Past Events 2013-14

Translating Chinese Masculinities: Chinese Men in Global Contexts

Translating Chinese Masculinities: Chinese Men in Global Contexts
Dates: 12-13 December 2014
Venue: Arts Academic Conference Room, Room 436, 4/F, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
Sponsors: School of Chinese, the University of Hong Kong and the British Academy

The main purpose of the conference is to examine depictions and practices of contemporary Chinese masculinities beyond China’s borders. It aims to formulate new theorisations of Chinese masculinities that take account of the reshapings of Chinese masculinities in foreign settings. Through its focus on developing innovative interdisciplinary methodologies and conceptual frameworks, the conference will make a theoretical contribution to the field of men and masculinities that will go beyond existing cultural histories of Chinese masculinities to develop a critique of dominant Anglo-American models of masculinity. Through the conference and a subsequent edited volume, the participants will forge new understandings of Chinese men and masculinities in differing global contexts.

Day 1: 12 December 2014 (Friday)

9:30 – 10:00: Welcome and book launch

10:00–10:20: Tea break

Session 1 Masculinity and National Difference (Chair: Lucas Klein)

10:20 – 10:40: “Narrating White Masculinity in Rising China,” James Farrer (Sophia University)

10:40 – 11:00: “Negotiating Chinese Diasporic Identities: Sexual Adventures, Transnational Masculinity, and the Search for Homeland,” Wei Wei (East China Normal University)

11:00  – 11:20: “Masculine Persona, Politics and Negotiating Chinese Migrant Subjectivity in Japan, ” Jamie Coates (University of Sheffield)
11:20  – 11:40: Discussion

12:00 – 1:30:  Lunch (Robert Black College)

Session 2  Negotiating Manhood in Hong Kong and Taiwan (Chair: Daniel Vukovich)

2:00 – 2:20: “To Be a Hong Kong Man is to Be a Feminized Man: Negotiating Manhood and Nationhood in the 1990s Hong Kong,” Dixon Heung-wah Wong (HKU), Yvonne Hoi-yan Yau (Lingnan University), Karin Ling-fung Chau (HKU)

2:20 – 2:40: “Between the Lyrics: Transformations in Chinese Masculinities as Reflected in Hong Kong and Taiwan’s Popular Music, ” Catherine S. Chan (HKBU), Kelvin Yu-hin Ho (HKBU)

2:40  – 3:00: “Tasting Food, Tasting Nostalgia: Cai Lan’s ‘Culinary Masculinity,’” Jin Feng (Grinnell College)
3:00  – 3:20: “”Don’t Dress Like a Xiaojie—Negotiating Gender, Class and Heterosexual Sex in Sex Tourism among Taiwanese Men,” Mei-hua Chen (National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan)

3:20  – 3:40: Discussion

3:40  – 4:00: Tea break
Session 3 Chinese Masculinities in the West (Chair: Travis Kong)

4:00  – 4:20: “Diasporic Chinese Masculinities and the Rise of China: Professional Chinese Men in the UK,” Derek Hird (University of Westminster)

4:20  – 4:40: “Chimerican” Men in Generational Perspective: Gary Locke, Jerry Yang, and Jeremy Lin,” Staci Ford (HKU)

4:40  – 5:00: “‘North American Despicable Man’: Race, Class, Sexuality and the (Re)making of Chinese Masculinities  in the United States,” Xia Zhang (Manhattanville College)

5:00  – 5:20: Discussion

End of first day

Day 2 13 December 2014 (Saturday)

Session 4 Transnational Chinese Masculinities in Film and TV (Chair: Chris Berry)

9:30  – 9:50: “Transnational Chinese Masculinity in Film Representation,” Sheldon Lu (University of California at Davis)

9:50 – 10:10 am: “Cosmopolitanism with Chinese Characteristics: Transnational Male Images in Chinese TV Dramas,” Geng Song (HKU)

