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Department News

Staffing Arrangements on University Holidays on Christmas Eve and New Year Eves

The following staffing arrangements for the University holidays on Christmas Eve and New Year Eves will apply on 24 and 31 December 2013, and 30 January 2014, respectively. Departments/units should arrange for skeleton staff to be on duty on these mornings to handle urgent matters and enquiries. Offices will be closed in the afternoon. Skeleton staff (Terms [B] or [C]) on duty on each morning will be given compensation off of half a day.

For essential service units such as the University Health Service, the University Library System, the operations team of the Information Technology Services Centre, the Security Office, the Transport Office, and the Estates Management Office, adequate workforce should remain on duty to provide basic services.

Source: CUHK Newsletter, no. 427 [19 November 2013],


“Fifty Years of Historical Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong: A Symposium in Celebration of the University's 50th Anniversary” Conference-cum-Reunion Banquet

To celebrate the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Golden Jubilee, the Department of History organized a Conference-cum-Reunion Banquet on 9–10 December 2013. This event in the name of “Fifty Years of Historical Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong: A Symposium in Celebration of the University's 50th Anniversary” was an occasion for alumni, former and current teachers and students, and friends of the Department to get together for a reunion in appreciation of the achievement of our predecessors who helped build the Department in the early years. It also provided us a forum for the discussion of our development in different fields of historical studies.


An opening ceremony for the Conference was held at the Kilborn Room of Administrative Building, Chung Chi College. The ceremony was officiated by Prof. Leung Yuen Sang, Dean of Faculty of Arts, CUHK. Prof. Yip Hon Ming, Chair of the History Department, delivered the welcoming speech, which was followed by a video clipping of Prof. Yu Ying Shih, Winner of the Kluge Prize for the Study of Humanity and former President of New Asia College, being interviewed by our Vice-Chancellor. In lieu of a keynote speech, the interview extract covered Prof. Yu’s in-depth evaluation of the accomplishments of the University and the Department with a unique touch.

The Conference invited 44 professional historians and scholars from the US, Europe, Japan, Mainland China, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong as paper presenters and moderators. The conference attracted over one hundred participants including local historians, and students of the History discipline, as well as other scholars. During the conference, participants exchanged views on themes relating to History and Historiography of CUHK, Selected Themes, History of Ming-Qing China, China and the World, History of Hong Kong and Macau, History of Modern and Contemporary China, and History of China’s Foreign Relations/World History in 11 sessions. With extreme seriousness, attendees participated in heated discussions with enthusiasm.

The opening was officiated by Prof. Leung Yuen Sang, Dean of Faculty of Arts, CUHK (left) and
Prof. Yip Hon Ming, Department Chair (right)

Video keynote speech by Prof. Yu Ying Shih, former President of New Asia College

Group photo of opening ceremony on 9 Dec 2013

Reunion Banquet

The Banquet following the close of the Conference on December 10 was held at the Chung Chi College Staff Club. Over 160 participants (of 15 tables) including alumni, teachers, students, staff members, and friends of the Department occupied the entire club hall to round off the two days’ celebration.

Speakers at the Banquet included Prof. Leung Yuen Sang and Prof. Jimmy Yu, representatives of two of the sponsors (Chung Chi College and United College respectively) of the event, current and former Department Chair, Chairperson of M.A. Alumni Association, President of CUHK History Alumni Association, Chairman of the History Society, and the representative of postgraduate students. By way of summing up the Conference, the Department Chair emphasized the importance to appreciate the achievement of the founders of the Department and their influence on the following generations of historians at CUHK. She also pointed out that the current generation should “embrace” this tradition of historiography and “empower” the future exploration in historical studies.

The Organizing Committee invited former faculty members and alumni of different generations back to the University and Department to share their recollections of campus life in the old days. The highlight of the dinner was the session for former Department Chairs to bring back interesting and fascinating episodes of their times. Committee members also produced a slide show named “Those Were the Days” using old photos from the department achieves. Guests were thrilled to find their teachers, classmates, colleagues, and even themselves in the slides which recorded their growth with the department. They were so overwhelmed with sweet memories of the past that their enthusiasm ran high as the banquet reached the climax when everybody seized the opportunity to take pictures as mementos with their beloved teachers and friends. This occasion was a reunion of alumni, a reunion of teachers and students, and a reunion of staff members. The performance of classical musical pieces for guitar by a student added grace to the lively mood. When the Banquet was rounded off in an atmosphere of familial warmth, guests enjoyed themselves to the full and started to plan for the next reunion.

Remarks by Prof. Jimmy Yu, Head of United College, CUHK

Toasting to all distinguished guests of the department

Sharing of interesting and fascinating episodes by Prof. Yip Hon Ming, Incumbent Department Chair, and Prof. Ng-Lun Ngai Ha and Prof. David Faure, former Department Chairs (from right to left)

Mr. Tse Sheung Wai, the President of the CUHK History Alumni Association and Ms. Carol Wan, the Chairperson of the Alumni Association of Master of Arts in Comparative and Public History were invited to say few words about the associations.

