Archive 2016
     
             
     

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

An Anthropological Talk by Jermaine R. Gordon-Mizusawa

When the Sun Sets in the Land of the Rising Sun: Psychoanalytic Theory and Sexual Behavior in Japan

Thursday 8 December 2016, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Information on sex in Japan especially in the media is conflicting and contradictory. One image is sexualized with soaplands, enjo-kosai or compensated dating, and erotic manga; while another is of sexual repression. In 2008, Japan Today reported the lowest in frequency of weekly sex (34%) and sexual satisfaction (15%). The Guardian's Abigail Haworth in 2013 alarmingly claimed that young people in Japan have stopped having sex altogether, and Business Insider (2015) characterized Japan as experiencing "celebacy syndrome". However, a BBC "Sex in Japan" documentary in 2008, and in 2015 a series of "special reports" on JK (Josei Culture or compensated dating with adolescent girls) by VICE News and reports in the Japan Times about "high school walking" say otherwise.

Mr. GORDON-MIZUSAWA provides an anthropological and psychological analysis of sexual behavior in Japan by examining over 10 years of ethnographic interview data collected by the speaker, focusing particularly on first sexual experiences and subsequent behavior. He also looks at how Western media and academia portray sexual behavior in Japan and explores the meaning of "virginity" as a culture-bound phenomenon. Audience members will also participate in interactive activities during the talk.

Jermaine R. Gordon-Mizusawa is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His reseach interests include first-sexual experience and sexual behavior in Japan and East Asia using person-centered ethnography, psychoanalytic interview techniques and psychoanalytic theory. He is also interested in child and human development.


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

An Anthropological Talk by Huwy-min Lucia Liu

To Cry or Not to Cry: Grieving Tears in Contemporary Shanghai Funerals

Thursday 17 November 2016, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Anthropologists working on Chinese societies often treat tears of grief within the death ritual as only of minor importance if not outright irrelevant. One reason is because of the long-held importance of ritualized weeping. Out of this cultural mode, at their best, tears of grief in funerals are taken as just "empty" things that have no meaning beyond the following of convention to show filial piety. At their worst, they are taken as signs of "feudalism." In this talk, Liu will discuss how she studies grieving tears in contemporary Shanghai funerals. She will recount several "tearful" ethnographic stories, explain when and how people should cry or should not cry in contemporary Shanghai funerals, and what the consequences are when people follow different ways of regulating tears.

Huwy-min Lucia Liu is a cultural anthropologist working as an Assistant Professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Her current research explores, both historically and ethnographically, changing modes of governance and subject formation in China through an indepth study of the Shanghai funeral industry in the 20th and 21st centuries.


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

An Anthropological Talk by Leo Pang

Make it look Nice, Make it Trustworthy: Ecological Farmers in Farmers Markets in Shanghai

Wednesday 5 October 2016, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

In the face of nation-wide social distrust due to widespread concern about food safety in China, Mr. Pang sheds light on the relationship between the ecological farmers ("eco farmers") and customers at farmers markets in Shanghai in an era where an abundance of food choices is available to consumers. While ecological food has yet to catch on owing to the high price of ecological produce compared to that of conventional produce and lack of certification, the eco farmers' efforts to grow safe and healthy produce have been welcomed by the educated urban middleclass. Pang outlines the strategies that eco farmers use to gain the trust of and appeal to these educated, affluent consumers who are willing to pay the higher prices for the produce at farmers' markets, and how these strategies may conflict with the farmers' individual ethos.

Leo Pang is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at SOAS (The School of Oriental and African Studies), University of London. This talk is based on his PhD thesis research.


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

An Anthropological Talk by Lai Wo

Intimating Vulnerabilities: Gender, Power & Belonging in Wan Chai's Bars

Thursday 8 September 2016, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Wan Chai is best known for its portrayal in The World of Suzie Wong as an area of oriental exoticism and sexual availability. Anchored in a legacy of colonial-era brothels and established as a site of R&R for the US navy, Wan Chai's bar district has come to represent a western hypermasculine space against the backdrop of commercial sex. Currently, Hong Kong's role as a financial hub has attracted more entrepreneurial individuals to the drinking district, such as western business expats and Southeast Asian female migrants. The convergence of these groups has led to an array of intimate relationships that span a wide spectrum of transactional exchanges. Drawing from 9 months of ethnographic fieldwork, this talk will discuss how gendered relations of power and belonging outline the relationships forged in Wan Chai's bars.

Lai WO is pursuing an MPhil in 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 David Tong

At the edge of sleep: Insomnia, Time and Social Lives in Hong Kong

Thursday 7 July 2016, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

We all sleep; sleep is also commonly understood as an innate and private behavior devoid of socialization. Ethnographic studies of sleep in different societies however reveal its cultural variations. Together they join the force in questioning the 8 hours sleep, which is commonly naturalized and mythicized in post-industrial societies. Such a conceptual turn further invites us to reconsider the contemporary experiences of insomnia, which affects at least 1/10 of Hong Kong population. How is our distress over the loss of sleep exacerbated by the allocation of sleep in our society? Being at the edge of sleep, insomnia does not only entail individual distress, but further the social and temporal misalignment with the society. Yet in the process of mediating such misalignment, we will also discuss how people involve in the alternative ways of everyday life.

David Tong is currently an M.Phil. research student in the Department of Anthropology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His thesis research focuses on sleep and insomnia in Hong Kong.


