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Public lecture “Varieties of the English” by Tse Hao Guang

Date: 17 Nov 2016 (Thursday)

Time: 14:30-16:30

Venue: D1-LP-08, EdUHK

Speaker: Tse Hao Guang, Singapore-based poet 


In this talk Singaporean poet Tse Hao Guang will look at poetry, including his own which comments on postcolonial and postmodern turns in Singapore culture. He will consider the ways in which Singaporean writers try to employ conversational/natural voices to counter the perception that poetry is elitist. Drawing on Singaporean writing in traditional and nonce forms, particularly writing that makes use of creole and pidgin, Tse will argue that there are ways to productively engage in linguistic experimentation, reclaim a colonial tool, and resist the neocolonial urge to consider such Englishes low prestige, all at once.

Assembled with parts from Hong Kong and Malaysia, Tse Hao Guang 謝皓光 is the author of hyperlinkage (2013) and Deeds of Light (2015, both Math Paper Press). Deeds was shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize in 2016. He co-edits the cross-genre, collaborative journal OF ZOOS, and UnFree Verse (2017), the in-progress anthology of Singapore poetry in received and nonce forms. He serves as essays editor of the online educational/critical resource, and is a 2016 fellow of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.



No registration is required. For enquiries, please contact Mr. Manni CHEUNG: (E), (T) 2948-7360.


We look forward to seeing you in the lecture.



Film Screening: exodus of nowhere, episode 2: gamble (selected excerpt)

Screening & Discussion: exodus of nowhere, episode 2: gamble

Co-created by Lee Wai Yi, Enoch Ng, and Kelvin Wu, 2014. A v-artivist film.

Date: 21 Nov 2016 (Mon)

Time: 19:30-21:30

Venue: C-LP-02

Language: (Screening) Cantonese, English and Putonghua, with Chinese and English subtitles; (Discussion) Cantonese, with simultaneous interpretation in English


exodus of no where is a film series concerning the relationships between the grassroots and the borders. The three filmmakers attempt to understand in what way does the narrative network constituted by migration, border-crossing, wealth disparity, colonization, gender politics, capitalistic globalization and ethnic politics creates countless tragedies of the grassroots, through looking into small family histories and grand narration of human migration.



v-artivist, a Hong Kong community based art group, believes that ‘art is the creative expression of the relationship between individual and collective’, and is thus devoted to “give art back to the people and let people return to art”. most of v-artivist film-length “productions”, which concerns the livelihood of the grassroots, are continuous participatory documentaries that involves co-creation with people who are “being filmed”, including people in deep distress (2013), raging land film series (2010-), walk on! shung ning road (2011), and home where the yellow banners fly (2006). the essay-film trilogy exodus of nowhere is their response to the growing ethnic tension in contemporary Hong Kong. other than filmmaking, v-artivist is also actively engaged in media literary movement to empower the grassroots’ continuous and autonomous engagement with art.







Public Lecture: “Poeticizing The Archives” by poet and essayist Lawrence Ypil (20 Oct 2016)

The Centre for Popular Culture in the Humanities cordially invites you to attend a public lecture “Poeticizing The Archives” by poet and essayist, Lawrence L. Ypil. Details of the talk are as follows:

Date: 20 October 2016 (Thursday)

Time: 15:30 – 17:00

Venue: D2-LP-05, Tai Po Campus

Lecture Abstract

For the past few years, poet and essayist Lawrence Lacambra Ypil has been writing about early twentieth century photography. In this talk, he shares his experience of working on his ongoing project entitled “There.” Through a series of lyric essays, he ruminates on postcolonial photography and Southeast Asian urbanity.

In the project, he explores the role of photography in cultural memory, but also the specific challenges faced by the creative writer when confronting the historical archives. What forms of knowledge are revealed, perhaps even revelled in, when one chooses to write poems about history? In what way do hybrid forms, forms which transgress borders between poetry and prose, text and image, permit ways of speaking and singing that allow us a renewed sense of history?

About the Speaker

Lawrence Lacambra Ypil is a poet and essayist from Cebu, Philippines. He received an MFA in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Iowa and an MFA in Poetry from Washington University in St Louis on a Fulbright Scholarship. His first book of poems, The Highest Hiding Place (2009) was given the Madrigal Gonzalez Best First Book Award and his work has received numerous awards including The Academy of American Poets Prize, the Philippines Free Press Awards, and the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards. He is currently writing a book on ethnography, early twentieth century photography and the role of material culture in the construction of cultural identity. His work also straddles the borders between poetry and prose, text and image. He teaches writing at Yale-NUS College in Singapore.

