The Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of History Department of History
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Academic Activities

Welcoming Members from College of Humanities, the Jilin University

Five members from the College of Humanities of Jilin University visited the Department on 19-20 September 2018. They were Prof. XU Zhenkao, Dean of College of Humanities, and School of Journalism and Communication; Prof. YANG Jun, Associate Dean of College of Humanities; Prof. MA Weidong, Prof. REN Dongbo and Mr. HAN Fang. They were received by Prof. LAI Pan Chiu, Dean of Faculty of Arts; Prof. LAI Ming Chiu, Department Chairman; Prof. CHEUNG Sui Wai, Prof. CHOI Chi Cheung, Prof. CHEUNG Hiu Yu, Prof. HE Xi and Dr. MA Muk Chi, faculty members of the Department. Members from both universities eagerly took the opportunity to discuss and share their views on learning and recent research. The visitors were given a deeper understanding of the Department’s latest development and areas of excellence.

Prof. YANG Jun, Associate Dean of College of Humanities, Jilin University, was invited by the Department to present a lecture, entitled “Writing History: Its Past and Its Present” on 20 September 2018. By rethinking the so-called long-established tradition of writing history, Prof. YANG pointed out that modern history study had been in existence for only two centuries, if we distinguished modern academic studies from the traditional way of history narratives. According to Prof. YANG’s observation, the modern academic turn of history writing originated from the Rankean school in the 19th century, and attained its maturity owing to further development inspired by the Annales school. Focusing on historical documents and objectivity of writing, the Rankean school tended to limit the subjective interpretation given by the author and thus opened a basic paradigm of modern history study. The development of New History that happened in China and Japan was also largely influenced by the Rankean tradition. In the 20th century, as a reflection on this Rankean way of study that mainly involved political history, the French Annales expanded its study field to an unprecedented extent by applying a multiple catalogue of materials and methodologies. In Prof. YANG’s opinion, the social function of history study might also have reached its peak because of the social influence promoted by the Annales school, and he believed that the main core of the modern history study had not altered since then. Though the Western world had not formed a continuous tradition of history writing when compared with pre-modern China, it was indeed Europe that became the cradle of the new history study. Those key factors that eventually gave birth to the modern academic writing was bred through the Ages of Erudition, Rationalism, Enlightenment and Romanticism. In the end of his speech, Prof. YANG also put forward his concern with history study nowadays that the issues regarding the fragmentation of study, blurring of objects and weakening of the academic function appeared to have forged some new dilemmas.

The visitors also met representatives from the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, and the School of Journalism and Communication, as arranged by the Office of Academic Links (China). The visit was satisfactorily concluded.


Recapping the Academic Seminar “五一廣場簡牘探討” conducted by Prof. LAI Ming Chiu on 21 September 2018

In 2010, archaeologists discovered nearly thirty-thousand slips and boards near the Wuyi Square, the centre of Changsha. Most of the slips and boards were official documents from Changsha Commandary or Linxiang County dating back to the Eastern Han Dynasty. Using these slips and boards, together with the two silk maps excavated from the Mawangdui Tombs, Prof. LAI Ming Chiu discussed the transportation, migration, and business within the Xiang River’s basin during the Han Dynasty. He pointed out that the archaeological material provided many unknown historical details which were not available from the literature. Thus, it could be a good resource to develop new research questions.


Upcoming Events

Public Lectures on History 2018-19

With the theme of Key Political Figures of Modern China, two distinguished scholars will deliver lectures in October and November 2018.

4 October 2018 (Thursday)
First Lecture
Date : 4 October 2018 (Thursday)
Time : 5:00pm–6:30pm
Venue : Cho Yiu Conference Hall
G/F, University Administration Building, CUHK
Topic : Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek’s “Experiences in Japan”: Remodeling the Ideal Context of Modern China
Speaker : Prof. HUANG Tzu-chin
Research Fellow, Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica
Moderator : Prof. POO Mu-chou
Division Head and Research Professor
Department of History, CUHK
Language : Putonghua
15 November 2018 (Thursday)
Second Lecture
Date : 15 November 2018 (Thursday)
Time : 7:00pm–8:30pm
Venue : Lecture Theatre, G/F, Hong Kong Central Library
66 Causeway Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Topic : The Legacy of Mao Zedong
Speaker :  Prof. YIP Hon Ming
Adjunct Professor, Department of History, CUHK
Moderator : Prof. HO Pui Yin
Vice Chair and Professor
Department of History, CUHK
Language : Cantonese

Admission is free; reservation is required.
– For online registration and more information, please visit
– Call at 3943 8541

Organisers:Department of History, CUHK; Centre for Comparative and Public History, Department of History, CUHK; MA Programme in Comparative and Public History, Department of History, CUHK; Hong Kong Public Libraries, Leisure and Cultural Services Department


Academic Seminar

5 October 2018 (Friday)
Date : 5 October 2018 (Friday)
Time : 4:30pm–6:15pm
Venue : Room 302, 3/F, Lee Shau Kee Building, CUHK
Topic : 香港華資企業史研究的困境:以珠寶零售業為例
Speaker : Dr. MA Muk Chi
Language : Putonghua
Enquiry : 3943 8541


Academic Seminar

12 October 2018 (Friday)
To Kill or Not to Kill? Oxen and Beef-eating in Modern China
Date : 12 October 2018 (Friday)
Time : 4:30pm–6:15pm
Venue : Room 302, 3/F, Lee Shau Kee Building, CUHK
Topic : To Kill or Not to Kill? Oxen and Beef-eating in Modern China
Speaker : Prof. POON Shuk Wah
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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