Archive 2018
     
             
     

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

A documentary film by Christiane Badgley

Guangzhou Dream Factory: Immigration, Globalization and the Pursuit of "Made in China" African Dreams

Friday 7 December 2018, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Immigration, globalization, Chinese goods and African dreams... Guangzhou Dream Factory weaves stories of Africans chasing alluring, yet elusive, "Made in China" dreams into a provocative critique of 21st century global capitalism. Guangzhou is southern China's booming commercial center. A Mecca of mass consumption, the city's vast international trading centers attract more than half a million Africans each year.

Most are doing business - in China to buy goods they'll sell back in Africa. But some choose to stay, and for these Africans, China looks like the new land of opportunity, a place where anything is possible. But is it? Following the trail of people and goods from Ghana to China and back to Africa, Guangzhou Dream Factory provides a rare glimpse of African aspirations in an age of globalized endless outsourcing.

Christiane Badgley is a director and editor of award-winning documentaries and multimedia work. Christiane began her career in the San Francisco Bay Area where she was a frequent collaborator of acclaimed African American director, Marlon Riggs (she worked with him until his death in 1994, completing his last film, Black Is... Black Ain't, posthumously).


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

An Anthropological Talk by Kimburley Choi

Making Home: A Visual Ethnography of Tai Hang Domestic Space

Friday 9 November 2018, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

In recent decades, Hong Kong has experienced significant changes in housing with concurrent economic development and cultural, societal, and demographic shifts. Ethnography of domestic architecture, material culture and practices is a fruitful way of analyzing values and power, and gender and kinship relations. This presentation uses a visual-ethnographic perspective to explore the dynamic processes of 'making' home in Tai Hang, a small area notable for its different types of residential buildings: late 19th-century Hakka stone houses, tong lau, and affluent high-rise residences. The presentation also introduces a website related to this research project, demonstrating the ways hypermedia representations afford engaged and critical readings of ethnographic knowledge as situated and multivocal, interpretive and constructed.

Dr. Kimburley Choi is Associate Professor in the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong. Her research employs contemporary debates in cultural studies and sociology to explore discursive-material arenas in relation to identity and power.


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

An Anthropological Talk by Luo Yu

Ethnic Branding and the Politics of Difference in Guizhou, Southwest China

Friday 12 October 2018, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

This talk examines cultural branding in contemporary China by focusing on how an ethnic minority group jockey for visibility in a multiethnic region. Based on 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork, I highlight the Tai-speaking Buyi (Bouyei) in southwest China's Guizhou Province, which treasures minority culture as heritage to battle against its relatively modest level of development. Historically more Sinicized in public perception, Buyi face a conundrum: they are not "exotic" enough compared to better-known groups (such as the Miao). Ethnic branding in the Buyi's case manifests this key paradox in their identity making, when they strive to align with state-building priorities and new market potentials, while negotiating their positioning vis-à-vis other ethnic groups. Rather than simply treating brands as cultural symbols or visual images, this talk unravels both an inward search for local uniqueness and an outward effort in cultural promotion, through which Buyi juggle with the politics of difference in the early 21st century. In an era when visual identity attracts much attention, brand making at the grassroots level captures the energy and ambivalence in the quotidian production of ethnicity.

Luo Yu is an assistant professor in the Department of Chinese and History at the City University of Hong Kong. Her publications appeared in Modern China and Verge: Global Studies in Asias (forthcoming), as well as a contribution to the Handbook on Ethnic Minorities in China.