10:10  – 10:30: “Chinese Masculinities in Contemporary European Crime Television Series,” Arnhilt Johanna Hoefle (University of California at Berkeley)

10:30  – 10:50: Discussion

10:50  – 11:10: Tea break

Session 5 Travel and Transnational Subjectivity: Masculinities in Literature (Chair: Sheldon Lu)

11:10 – 11:30: “From Island to Island: Kim Chew Ng and the Figurations of Transnational Chinese Masculinity,” Carlos Rojas (Duke University)

11:30 – 11:50: “Imagining Chinese Masculinities in Anglophone Travel Writings on Yunnna-Burma Borderlands,” Jie Guo (University of South Carolina)

11:50 – 12:10: “Narrative of Remasculization in Ha Jin’s A Free Life,” Su Lezhou (Beijing Foreign Studies University)

12:10 – 12:30: Discussion

12:30  – 2:00:  Lunch

Session 6 Manhood, Nationhood and Fatherhood (Chair: Kam Louie)

2:00  – 2:20: “Breadwinner Overseas or Caregiver at Home? Ideas about Child Care among Chinese Migrant Fathers,” Miriam Driessen (University of Oxford)

2:20  – 2:40: “Chinese Putin,” Svetlana Ilinskaya and Haiping Liu (CUHK)

2:40  – 3:00: “Idealising Fatherhood through Transcultural Media Representation,” Song Lin (CUHK)

3:00  – 3:20: Discussion

3:20  – 3:40: Tea break

3:50  – 4:50: Roundtable – Crossing academic borders:  Do ‘transnational’ masculinities require ‘transdisciplinary’ research methods? (Moderator: Derek Hird)

Kam Louie
Chris Berry
James Farrer
Dixon Wong

6:30pm: Conference dinner (Victoria Harbour Restaurant, Westwood Plaza)


Monstrosity and the Birth of Chinese Cultural Identity during the Song-Yuan-Ming Period

School of Chinese Manuscript Workshop for Professorial Staff

Monstrosity and the Birth of Chinese Cultural Identity during the Song-Yuan-Ming Period
Dr Isaac Yue (HKU)

Date and Time: December 11, 2014 (Thursday); 4:00-6:00pm
Venue: Room 730, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
Commentator: Professor Stephen H. West (Arizona State University)
Moderator: Professor Shu-mei Shih (HKU)

Abstract: This study considers the inseparable relationship between the development of the concept of cultural identity by the Han ethnic and their conceptualization of otherness throughout the Song-Yuan-Ming period, and charts society’s changing perception of this relationship through the representation of monstrosity in literature.

Isaac Yue is Assistant Professor in the School of Chinese at the University of Hong Kong. He writes bilingually and has published on the topics of literature, culture, and identity in such journals as Ming StudiesMing-Qing Studies, and the Journal of Oriental Studies. Aside from the Scribes of Gastronomy: Representations of Food and Drink in Imperial Chinese Literature which he co-edited with Siufu Tang, he is also the author of two upcoming monographs:Culture and/as/vs the Text: Perspectives on Late Victorian Literature and its Chinese Translations (NTUP, 2015) andForeignness, Monstrosity, and the Formation of Chinese Cultural Identity during the Song-Yuan-Ming Period (UWP, 2015).

All are welcome

Screening Shanghai:Public Screens and Public Space

2014/2015 School of Chinese Seminar Series

Screening Shanghai:Public Screens and Public Space
Professor Chris Berry ( King’s College, University of London )

Date and Time: December 11, 2014 (Thursday); 11:00am-12:30pm
Venue: Room 730, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

Abstract: How are moving image screens in public spaces participating in the transformation of public culture under neoliberalism? This talk examines the functions of public screens at Shanghai sites such as the Wujiaochang shopping district, the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, and the Shanghai South Railway Station. While some scholars have argued that public culture is now centred on cyberspace and the neoliberal city is generic sprawl, recent events in Hong Kong, Taipei, Cairo, and other major cities around the world have proved this wrong and demonstrated that control over urban public space and remain crucial. This talk argues that the study of public screen culture in Shanghai enables us to understand the both the wider and the specifically Chinese neoliberal vision for urban public life as an individualized culture of competitive material aspiration that is redundantly engineered to block the development of collective democratic participation.