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

An Anthropological Talk by Martin Boewe

Utopian Communities: Making better worlds

Thursday 2 June 2016, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

In the year of the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More's classic Utopia, this talk presents three utopian communities and their efforts of making better worlds: 1. Lifechanyuan in China, which has attempted to promote free-love and communism as a short-cut to heaven but was finally closed down by the state, 2. Christiania in Denmark, a political community standing for consensus democracy, the fight for freedom and urban space for all, a massive market for hashish, and a counter-cultural entertainment experience, and 3. Damanhur, an Italian esoteric community, whose members see themselves as warriors on a mission to rescue humankind.

All these utopian communities act as distorted mirrors of their societies; they are not just fictional fantasies of their founders. This research connects the, at times, extremely bizarre beliefs in utopian communities with counter-cultural opposition to the dominating paradigms in different societies.

Martin Boewe is a PhD candidate at the Department of Anthropology, CUHK.


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

An Anthropological Talk by Mukta Das and Thirupathi Nachiappan

Indian-ness in the Pearl River Delta: Hosting and hospitality in Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau

Wednesday 11 May 2016, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Indians are a small minority in the Pearl River Delta, approximately 60,000 in a population of 57 million. Many come and go, travelling and sojourning between the delta's main cities.

In a time of transformations in socio-political identities and diversity management, and of history making involving the Delta's Chinese communities, Indians find themselves on shifting sands as they pursue meaningful lives. Meanwhile they are also enmeshed in varying, competing subjectivities and strategies. Analysing this tableau through the lens of hospitality and indulging in Indian food shows how these forces criss-cross, reinforce and confound one another.

Here we narrow in on Tamil hosts and Tamil foods in Hong Kong and emerge identities under both negotiation and fortification.

Mukta Das is a PhD Candidate at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) University of London. Thirupathi Nachiappan is MBA, President of the Hong Kong Tamil Cultural Association.


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

An Anthropological Talk by Edwin Schmitt

Environmental Consciousness in Western China

Thursday 21 April 2016, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

As with many places in the world, it is commonly assumed that environmentalism in China is associated with middle class values. By drawing from many years of ethnographic research and a social survey of 246 households, it becomes apparent that a so-called environmental consciousness in Chengdu, China is not the exclusive domain of the well-off. This lecture will examine both environmental perceptions and actions to formulate a more nuanced understanding of how urban residents in Chengdu are engaging with the non-human world in their everyday lives.

Edwin Schmitt is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His past research interests included commodification of agriculture, linkages between agricultural and religious systems, ethnic tourism and hydropower development in Southwest China. For his dissertation research he is currently conducting research on environmental consciousness in Chengdu.


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

An Anthropological Talk by Lam Wencheong

Formation of the Iron Market System in Early China: A case study of the capital area of the Qin and Han Dynasties

Wednesday 16 March 2016, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

The market system played a key role in the formation of the imperial economy in the early Chinese Empire. Previous scholarship usually paid most attention to prestige goods in this regard, giving a good, albeit partial description of the market system. Putting in the anthropological discourse of market exchange, this presentation explores the production and distribution of iron objects - one major type of daily-use items - in the Guanzhong basin in order to better understand the formation processes of the iron economy and its contribution to state finances. This talk argues that, during the Qin period, the iron market system was still less developed and circulated nearby the capital area, whereas a more systematic market system developed during the Han period. Alongside the development of the cast iron industry, the distribution presents a more ubiquitous pattern, indicating that a full-fledged market system finally took shape during this critical period.

Lam Wencheong is an assistant professor of anthropological archaeology in the Department of Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research currently focuses on the economic system and social development during the Chinese Bronze Age and Han Empire.


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

An Anthropological Talk by Chen Ju-chen

Keep Catwalking: Education and Beauty Pageants of Filipino Migrant Workers in Hong Kong

Thursday 25 February 2016, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Domestic helpers in Hong Kong are often homogenized, exoticized, and stigmatized as people who live without purpose beyond remitting money home. Ethnographic research shows that, on Sundays, foreign domestic helpers often actively juggle personal chores, association board meetings, birthday parties, church volunteer work, and beauty pageants. This talk addresses a puzzling phenomenon: the motivation behind active participation in costly and time-consuming beauty pageants and, therefore, getting little rest on the designated "rest days." Focusing on beauty pageant participations, this talk argues that similarly baffling individual aspirations - such as college education and working overseas as a maid - need to be understood within a much broader context of the Philippine's class structure, colonial cultural legacy, discourse of modernization and global capitalist institutions.

Chen Ju-chen is a lecturer 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 Graeme Lang

Imaging Heaven and Hell: Social Origins and Impacts of Afterlife Imagery

Thursday 14 January 2016, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Most religions include beliefs about the survival of humans in some form after death, and claim that these 'afterlife' visions came from revelations or spiritual adventures. But visions of the afterlife are often influenced by features of the societies in which they were produced, reflecting the lifestyles and powers of kings and aristocrats, relations between men and women, and conflicts between believers and unbelievers.  Afterlife features can also be used to justify the same features in contemporary societies (for example, in regard to the status of women). Those who reject such features may reject these conceptions of the afterlife. The talk will illustrate some of these social influences on afterlife imagery with examples from various religions and cultures, concluding with some afterlife imagery from Chinese societies.

Graeme Lang, now retired, was a professor in the Department of Asian and International Studies at City University of Hong Kong, where he taught from 1990-2014.  His books include The Rise of a Refugee God (1993), co-authored with Lars Ragvald, Social Scientific Studies of Religion in China (2011), co-edited with Fenggang Yang, and Building Temples in China (2015), co-authored with Selina Ching Chan.

 
       
   
       

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