The Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of History Department of History
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HIST4500GL Topic Studies in Hong Kong History:
Global Historical Perspectives on Modern Hong Kong

Semester 2 (2021-2022)

Lecture TimeWednesday 2:30pm - 4:15pm

VenueWMY 407


Lecturer LUK Chi Hung Gary

Teaching Assistant CHEUNG Ka Lok Alex (

Course Description

This course explores Hong Kong between the mid-nineteenth and early twenty-first century from global historical perspectives. To contextualize modern Hong Kong within the history of the world, the course will first introduce some of the key concepts, frameworks, and issues in the field of global history, and then examine the ways in which Hong Kong’s politics, economy, society, and culture have been connected to other East Asian regions, Southeast Asia, Euro-America, and the remaining parts of the world for the past 180 years. Roughly chronologically organized, the lectures revolve around the theme that Hong Kong history is important, if not essential, for us to understand and rethink various aspects of global developments within different temporal-spatial frameworks such as merchant capitalism, transpacific Chinese passages, the Cold War, and postwar Sino-US relations. The course is multidisciplinary; students will read readings on Hong Kong and global history in the fields of history, international relations, politics, economics, anthropology, literature, and cultural studies.

  1. Global History: Key Concepts, Frameworks, and Issues
  2. Hong Kong in the British Imperial Networks
  3. Western Capital and Capitalists in the Early Colonial Period
  4. Pivot of the Chinese Trade in Asia before WWII
  5. “In-between Place” in the Chinese Diaspora, 1849–1939
  6. Roles in the Second World War
  7. The Global Cold War in Hong Kong
  8. British Culture and Decolonization, 1945-1997
  9. Linchpin of Postwar Sino-US Relations
  10. Industrial Metropolis and Global Financial Center in the Twentieth Century
  11. Non-Western, Non-Chinese Communities
  12. Global Hong Kong Cinema
  13. Hong Kong Communities Overseas: Past and Present
Assessment & Assignments

Tutorial (40%)

Written assignment (10%)

Research paper (50%)




Further readings:

Carroll, John M. A Concise History of Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2007.

Buckley, Roger. Hong Kong: The Road to 1997. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Carroll, John M. and Chi-kwan Mark, eds. Critical Readings on the Modern History of Hong Kong. 4 vols. Leiden: Brill, 2015.

Chou, Grace A. L. Confucianism, Colonialism, and the Cold War: Chinese Cultural Education at Hong Kong’s New Asia College, 1949-63. Leiden: Brill, 2012.

Dean, Britten. “British Informal Empire: The Case of China.” Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics 14.1 (1976): 64-81.

Fu, Poshek. Between Shanghai and Hong Kong: The Politics of Chinese Cinemas. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003.

Fu, Poshek and David Desser, eds. The Cinema of Hong Kong History, Arts, Identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Grace, Richard J. Opium and Empire: The Lives and Careers of William Jardine and James Matheson. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016.

Hamashita, Takeshi. “China and Hong Kong in the British Empire in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries.” In Takeshi Hamashita, China, East Asia and the Global Economy: Regional and Historical Perspectives, ed. Linda Grove and Mark Selden, 145-66. London: Routledge, 2008.

Law, Sophia Suk-mun. The Invisible Citizens of Hong Kong: Art and Stories of Vietnamese Boatpeople. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 2014.

Law, Wing Sang. Collaborative Colonial Power: The Making of the Hong Kong Chinese. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2009.

Lee, Vicky. Being Eurasian: Memories across Racial Divides. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2004.

Miners, Norman J. Hong Kong under Imperial Rule, 1912-1941. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, 1987.

Munn, Christopher. Anglo-China: Chinese People and British Rule in Hong Kong, 1841-1880. Richmond, Surrey, England: Curzon Press, 2001; reprint, Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2008.

Northrop, Douglas, ed. A Companion to World History. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell, 2012.

Roberts, Priscilla and John M. Carroll, eds. Hong Kong in the Cold War. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2016.

Snow, Philip. The Fall of Hong Kong: Britain, China, and the Japanese Occupation. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003.

Symons, Catherine Joyce. Looking at the Stars: Memoirs of Catherine Joyce Symons. Hong Kong: Pegasus Books, 1996.

Tan, Chee-Beng, ed. Routledge Handbook of the Chinese Diaspora. London: Routledge, 2013. Tsang, Steve. A Modern History of Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2006.

Honesty in Academic Work

Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations. Details may be found at

With each assignment, students will be required to submit a signed declaration that they are aware of these policies, regulations, guidelines and procedures.

  • In the case of group projects, all members of the group should be asked to sign the declaration, each of whom is responsible and liable to disciplinary actions, irrespective of whether he/she has signed the declaration and whether he/she has contributed, directly or indirectly, to the problematic contents.
  • For assignments in the form of a computer-generated document that is principally text-based and submitted via VeriGuide, the statement, in the form of a receipt, will be issued by the system upon students’ uploading of the soft copy of the assignment.

Assignments without the properly signed declaration will not be graded by teachers.

Only the final version of the assignment should be submitted via VeriGuide.

The submission of a piece of work, or a part of a piece of work, for more than one purpose (e.g. to satisfy the requirements in two different courses) without declaration to this effect shall be regarded as having committed undeclared multiple submissions. It is common and acceptable to reuse a turn of phrase or a sentence or two from one’s own work; but wholesale reuse is problematic. In any case, agreement from the course teacher(s) concerned should be obtained prior to the submission of the piece of work.

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