Research Highlights

January
2022

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Collaborative Research Funding of HK$1.5 Million Awarded to Team Investigating Impact of COVID-19

Dr Olga Zayts in the School of English is part of a cross-institutional team awarded over HK$1.5 million in the 2021/2022 round of UGC Collaborative Research Funding. The Faculty of Arts will lead the project, entitled “The educational, social and health impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on University graduates transitioning to the workforce in Hong Kong.” HKU collaborators include members of the Faculty of Social Sciences and CEDARS, who will work alongside colleagues at CUHK, CityU, and Reading University in the UK, and community partners Mind HK and the City Mental Health Alliance HK. The project will focus on 3 cohorts of students: 2021, 2022, and 2023. Members of the team will conduct surveys and interviews with major stakeholders with the aim of developing an evidence-based digital resource. This “Digital Workplace Transitions Hub” will feature tools to support core competencies required in post-COVID-19 workplaces, including digital and linguistic competencies, as well as essential mental health resources.

July
2021

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HKU Historian Becomes the First Scholar of Japan to Win the Grace Abbott Book Prize

Dr Janet Borland, Assistant Professor in the Department of Japanese Studies, won the 2020 Grace Abbott Book Prize for Earthquake Children: Building Resilience from the Ruins of Tokyo (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2020). The prize is awarded annually by the Society for the History of Children and Youth for the best book published in English on the history of children, childhood, or youth. She is the first scholar of Japan to win this prestigious international book prize. Earthquake Children challenges the popular idea that Japanese people owe their resilience in the face of disaster to some innate sense of calm. Dr Borland believes that Japan’s contemporary culture of preparedness is the result of learned and practiced behaviors that began in earnest after the 1923 Great Kantō Earthquake that destroyed Tokyo, and hopes her book can help highlight the important role children have played - and can play - as agents of disaster preparedness. This is the second book prize awarded to Dr Borland for her first book. In July 2020, Earthquake Children won the Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities First Book Prize.

June
2021

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Gender and Diversity Research Supported in UGC GRF/ECS Exercise 2021-2022

Several projects with gender and diversity components were funded in the Hong Kong University Grants Committee’s (UGC) 2021-2022 General Research Fund (GRF) and Early Career Scheme (ECS) exercises. Two members of the School of Humanities, Dr Grace Ting from Gender Studies and Dr J. Daniel Elam from the Department of Comparative Literature, were awarded ECS grants; Dr Ting for a project entitled “Queer Feminisms, the Everyday, and the Rise of Women Writers in Contemporary Japan,” and Dr Elam for “Anticolonial Sociology: 'Afro-Asia' from Vitalism to Bandung.” Dr Rashna Nicholson from the School of English was awarded ECS funding for her project “American Foundations, the Indian Performing Arts, and the Origins of Cultural Development.”

Four GRF projects that were awarded funding also encompass significant gender and diversity themes: Dr Binbin Yang, Dr Leung Shuk Man, and Dr T.K. Lee in the School of Chinese for the projects “Women Diarists and the History of the Self: Towards a Dialogue in Methodology,” “Interpreting ‘the Other’: Representations of the Chinese Cultural Revolution in Kuomintang’s Publications in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Times 香港時報 and Popular Magazine 萬人雜誌, 1966–1977,” and “Kongish: Translanguaging and the Creative Construction of Identity in Hong Kong;” Dr Elizabeth Ho from the School of English for the project “Contemporary self-reflexive map-texts and the empowerment of the postcolonial subject;” and Dr Paul Cha from the School of Modern Languages and Cultures for the project “Building a Transnational Protestant Network:  The Korean War, Protestant Ecumenism, and Protest Movements.”

June

2020

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Gender and Diversity Research Supported in UGC GRF/ECS Exercise 2020-2021

Several projects with gender and diversity components were funded in the Hong Kong University Grants Committee’s (UGC) 2020-2021 General Research Fund (GRF) and Early Career Scheme (ECS) exercises. Two members of the Department of Art History, Dr Chun Wa Chan and Dr Vivian Sheng, were awarded ECS grants; Dr Chan for a project entitled “Ambitious Alignments: Female Emperors as Patrons of Buddhist Art in Early Japan,” and Dr Sheng for “Art, Women and Fantasies of “Homemaking”: Affective Domesticity, Embodied Habitation and Transcultural (Dis)identification.” Five GRF projects that were awarded funding also encompass significant gender and diversity themes: Dr Geng Song and Professor Cuncun Wu from the School of Chinese for the projects “The Politics of Sissiness and Sissyphobia in Contemporary China” and “Street Literacy: Songbooks and Voices of Lower-Class Urban Women in Nineteenth-Century North China;” Dr Jessica Valdez from the School of English for “Despots and Democrats: China and America in Nineteenth-Century British Literature;” and Dr Cathryn Donohue (Linguistics) and Dr Alvin K Wong (Comparative Literature) for the projects “Case variation in Nubri” and “Queer Hong Kong as Method: Arts, Activism, and the Creative Industries.”

April

2020

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Book Launch: Keywords in Queer Sinophone Studies - Edited by Howard Chiang and Alvin K Wong

Dr Alvin Wong, Assistant Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature, is the coeditor with Dr Howard Chiang of the recently published Keywords in Queer Sinophone Studies. This volume showcases a vibrant wave of scholarship that explores the intersection of queer theory and Sinophone studies, consolidating an interdisciplinary framework for furthering transnational research into non-conforming genders, sexualities and bodies.

April

2019

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Dr Julia Bowes Receives the 2019 Lerner-Scott Prize from the Organization of American Historians

During its 2019 meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Organization of American Historians (OAH) presented Dr Julia Bowes, Assistant Professor in the HKU Department of History, with its prestigious 2019 Lerner-Scott Prize, which is given annually for the best doctoral dissertation in U.S. women’s history.