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History and Popular Memory

日期/時間:
Date/Time:

2015 2 5 日(星期四)下午 7 時至 8 30
5 February 2015 (Thursday), 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

講者 Speaker:

柯文 Paul A. COHEN

講題大綱/概述
Lectures Outline / Synopses:

When people experience a traumatic event, such as war or the threat of annihilation, they often turn to history for stories that promise a positive outcome to their suffering.  During World War II, the French took comfort in the story of Joan of Arc and her heroic efforts to rid France of foreign occupation.  To bring the Joan narrative more into line with current circumstances, however, popular retellings tinkered with the original story so that what people believed took place in the past was often quite different from what actually occurred.

I see this interplay between story and history as worldwide in scope, found in countries that are in many ways radically different from each other.  In my talk, as in the recently published book on which it is based, I focus on Serbia, Israel, China, France, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain, all of which experienced grave crises in the twentieth century and, in response, appropriated age-old historical narratives that resonated with what was happening in the present to serve a unifying, restorative purpose.

A central theme in what I shall talk about is the distinction between popular memory and history.  Although vitally important to historians, this distinction is routinely blurred in people’s minds, and the historian’s truth often cannot compete with the power of a compelling story from the past, even when it has been seriously distorted by myth or political manipulation.  One of my goals is to attain a deeper understanding of why this is so.

But I also want to highlight a broader issue.  The focus of my talk is not on a particular country or culture.  Rather, it is on a supracultural phenomenon—the part taken by story in popular memory—that, if not universal, is certainly encountered in a vast array of places around the world, regardless of the religious, social, cultural, and other differences that pertain among the people living in these places.  In brief, what we have, I would like to suggest, is a different sort of world history, not the conventional kind based on conjunctures, comparisons, and influences, but one that is manifested in recurring patterns, clearly bearing a family resemblance to one another, yet independently arrived at and very possibly rooted in certain human propensities—above all, the universality of storytelling in the human experience—that transcend the specificities of culture and place.

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重構夢工場:戰後香港電影史

講座取消
Cancelled

日期/時間:
Date/Time:

2015 2 10 日(星期二)下午 7 時至 8 30
10 February 2015 (Tuesday), 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

講者 Speaker:

傅葆石 FU Poshek

講題大綱/概述
Lectures Outline / Synopses:

近年來國內外對戰後香港的華語電影工業發展頗多論述。事實上,戰後20年(1946-1966)爲日後走向全球,大放異彩的香港電影,鋪下了重甸甸的基礎。不少論者把戰後急速發展的電影工業,解釋爲一兩位電影大亨的豐功偉業。這明顯是一種“偉人史觀”,過於簡單。這次講座旨在利用一些新“出土”的資料,從地緣政治,國共爭持,市場變化等各方面因素,重構香港華語電影一段稱得上是天翻地覆的歷史軌迹。

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The Secret (Sacred) History of China

日期 Date:

2015 3 23 日(星期一)下午 7 時至 8 30
23 March 2015 (Monday), 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

講者 Speaker:

勞格文 John LAGERWEY

講題大綱/概述
Lectures Outline / Synopses:

While most laypersons—and many China specialists—still think of China as a civilization with no religion of its own (Buddhism was imported), the reality is quite different. Starting in the third century, and throughout three major indigenous dynasties (Tang, Song, and Ming), Daoism was in fact the state religion. Concretely, that meant that the “Son of Heaven” (the emperor) owed his legitimacy (the Heavenly Mandate) to his link to a Daoist god. The talk will cover the earlier dynasties quickly in order to focus on the Ming, whose founder (r. 1368-98) was the last emperor to write a commentary on the Daodejing. His son, the Yongle emperor (r. 1403-1424), built two Forbidden Cities: one that is well-known, in Beijing; the other known only to specialists, on Mount Wudang in NW Hubei province. What is the meaning of these two imperial acts? And how does understanding their implications transform what we mean by the word “China”?

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工字不出頭?香港三行工人的就業、收入與貧窮問題 (1870-2000)

日期 Date:

2015 3 6 日(星期四)下午 7 時至 8 30
26 March 2015 (Thursday), 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

講者 Speaker:

何佩然 HO Pui Yin

講題大綱/概述
Lectures Outline / Synopses:

香港的歷史研究,一直偏重戰後的經濟發展,戰前的討論主要以政治、外交為主,很少以公眾史作為切入點。史料嚴重不足、戰前香港社會仍然相當落後,乏善足陳等說法,都成了疏忽的藉口。事實上,政府檔案有關基層的紀錄相當零碎,民間的記載又多以工運為主,基層市民生活忙碌,對保存文字資料興趣不高,致使現存有關基層社群的工作及生活面貌資料匱乏,要作長時段的全面評估,並不容易。本研究嘗試以大量的口述歷史資料,解讀文獻資料的涵意,觀察參與香港建造業的三行工人在不同年代的掙扎過程:包括就業狀況、生活面貌、社會流動等問題,探討三行工人為何會緊隨香港的經濟脈搏跳動,卻無法擺脫貧窮,在艱苦中向上流動。希望透過不同年代三行工人的奮鬥經歷及轉型過程,了解這批最早接受西方商業法管理的工人,面對西方文化衝擊,如何將新文化融入既有的傳統,逐漸走向現代化。香港社會基層的特徵及其對香港經濟崛起的影響,對我們分析西方經濟體制對十九世紀以後的香港、以至華人社群發展的影響,信有一定的參考作用。

如果說近代香港的崛起,是一個奇蹟,為何我們對創造這個歷史奇蹟的群體,卻仍舊認識得這麼少?

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中華貨殖論壇
Public Lectures on History and Business in China
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