moth caterpillar (Thitarodes sp.), known as chongcao (�ί�, short for �V�ήL��) in Chinese, has become an expensive commodity and a fad among the Han Chinese. Despite its debatable medical efficacy, its price sometimes exceeds that of gold so it is sometimes called "soft gold".

By examining the trade and consumption of chongcao, this research aims to explain how a once unfamiliar fungus has become a popular and valuable commodity. In particular, how do the large sociopolitical and historical forces shape value in the more marketized China of the post-reform era? The study reveals that economic exchanges other than market exchange, such as corruption, gift giving and banquets, still prevail, despite of three decades of free-market reform.

Yaqian-Liang is an M.Phil candidate of Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her research interests range from consumer culture to medicine to visual culture.

 


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

An Anthropological Talk by Yang Yang

African Traders in Guangzhou, China: Routes, Profits and Reasons

Wednesday 16 March 2011, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Guangdong Province in south China is the "world��s factory," from which all kinds of products are made that subsequently circulate around Latin America, Africa, and Asia, products that serve as the material basis for economic globalization from below. Most immediately apparent in Guangdong Province's capital, Guangzhou, is the massive presence of African traders. These traders purchase China-made counterfeit Nike shoes, Adidas T-shirts, Sony audio sets, and mobile phones in bulk, and ship by container or carry in their luggage these products to their home countries. The trade between China and Africa is largely informal, and often involves violation of copyrights and government policy. This trade forms a worldwide economic network conducted through individuals in their global linkages, circulations, and connections. In this paper, based on a year's fieldwork in Guangdong Province, The talk looks at the economic activities of these traders and the goods they buy: who these traders are, the global circulation of the goods they deal in, and the influence these traders and goods have locally--in China and in their home countries--and globally.

Yang Yang is currently completing her M.Phil. dissertation in anthropology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.


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

New Home

A Documentary Movie in the Sichuan Dialect & Putonghua, with English subtitles and explanation by Tammy Cheung

Thursday 24 February 2011, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Large scale reconstruction following the Sichuan Earthquake has turned destroyed villages into modern towns. The pace of the redevelopment is so great it is said to have taken a 10-year leap almost overnight. A camera crew pays a visit to a town not far from the epicenter and records the various problems faced by villagers following the disaster. Some villagers find themselves in new houses, while others wait for relocation and compensation.

Tammy Cheung's works as a filmmaker include Invisible Women (1999), Secondary School (2002), Rice Distribution (2002), Moving (2003), War (2003), July (2004), Speaking Up (2005), Village Middle School (2006) and Speaking Up 2 (2007). Her work has been presented in film festivals both internationally and at major cities in China.


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

Nancy Tong and Vivien Ng on their upcoming documentary film

Trailblazers in Habits:
The Maryknoll Sisters' pioneering work in Hong Kong

Wednesday 26 January 2011, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Hong Kong. 1922. Six Maryknoll Sisters in sweeping grey habits arrived by steamer from the U.S. to begin a mission. They had few resources other than their own faith, dedication and what can only be described as a divinely inspired ingenuity. But over the next 90 years, their expanded community established six thriving schools and a hospital. They committed themselves to education and healthcare, and basically laid the foundation for Hong Kong's social welfare system. During the early 1950s, hundreds of thousands of refugees were living in wooden fire-prone shanties. The Sisters built stone houses for them and taught the women marketable skills so they could help support their families. Trailblazers in Habits, a 60-minute documentary film scheduled to be completed in 2012 will trace the origin of the Sisters' work and highlight its enormous impact they have had in transforming Hong Kong from an underdeveloped, crowded city into a more civilized and humane place.

The director, Nancy Tong, has been making award-winning documentaries for more than 30 years. Her films have been on television around the world, and been screened in many international film festivals. She is currently Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Hong Kong's Journalism and Media Studies Center.
The Associate Producer, Vivien Ng, is Associate Professor of Women's Studies and Associate Dean for General Education at the University at Albany. She was President of the National Women's Studies Association in 1993-94, and is currently the Association's Treasurer. She was a Mellon Fellow at the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies in 1984-85 and a Rockefeller Fellow at Hunter College in 1990-91.

 
       
   
       

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