The Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of History Department of History
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Message from Department Chairman

This academic year the Department organized orientation activities for our new undergraduate students for the first time. Following the format of orientations for our Research Postgraduate Programme and MA Programme of Comparative and Public History, we invited teachers who could squeeze time from their busy summer schedules to meet our new students sooner than classes start. The effect was surprisingly impressive. Inspiring astonishments included stimulations and challenges from the rising new generation.

Unexpectedly, I was asked forthright the following questions when meeting our new students in person for the first time: “What’s the way out for historical education in this time of social disputes? As ‘History people’, how should we position ourselves?” Wow! This eventful year does push our younger generation to mature up fast. From these active, sensitive, and precocious youngsters, we may see opportunities from crises and feel a refreshing breeze blowing from the dampened atmosphere of anxiety, depression, confusion, and perplexity. What a gratifying relief!

Indeed, it is hard to remain sober and sensible in times of rupture and polarization when discursive hegemony has become the goal for all parties. And history is being reduced to a tool or means in the process. This age-old problem seems to come back stronger than ever. Who could be calm enough to reflect on the intrinsic value and dignity of History itself? As a discipline, how can it bring its professional qualities into full play? This perpetual trial for us is not new at all but as old as time. Then why is history still tragically repeating itself again and again?

I used to conclude my class of the required course on historical method years ago with some quotable quotes by masters of new histories such as gender history. In that field, one of the most renowned scholars, Joan Scott once wrote the following sentence which became my favourite maxim: “…history has provided an important and sobering corrective to the essentialist tendencies of feminist politics.” Moved by its reflective and transcendental inspiration, I presented it more than once, together with Francis Bacon’s famous “Histories make men wise” for comparison, to the graduating class as farewell advice, even though it might be my own wishful thinking that students would be inspired as well.

At the beginning of the aforementioned course when I proceeded to the relationship between epistemology and methodology, I always liked to recite to the class my favourite quote from the works of Prof. Yu Ying-shih, recipient of the John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity, that “Students of History should have at least a sense of seriousness and dignity…Because subjective factors are crucial in historical studies, historians are especially important. They should have self-discipline and refrain from writing carelessly.” Perhaps we can model after Master Yu’s saying to state that “Because struggles for discursive hegemony often involve the manipulation of history, we should be even more prudent.” The respectability of the discipline of History actually has a bearing on our sense of seriousness. May this be the way in which we position ourselves.

Indeed, the holistic characteristic of the History discipline determines that it will not be satisfied with any narrow explanation. As students of History, we should master the “historian’s craft” to guard against the harm caused by fallacies. For example, under the impact of politicization, we should insist on the exploration of facts. Confronting the utilitarian mainstream, we need to uphold humanistic values persistently. Our accomplishments, if any, lie in our critical, self-reflective and macroscopic insight, and moral courage. May mutual encouragement between generations lead us forward!


Hon-ming Yip
Mid-summer, 2015


Welcome back!

Hope you all had a wonderful summer and wish you a successful academic year!

Our warmest welcome to all new students of the Department of History!

Recent Activities:

The Academic counselling for new students of our Undergraduate Programme was conducted on 14 August 2015.

The Division of History held the Orientation Workshop for Research Postgraduate Students on 1 August 2015.

The Orientation Workshop for the MA Programme in Comparative and Public History was held on 29 August 2015.


Congratulations to Prof. CHOI Chi Cheung for securing a grant from the RGC General Research Fund 2015–16 for his research on Reenacting “Cultural China” in the Twentieth Century: Chinese Communal Hungry Ghost Festivals in Hong Kong, Kobe and Singapore. [Details …]


Congratulations to Prof. HSIUNG Ping-chen for securing a grant from the RGC General Research Fund 2015–16 for her research on Aging in Late Imperial China: Advice and Practice.


Congratulations to Prof. Noah SHUSTERMAN for securing a grant from the RGC General Research Fund 2015–16 for his research on Militia Mania: Weapons and Citizenship in the Early Modern Atlantic World. [Details …]


Congratulations to Prof. TANG Chung for securing a grant from the RGC General Research Fund 2015–16 for his research on Jade Technologies and Raw Material Exchanges in Prehistoric Northeast Asia: An Archaeological Study of Nephrite Accessories.


Congratulations to Prof. Ian MORLEY for being awarded the Humanities Fellowship Scheme 2015 of the Faculty of Arts.


Students who wish to change their course enrolments are reminded to do so via the CUSIS during the following specified add/drop periods:

Undergraduate programmes: Between 8:30pm on 14 September 2015 and 8:30pm on 20 September 2015.

Postgraduate programmes: Between 10am on 7 September 2015 and 5:30pm on 21 September 2015.



Prof. LAM Weng Cheong has been appointed as Assistant Professor of the Department of Anthropology and Department of History with effect from 3 August 2015. Prof. LAM graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Archaeology from Peking University in 2005 and 2008 respectively and received his PhD degree from the Department of Anthropology of Harvard University in 2015.

Prof. LAM will teach HIST4140A Topic Studies in Traditional Chinese History in Term 2.


Our welcome to Miss TSANG Lai Shan Vicki, who has joined the Department of History as a General Clerk with effect from 25 June 2015. Miss TSANG will provide general administrative support and assist in matters relating to the Undergraduate Programme.


Miss SIU Suk Man Esther left on 1 September 2015. We would like to extend our appreciation to Esther for her contributions to the Graduate Division of the Department of History.


Academic Activities

Recapping the International Workshop for the Publication Project on Philanthropy and the Chinese Diaspora on the Pacific Rim, 1850–1949 held on 27–28 June 2015.

Nearly 20 scholars from the UK, US, Australia, Germany, Mainland China and Hong Kong were invited to present papers or act as moderators at this Workshop. Held over two days, the Workshop was divided into nine sessions. Participants exchanged views on themes relating to philanthropy and the Chinese diaspora on the Pacific Rim.


Recapping the Orientation Workshop for Research Postgraduate Students 2015–16 conducted on 1 August 2015.


Recapping the Orientation Workshop for Research Postgraduate Students 2015–16 conducted on 1 August 2015.


Recapping the Orientation Workshop for the MA Programme 2015–16 held on 29 August 2015.


Upcoming Events

Academic Exchange – Sharing sessions by students of Department of History, National Taipei University

8 September 2015 (Tuesday)
First Session
Date : 8 September 2015 (Tuesday)
Time : 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Venue : LT1, Lee Shau Kee Building, CUHK
Topic : 戰後臺灣學運發展與影響──以野百合學運為例


9 September 2015 (Wednesday)
Second Session
Date : 9 September 2015 (Wednesday)
Time : 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Venue : Room 220, 2/F Fung King Hey Building, CUHK
Topic : 21世紀臺灣學生運動之演進──以國會佔領行動為例

The sharing sessions are conducted in Putonghua. For enquiry, please call 3943 8659.

Organiser: Department of History, CUHK
Co-organiser: Department of History, National Taipei University


18 September 2015 (Friday)
Academic Seminar
Date : 18 September 2015 (Friday)
Time : 4:30pm – 6:15pm
Venue : Room 304, 3/F Lee Shau Kee Building, CUHK
Topic : 秘密社會的秘密:自我合法化與其在中國社會虛擬的影響
Speaker : Prof. HE Xi
Language : Putonghua
Enquiry : 3943 8541



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.

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