Chris Berry is Professor of Film Studies at King’s College London. His work centres on screen culture in the Chinese-speaking world and East Asia. Publications include: (edited with Janet Harbord and Rachel Moore), Public Space, Media Space (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013); (edited with Lu Xinyu and Lisa Rofel), The New Chinese Documentary Film Movement: For the Public Record (Hong Kong UP, 2010); and (edited with Kim Soyoung and Lynn Spigel), Electronic Elsewheres: Media, Technology, and Social Space (Minnesota UP, 2010), and (authored with Mary Farquhar) Cinema and the National: China on Screen (Columbia and Hong Kong Ups, 2006).

All are welcome!

Look, Smell, Listen: Perceptual Mapping in Erlang Plays

Message from School of Chinese

School of Chinese Distinguished Lecture Series

Look, Smell, Listen: Perceptual Mapping in Erlang Plays
Professor Stephen H. West

Date and Time: December 10, 2014 (Wednesday); 4:00-6:00pm
Venue: CPD-LG34, Centennial Campus, HKU
Moderator: Professor Shu-mei Shih (HKU)

Abstract: This paper investigates a Ming court play, The Divinity Èrláng Locks Away the Great Sage Equal to Heaven (二郎神鎖齊天大聖), and explores how sensations of sound, smell, and sight define natural communities of demons that are place specific, and how these same perceptual sensations signal the crossing of boundaries that are meant to segregate demons and grant them territorial autonomy. The processes of quelling of these aggressive demons have a historical lineage in folk myth and local cults, and the plays reflect the ways in which the Chinese state controlled local cults by incorporating them into state-sanctioned religious ritual, and appropriating their local power for state interests.

Professor Stephen H. West Foundation Professor of Chinese at Arizona State University and former head of the Chinese department there, is one of the most renowned scholars of premodern Chinese literature.   Before joining Arizona State University, Professor West was the Louis Agassiz Professor of Chinese at the University of California, Berkeley, where he also served as Executive Director of the Inter-University Board of Chinese Language Studies. His many books include Vaudeville and Narrative: Aspects of Chin Theater, Chinese Theater 1100-1450: A Source Book, and The Moon and the Zither: Wang Shifu’s Story of the Western Wing, among others.

All are welcome

文學研究的參照性問題On Establishing Reference Systems in Literary Studies

2014/2015 School of Chinese Seminar 中文學院學術講座

On Establishing Reference Systems in Literary Studies

Professor Cheng Guangwei 程光煒 教授

Date and Time: November 28, 2014 (Friday); 5:30-6:45pm
Venue: Room 730, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
Language: Putonghua

Abstract: Establishing “reference systems” is important for contemporary Chinese literary studies. A reference system would enable us to understand the historical significance of a literary work in a relatively objective way, and to formulate research questions from this system. Yet this frame of reference does not come from the author of a text. Rather, the researcher has to discover it through his/her in-depth study. A reference system is not established through one’s pre-assumed ideas, or preferred research data. Neither is it built upon one’s favored viewpoint. It requires one to challenge one’s usual research habits, to examine one’s viewpoint, and to respect alternative interpretations and views to which one does not quite subscribe.


Cheng Guangwei is Professor in the Faculty of Arts at the Renmin University of China. He is the vice chairperson of the Association of Contemporary Chinese Literary Studies, and has published 14 books and more than 200 articles on modern and contemporary Chinese literature.


