Postcolonial studies explores the colonial encounter and its consequences, and the Department of English at CUHK offers one of the leading scholarly communities in Hong Kong devoted to this field of enquiry. Indeed, our Department boasts internationally renowned full-time faculty who specialize in the many various aspects of postcolonial studies.
The Department furthermore has a great reputation for work in World Literature. World Literature primarily involves a focus on literary texts that circulate and spread beyond their place of origin, thus creating new dynamics and contexts - as well as challenges and problems. Studying World Literature in Hong Kong is particularly resonant, given the latter’s unique history and location. Many Faculty Members are engaged in research related to World Literature.
David Huddart has published widely in the area of postcolonial theory and literature, including books on postcolonial autobiography and World Englishes. Both Jette Hansen Edwards and Gerald Nelson have published extensively on the development and use of different postcolonial Englishes, including Hong Kong English. Michael O’Sullivan's research interests in this field focus on Irish literature, comparative literature and the postcolonial legacies of humanities education East and West. Eddie Tay is an internationally-recognized poet and scholar, whose research explores Singaporean and Malaysian literature as well as autoethnography and street photography. Grant Hamilton specializes in African literature and the debates shaping world literature, while Eli Park Sorensen writes on South Asian literature and the debates in comparative literature. Evelyn Chan has published research on the works of Joseph Conrad. Regardless of specialism though, faculty members consistently publish their research in some of the world’s leading journals and top-tier academic presses. Many members of the department also work on Asian literatures in English and in translation, including the literature of Hong Kong, Japan and China.
Taken in concert with the frequent seminars, conferences - such as The Future of English in Asia (2014) and Borders Inside and Out: Representing the Border Across Cultures (2018) - informal reading groups, and guest talks by leading figures in literary studies such as Bill Ashcroft, Graham Huggan, and Longxi Zhang, the Department offers an unrivaled forum for discussing and testing new ideas and thoughts in postcolonial studies and world literature.