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

An Anthropological Talk by Paul O'Connor & Julian Groves

Do you realise this is a Chinese School: Expat experiences of Enrolling in Chinese Schools in Hong Kong

Friday 14 September 2018, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

The authors examine the increasing complexity of Western expatriate identity in Hong Kong with respect to school choice. A central motif in the sociology of education is that white parents enjoy privilege and choice in schooling for their children, even when they are in a minority and lack cultural fluency in the host environment. We challenge this assumption with an examination of Caucasian parents attempting to enrol their children in the local government school system in post-colonial Hong Kong. Here, many white parents cannot compete with emerging wealthy Chinese elites in funding the high cost of their children's education, nor with their proficiency in language skills. Interviews with 18 Caucasian parents, supplemented with government and NGO statistics, reveal that their children are segregated both within the classroom and in the education system as a whole with little recourse for redress. The assumption of white privilege, we argue, has normalized the influence of emergent Chinese elites and neoliberal school policies, which affect school choice not just among whites, but poorer ethnic minorities too. We thus call for an interrogation of white privilege in the new world order, and draw attention to the new experiences, dilemmas and versions of whiteness that are emerging.

Paul O'Connor is Research Assistant Professor in Sociology and Social Policy at Lingnan University. Originally from the UK, he has lived in Hong Kong since 2001. He is a qualitative sociologist interested in ethnicity, religion, embodiment, and subculture.

Julian M. Groves is an Associate Professor of Social Science Education in the Division of Social Science at HKUST. Originally from the UK, he completed his doctoral studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has lived in Hong Kong for almost twenty years.


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

An Anthropological Talk by Ruslan Yusupov

The Ethics of Prohibition: Islam, Secularism and the Ban on Alcohol in a Chinese Muslim Town

Friday 6 July 2018, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

In early 2014, when Chinese social media publics saw pictures of Yunnanese Hui ethnic minority Muslims successfully banning the sale and consumption of alcohol on the scale of whole town, they condemned the practice as illegal and demanded an immediate intervention of the state. In this talk, I will first examine pious Hui Muslims' specific engagement with the divinely forbidden substance to understand the role religious prohibition plays in living the way of life called Islam. I will then turn to the online hysteria surrounding the ban to explore how and why such a form of life was rendered unintelligible to common sense and incommensurable with law. In doing so, I bring into focus some underlying assumptions about religion, taboo, danger and Islam that inform secular perceptions of religious practices such as this ban.

Ruslan Yusupov is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He spent two years doing fieldwork among the Chinese Hui Muslims and is currently finishing writing his thesis.


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

An Anthropological Talk by James Wright

Care Robots in Japan: From Development to Use

Friday 22 June 2018, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

What are care robots? Why does the Japanese government seem so determined to develop them? What happens when they are introduced into a real-life care environment? And how might such robots contribute to ongoing changes to care and welfare in Japan and beyond?

This talk will address these questions. Using case studies from my PhD fieldwork in Japan at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, and at a public elderly nursing home that was introducing three types of care robot, I will look at how Prime Minister Abe's drive to create a "robot society" is playing out as imagination becomes reality.

The talk will trace the line from government-level care robot policy, through to the robotics engineers tasked with implementing it, and finally to the elderly nursing homes where care robots are actually used.

James Wright is an Anthropology PhD candidate at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences, at the University of Hong Kong.


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

An Anthropological Talk by Gordon Mathews

The World In Guangzhou: Africans and Other Foreigners in South China's Global Marketplace

Friday 11 May 2018, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

This talk explores the relations between Africans and Arabs and other foreigners and the Chinese residents of Guangzhou, and looks at low-end globalization and business relations between Africans and Chinese, romantic relations between Africans and Chinese, and religious belief: "We believe in God but Chinese believe only in gold." It asks, "How can low-end globalization work between Africans and Chinese, groups that typically don't trust one another?" and it explores whether or not Guangzhou might represent a future multicultural and multi-ethnic China.

Gordon Mathews is Professor and Chair in the Anthropology Department at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Vice President of the Hong Kong Anthropological Society. This talk is based on his recent book of the talk's title (University of Chicago Press/University of Hong Kong Press, published in Dec. 2017).