All are welcome


美的頹敗和文藝的復興——高行健、劉再復對談An Open Dialogue between Gao Xingjian and Liu Zaifu

Photo albums of An Open Dialogue between Gao Xingjian and Liu Zaifu

Soundtrack (Duration 01:49:10)

Change of venue:
Due to overwhelming demand, this event has been moved to the Grand Hall of Lee Shau Kee Lecture Centre and the registration link has been reopened. If you have already successfully registered previously, there is no need to reregister.
Please arrive at the venue 15 minutes earlier with a printed copy of the confirmation notice of online registration.


Event Details

The School of Chinese is hosting a public lecture on October 28, 2014.
Details of the event are as follows:
Title: An Open Dialogue between Gao Xingjian and Liu Zaifu
Speaker: Gao Xingjian and Liu Zaifu
Date: October 28, 2014 (Tuesday)
Time: 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Venue: The Grand Hall, Lee Shau Kee Lecture Centre, Centennial Campus
Language: Putonghua

日期:2014年10月28日 (星期二)

Registration Instruction

Registration is open from 09/09/2014 00:00(HKT) to 27/10/2014 00:00(HKT) on a first-come-first-served basis. The registration quota for this event is 900.

Contact Information
For further information, please visit:

Should you have any enquiries, please feel free to contact Gary Hui by email at

明萬曆筆記中奇聞異事的記錄動機The Motivation behind Recording Strange Events and Extraordinary Affairs in Miscellaneous Notes of the Ming Dynasty’s Wanli Period

2014/2015 School of Chinese Research Student Seminar


The Motivation behind Recording Strange Events and Extraordinary Affairs in Miscellaneous Notes of the Ming Dynasty’s Wanli Period

陳剛 (Mr. Chen Gang)

October 10, 2014 (Friday); 5:30pm-6:45pm;
Room 730, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
Language: Mandarin

中國傳統儒家觀念以為,“子不語怪力亂神”。然而在明萬曆筆記中,卻記載了大量的奇聞異事、神怪之流。為了調整與正統文化之間的矛盾關係,筆記的作者與評論 者往往會在序跋中對“常”與“奇”之間的關係加以解釋言說:他們首先對“子不語”的傳統論調加以駁正,強調“子不語”的真正內涵並非“孔子絕對不說”;其 次認為,“常”與“奇”都是客觀存在的現實,是“理”或“道”這一終極概念的兩端,二者相倚相生、互為補足;再次,“常”、“奇”之間也並非截然對立,而 是相互一致,乃至可以彼此轉化。通過二者的相互對比與突顯,萬曆時人發掘出“奇”的以下功能:對“道”與“常”的認識輔助功能、博物功能、審美娛樂功能, 這也成為他們對“奇”進行言說與記錄的有力依據。

From the traditional Chinese Confucian perspective, the super-natural topics should not be mentioned in a meaningful discourse. However, numerous strange events, extraordinary affairs, and even gods and spirits, are documented in miscellaneous notes of the Ming dynasty’s Wanli period (1573-1620). To comprise the contradiction between these heterodox elements with the orthodox culture, the writers and commentators always offered detailed explanations on the relationship between the “normal” and the “strangeness” in their prefaces and postscripts. They argued with the conventional view, and pointed out that as objective existence, the normal and the strangeness embodied the opposing extremes of the concept of “Li” (理) or “Dao” (道). From their point of view, the normal and the strangeness are not only interdependent on each other, but also transformable to each other. By comparing the complicated relationship between the normal and the strangeness, literati of the Wanli period explored numerous functions of the “strangeness”, including facilitating the understanding of the “Li” and “normal,” broadening knowledge, and providing aesthetic entertainment. These functions of the strangeness also served as a convincing basis for the literati to document the “strangeness” in their works.