Full-house for the reunion dinner!

Academic Activities

The Public Lecture (Mainland) was co-organized by the Department of History, CUHK and the Sun Yat–Sen Library of Guangdong Province, aiming to deliver the knowledge of public history to the communities. This year, Dr. Sonia NG, Public History Scholar and Writer, has been invited to share the topic “說美國加州軒佛市唐人巷的故事:解讀美國華人早期歷史研究” on 7 December 2013 in the Sun Yat–Sen Library of Guangdong Province attracting more than 150 Guangzhou citizens and students from local universities to attend.

The second public lecture was delivered by Dr. Sonia NG.

Dr. NG was invited by Mr. NI Junming, the Deputy Director of Sun Yat-sen Library of Guangdong Province, to sign on guest book.

Mr. NI presented souvenir to Dr. Ng on behalf of Sun Yat-sen Library of Guangdong Province.

More than 150 Guangzhou citizens and students from local universities attended the lecture.

Upcoming Events

Comparative and Public History Lecture Series

The lecture series is co-organised by the Department of History, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Museum of History. The following lectures will be held in January 2014 at the Lecture Hall, G/F, Hong Kong Museum of History:

First Lecture

Date : 4 January 2014 (Saturday)
Time : 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Topic : Prehistoric Dragon and Phoenix in Hong Kong: Rice Cultivating Cultures and the Formation of Nation States
Speaker: Prof. TANG Chung
Professor, Department of History, CUHK
Language: Cantonese

Second Lecture

Date : 11 January 2014 (Saturday)
Time : 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Topic : Official Promotion—Imperial Chinese bureaucracy and the game for literati
Moderator: Prof. PUK Wing Kin
Assistant Professor, Department of History, CUHK
Language: Cantonese

Third Lecture

Date : 25 January 2014 (Saturday)
Time : 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Topic : Division and Identity: Colonial Rule and the Life of Hong Kong Citizens
Moderator: Prof. HE Xi
Research Assistant Professor, Department of History, CUHK
Language: Putonghua

For enquiry, please call 3943 8659.

"China Unearthed: Soaring Phoenix Rising Dragon" Exhibition

Date : 25 October 2013–2 March 2014
Time : 10:00am–5:00pm daily (Closed on public holidays)
Venue : Gallery IV, Art Museum East Wing, CUHK
Information : Poster

Co-organisers: Centre for Chinese Archaeology and Art, CUHK; Department of History, CUHK; Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Hunan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology; Shenzhen Municipal Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology; Art Exhibitions China

Myanmar Study Tour

The M.A. Programme in Comparative and Public History is planning a five-day study tour to Yangon, Myanmar for MA students in April/May 2014. This tour will be led by Prof. Ian MORLEY. Please refer below for the tour introduction:

“With a history that has incorporated both Western as well as lengthy traditional Burmese influences, Myanmar presently displays a cultural sophistication, sense of identity, social complexity, and marriage of modernity with age-old customs that sets it apart from many other nations in Asia.

While suggestions of Myanmar emerging as an economic power are significant to comprehending its present day activities and its contemporary influence in Southeast Asia, it is easy to overlook how the country has previously been a point of reference in the region, albeit under a greatly different context. For example, from the 1820s until the late-1940s, Myanmar was a geographical reference point within the British imperial milieu, a consequence of its rich natural resources and the British perception of its indigenous cultures as being highly exotic and, for all intents and purposes, mesmerising. It was no coincidence therefore that the highpoint of British imperialism coincided with the capital city of Yangon’s golden-era (during the late 1800s and early 1900s). Redefining itself after independence in the late 1940s Myanmar has endured many struggles yet embraced in recent years the virtues of reform and modernisation, in particular rising economic performance, cosmopolitanism, and entrepreneurial determination to such a degree that Yangon’s urban renewal has become a metaphor for national progress.

With this backdrop in mind a proposal is put forward to allow MA students in CUHK’s Department of History the opportunity to examine past cultural, colonial and more contemporary modernising processes, plus the changing relationship between the old and new in Myanmar, as it undergoes the transformation from agrarian to industrial and world economy. With an emphasis therefore on urban transformation, both the old and the new, the beautiful and the ugly, the good and the bad sides of the country shall be shown via the lens of Yangon, a city that has played a paramount role in Burmese history. By this means it is anticipated that students will not only comprehend the history of the nation but concurrently grasp the directions where the country has come from, and maybe the directions it will be going to. This, it is hoped, is to be achieved via an itinerary which utilises the knowledge of the author on 19th- century British urban history and the work of experts residing in Myanmar, e.g., the staff of the Yangon Heritage Trust.”

Details of the study tour will be announced soon. For enquiry, please contact Prof. Ian MORLEY.

Best Wishes from the Department
Merry Christmas and a Prosperous 2014!

The newsletter will resume on 6 January 2014.

For teachers and students who have information to share with the Department, please email your articles in both Chinese and English to by 4:00pm every Tuesday.