The Department is also making important contributions to the University theme of Environment and Sustainability in the areas of ‘Smart and Sustainable Cities,’ ‘Climate Change,’ and ‘Population Studies: Migration, Youth Development and Ageing Management.’ Below are some indicative examples of work by Faculty members in this area:
Smart and Sustainable Cities
- David Huddart is currently working on a project about autobiographical representations of ultra runners, something apparently extreme but increasingly clearly something that also offers a model for many people searching for keys to active healthy living. In the context of Hong Kong, with its increased uptake of usage of country parks, its thriving hiking and trail running scenes, and its juxtaposition of urban and rural contexts, this project will contribute to models that operate in terms of sport as a vehicle for social change.
- Joanna Mansbridge examines how cities “perform” through their technological infrastructure and architectural design and investigates how these performances act on urban residents. In "Architecture, Infrastructure, and Urban Performance in Hong Kong," she contextualises these questions in Hong Kong, analysing two theatrical productions alongside the everyday performances of/in the city that suggest how technologically-instrumentalised urban spaces condition subjects and choreograph actions.
- Hong Kong Studies, edited by Eddie Tay, covers all aspects of Hong Kong’s rich arts and humanities cultures both in relation to Chinese culture and Hong Kong’s other cultures. Understanding these cultures and how they are grounded and embedded in the environment is essential to any movement for greater environmental awareness (what, for example, Daoism proposes) and sustainability.
- In the context of climate change, David Huddart’s work on the Mozambican novelist Mia Couto explores his animist evocation of a world of variable scales, both in terms of size and speed, highlighting the ways literature can imaginatively engage its audience beyond the everyday human measure.
- Joanna Mansbridge’s research investigates how performing artists, activists, and filmmakers are responding to the challenges and questions posed by climate change. She has written on topics such as: indigenous environmental activism at COP21 (and beyond); geoengineered landscapes as "actor" in the theatre of Kris Verdonck; the vampire as a trope, or fantasy, of survival in the Anthropocene in Jim Jarmusch’s film Only Lovers Left Alive; and the “haunted” environments of climate change in Frances Ya-Chu Cowig’s Snow in Midsummer. She is currently the PI of “Performance and Place: Theatre-making in the Anthropocene,” a research project funded by the Research Grants Council, Hong Kong.
- Collier Nogues researches the relationship between environmental damage, U.S. militarization, and neoliberal capitalism in the Pacific and beyond, identifying contemporary poets who offer alternative visions of ecologically healthy futures. Her article on Craig Santos Perez’s “oceania composition” is one example. [link to PDF download]
Population Studies: Migration, Youth Development and Ageing Management
- Evelyn Chan’s research looks at identity construction by students in the humanities, as well as the value of humanities education in the transition from student life into the labour market, and in graduates' lives. Her publications in this area include “‘Being an English Major, Being a Humanities Student’: Connecting Academic Subject Identity in Literary Studies to Other Social Domains.” Studies in Higher Education. She is PI of “The Humanities in Higher Education in Hong Kong: Implications for Society and the Individual.” General Research Fund (2016–19), Research Grants Council, Hong Kong.
- Jette Hansen Edwards has conducted extensive research on youth identity, language, and politics in Hong Kong. Her work in this area has been cited in The Economist. She has also been invited to contribute two articles to the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, based on her research on language, identity, and politics in Hong Kong and China: “Language, identity, and politics in Hong Kong” and “The rise of English in China: A threat to China’s national unity?”. She has published several articles about youth identity in Hong Kong in relation to language and politics including her recent book, The Politics of English in Hong Kong: Attitudes, Identity, and Use (Routledge, 2018).
- David Huddart has also written on diasporic identities through their literatures and general cultural formations. As examples, he published a book on the work of Homi Bhabha, a widely-cited humanities scholar, who is particularly associated with the idea of hybridity. Ideas such as hybridity demand that we think carefully about issues of migration and integration, as is clear in terms of human rights discourses, which David Huddart has written on specifically in terms of cultural right.
- Prem Phyak’s book Engaged Language Policy and Practices and journal articles explores language ideologies, practices and activist engagement of communities and youths to promote the use of Indigenous/minority languages. His scholarship is informed by community engagement and transformative practices that make contribute to promote Indigenous languages and grassroots multilingualism.
- Wilkinson Daniel Wong Gonzales examines different diasporic populations in East Asia, focusing on social factors such as age, identity, and ethnicity. His work has examined an under-documented minority group in the Philippines - the Lannangs, as well as the homeland Mainland group in Manila. He has published some of his findings in an invited book chapter "Interactions of Sinitic Languages in the Philippines: Sinicization, Filipinization, and Sino-Philippine Language Creation".