吳梅村〈琵琶行〉新論A New Interpretation of Wu Meicun’s “Pipa xing”

2014/2015 School of Chinese Seminar





由夜聽琵琶而及明崇禎朝覆亡之痛史,〈琵琶行〉乃吳梅村「史詩」之大手筆。本講先探論梅村此詩與唐白居易同題名篇〈琵琶行〉之異同,指出梅村此詩的成就實已超過白詩。繼而剖析詩中明季史事的敘寫如何與音樂演奏、隱喻 (metaphor) 互為表裡,巧妙無比,值得仔細尋味。再從文化史的角度思索明社既屋以後,江南一帶「名園」的存在意義以及明遺民遺老的生命境況。

A New Interpretation of Wu Meicun’s “Pipa xing”

Speaker: Lawrence C.H. Yim (Research Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica; Visiting Professor in the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, CUHK)

Date and Time: October 6, 2014 Monday; 5:30-6:45pm
Venue: Room 730, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus
Language: Putonghua

Abstract: “Pipa sing”, which depicts listening to pipa music at night and then touches upon the tragic downfall of the Ming Dynasty, is an “epic” masterpiece by Wu Meicun (1609-1671), a well-acclaimed poet of late Ming/early Qing Dynasty. This talk will first compare it with the same-titled work by the Tang Dynasty poet Bai Juyi (772–846), arguing that Wu’s version reaches a higher aesthetic level than Bai’s. It will then analyze how the poem’s historical narrative, musical performance, and metaphors ingeniously complement each other. Finally, it will examine the meaning of the “famous gardens” in Jiangnan region, and the lives of the Ming loyalists from the perspective of cultural history.

A New Interpretation of Wu Meicun's


Chinese Cultural Knowledge Contest 2014

Organized by CCTV, undergraduate and postgraduate students from China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan are invited to join the contest.



查詢及報名:香港大學中文學院講師廖舜禧先生  電話:39175204

Cat ears, plug soup, rude chicken and stupid bean sprouts…The snares and secrets of culinary translation

Research Seminar Co-organised by the School of Chinese (Translation Programme)
and the Department of Linguistics

Cat Ears, Plug Soup, Rude Chicken and Stupid Bean Sprouts…
The Snares and Secrets of Culinary Translation


Institute of Applied Linguistics, University of Warsaw

Date and Time: September 12, 2014 (Friday); 4:00pm-5:30pm
Venue: Room 730, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
Chaired by: Professor Stephen Matthews ( Department of Linguistics )
Language: English

Today’s frequent intercultural contacts and migration bridge earlier cultural gaps and carry recipes across more than ever before. With the launching of new all-cookery television channels on the continent, exigency has arisen for skilled translators in the culinary field. The shows, chiefly Anglosphere imports, have in turn provoked interest in cookbooks penned by English-speaking celebrity chefs, while domestic publishers try going ahead with anglicised culinary bestsellers.

Cookery books, however, do not merely call for a language expert; they are governed by their own laws not only in the choice of vocabulary and fixed expressions, but also grammar and style, and require specialised knowledge of the culinary arts in both source and target cultures. Their translation should accordingly not only be linguistically impeccable and technically accurate, but also sound like written by a pro.

How can the translation profession be assisted in the face of the new demands? The smorgasbord of snares lurking for the unsuspecting translator will be exposed, key characteristics of English-language recipes discussed, and several concrete examples vindicating the brownie points gained through falling back on recipe vortals and cookery software – though in ways remote from the ones envisaged by their creators – in specialised translation presented from the author’s enduring practice.

Michał B. Paradowski is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Applied Linguistics, University of Warsaw. He is the author of numerous book chapters and articles including high-IF periodicals and has been an invited speaker at over 60 scientific events in Europe, America, Eastern, Western and Southeast Asia. His two edited volumes out this year are Teaching Languages off the Beaten Track and Productive Foreign Language Skills for an Intercultural World. He also works as a teacher and translator trainer and ELT consultant for television, as well as a food and wine writer and restaurant critic collaborating with several English- and Polish-language culinary magazines and radio stations. He has trained in the kitchens of five-star hotels in Poland and France and is the winner of many national cooking contests.

All are welcome