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

An Anthropological Talk by Ellen Hertz

Digging Deep: Anthropological Encounters with the Zambian Copperbelt

Friday 20 April 2018, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

The Zambian Copperbelt is iconic territory, both for the extractive enterprises that have been active in this area for the past century, and for anthropologists interested in tracking the social, economic, and cultural transformations wrought by capitalism's incursions into the everyday lives of African citizens. This lecture sets out to track these parallel developments, identifying four key transformations that have affected the organization of economic and social life in this area, and led to the forging of innovative concepts and methods in anthropological theory. I hope thereby to demonstrate the value of fine-grained, ethnographic accounts of social transformation that avoid the pitfalls of simplistic dichotomies such as "tradition vs. modernity" or "urban vs. rural" or "inclusion" vs. "exclusion". Anthropology allows us to avoid deterministic accounts of social change while nonetheless acknowledging Marx's famous pronouncement: "Men make their own history ... but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past."

Ellen Hertz is professor of anthropology at the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. Her background in Chinese studies, law, and anthropology has translated into a long-standing interest in the complex and ambiguous mechanisms of bureaucratization and marketization that characterize contemporary modernity, and on the place of gender in these configurations.


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

An Anthropological Talk by Andrew Kipnis

The Five Economies of Contemporary Chinese Funerals

Friday 16 March 2018, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Economic activity in modern societies is typically identified by the circulation of money, and money itself is considered the most interchangeable or transferable) of objects. But ethnographic examinations of the ways people use and think about money reveal that not all types of money and monetary transactions are equivalent. This talk examines the economic transactions involved in contemporary urban mainland Chinese funerals. It groups these transactions into economic categories based upon the moral rules invoked by those participating in the transaction, the types of trust or distrust the transactions involve and the forms of legal ambiguity which enable and restrict the transactions. Five types of economy emerge: an inter-household gift economy, an intra-household inheritance economy, a state redistributive economy, a small scale petty-trader economy and a large scale state-bureaucratic/capitalist economy.

Andrew Kipnis is a professor 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 Michael Herzfeld

Gentrification and its Discontents

Friday 9 February 2018, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

The speaker has done extensive research on gentrification and eviction in Greece, Italy, and Thailand, and has followed research on these topics in China. He will speak about the ways in which gentrification and urban beautification have been used to justify the removal of poor and minority people from symbolically important areas of (especially) capital cities, and will discuss what the results of ethnographic observation portent for the future - a future in which, at present viewing, the neoliberal imposition of austerity and precarity would seem to suggest an increasingly heavy burden for the most disadvantaged segments of society worldwide. Finally, he will speak about the role that anthropology can play in urging an immediate, thoroughgoing, and unsparing critique of practices that ultimately pose an existential threat to human security in the most literal meaning of that term.

Michael Herzfeld is the Ernest E. Monrad Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University.


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

An Anthropological Talk by Mark Stevenson

Tibetan Ritual Art and the Holiness of Coordination

Friday 19 January 2018, 7:00pm
Hong Kong Museum of History
Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Using photographs and notes taken in 1991 during the construction of a Tibetan butter-sculpture at Rongwo Monastery, Qinghai province, this presentation will share some thoughts on the meaning of artists' coordination in the production of ritual art. Known as 'The Offering of the Fifteenth,' and made for the monastery's prayer gathering on the fifteenth day or full moon of the New Year (losar), it is more strictly speaking an especially elaborate form of torma, or ritual offering cake. This presentation will focus on the days preceding the arrival of New Year, and the four artists who come together to model the butter ornaments which adorn the offering cake tableau. Referring to a model of intersubjective communication first applied by Alfred Schutz to music, three qualities are found to derive from the artists' coordination when applied within a context of ritual fashioning (mutual guidance, mutual awareness, mutual reflection). These qualities are described, and coordination is also found to contribute to sacralising the torma.

Dr Mark Stevenson (Adjunct Associate Professor, CUHK; Honorary Fellow, Victoria University) is a social anthropologist whose fieldwork focuses on interpreting transformations in contemporary visual culture taking shape in the northeast Tibetan region of Amdo Rebkong (Huangnan, Qinghai).

 

 
       
   
       

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