About Global Hong Kong Studies @ University of California

We are a group of faculties and students from various campuses of the University of California system. Coming from different disciplines in the social sciences and the humanities, we share a common interest in the global scholarship about Hong Kong. Our goal is to promote research, teaching and public engagement related to Global Hong Kong Studies as a field of knowledge. This initiative is made possible by a seed grant from Dean Darnell Hunt of the UCLA Social Science Division.

What is “Global Hong Kong Studies”?

As a field of knowledge, Global Hong Kong Studies seeks to understand the global connections and contexts of Hong Kong’s past and present as well as its theoretical and disciplinary relevance. It goes beyond conventional area studies’ approach to a particular place, country or region defined by geographical and jurisdictional boundaries because

  • a global approach means understanding Hong Kong’s historical, social, cultural, political and economic formation through comparative analysis with other societies and in dialogue with theories in the disciplines. This is very different from a myopic, inward looking approach to the city as a bounded entity in isolation from the rest;

  • the Hong Kong experience  -- as a transnational and transregional hub, the world’s financial center, Asia’s Hollywood, a multi-ethnic migrant society, a city of protests, Communist China’s restive frontier, a colonial, post-colonial, internal colonial formation, an instance of authoritarian resurgence, and more -- is a resource for theory building in many fields across the social science and humanities;

  • de-territorializing Hong Kong and reconceptualizing it as an amalgamation of historical and contemporary processes, an intersection of cultural currents and conflicts and global political economic dynamics opens up new insights and potentialities for scholarship and praxis

  • global Hong Kong Studies calls for a joint enterprise across institutions, building an intellectual space for global dialogues among scholars, students, and the public from different parts of the world.

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