For enquiries, please contact Mr. Manni CHEUNG: (E), (T) 2948-7360.


Guest Seminar: “The Interim is Mine”: Ambition and Opportunity in Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Feng Xiaogang’s The Banquet (2006)

Date: 13 Sept 2016 (Tuesday)

Time: 15:30-17:30

Venue: D2-LP-09, EdUHK

Speaker: Robin S. Stewart, School of Humanities University of California, Irvine

Since its release in 2006, critical discussions of Feng Xiaogang’s The Banquet have often focused on Feng’s ambition to make a film that would be as successful internationally as his New Year’s films had been in the domestic Chinese market previously. According to this narrative, Feng’s decision to adapt Hamlet was a calculated attempt to leverage Shakespeare’s cultural capital in order to win over Western audiences. While such a cynical reading of Feng’s motives is undoubtedly correct on the surface (as the director’s own word in interviews have indicated), this talk suggests that Hamlet – with its themes of ambition, opportunity, and generational conflict – offered Feng a set of deep thematic resonances to reflect upon his own position within the changing dynamics of Chinese cinema, allowing him to explore his own personal ambitions and ambivalences as well as his ambitions for the Chinese film industry as a whole.

For enquiries, please contact Mr. Manni Cheung via


Behind Concrete Walls: Images of Migrant Women, Anxiety, Hope and Empowerment

Exhibition: 18-21 April 2016 (All Day)

Forum: 21 April 2016 (13:00-14:00). Speaker: Ms. Cynthia Ca Tellez, General Manager, MFMW



In cooperation with Mission for Migrant Workers(MFMW), Bethune House and HER Fund, The Centre for Popular Culture in the Humanities is organised a photo exhibition entitled “Behind Concrete Walls: Images on Migrant Women, Anxiety, Hope and Empowerment” featuring works by the photographer Ms. Xyza Cruz Bacani, whose inspiring story was widely reported by mainstream media.


About Xyza Cruz Bacani:

Xyza Cruz Bacani was born in the Philippines. In her young age, she came to Hong Kong as a domestic helper to support her family. With the support of her employer, she started taking street and documentary photographers in the city with an outsider’s perspective. The subjects of her photographs were often other domestic helpers in Hong Kong, particularly those who had been abused or were in distress. She received the Magnum Foundation Fellowship for Human Right in 2015 and enrolled in a photography course at the Tisch School of Arts, New York University. Her aspiration is to be a photojournalist and to help people with her images.


With the current heated discussions on migrants, refugees and human rights around the globe, it would be a suitable time to look back to the often overlooked community of migrants in Hong Kong. The series of events is planned with the hope to raise awareness and provide opportunities for new dialogues.

Visiting Scholar Programme 2016: Dr. Esther Peeren

The Centre for Popular Culture in the Humanities was proud to host Dr. Esther Peeren from the University of Amsterdam as a Visiting Scholar from April 11-13, 2016.

Dr. Esther Peeren is Associate Professor of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam, Vice-Director of the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA) and Vice-Director of the Amsterdam Centre for Globalisation Studies (ACGS). With Jeroen de Kloet, she is also series editor of Palgrave Studies in Globalization, Culture and Society.

She is the author of The Spectral Metaphor: Living Ghosts and the Agency of Invisibility (Palgrave, 2014) and Intersubjectivities and Popular Culture: Bakhtin and Beyond (Stanford UP, 2008), and co-editor of The Shock of the Other: Situating Alterities (Rodopi, 2007),Representation Matters: (Re)Articulating Collective Identities in a Postcolonial World (Rodopi, 2010), Popular Ghosts: The Haunted Spaces of Everyday Culture (Continuum, 2010) and The Spectralities Reader (Bloomsbury, 2013).

Her research on globalisation focuses on how processes of globalisation influence the formation and representation (in literature, film, and television) of marginal subjectivities, on the underilluminated impact of globalisation on rural areas, and on the changing relationship between centres and peripheries.

During her visit, she offered three events that were open to both faculty and students:

(11 April) Workshop: How To Do Cultural Analysis

Date: 11.04.2016 (Mon)

Time: 11:30-13:30

Venue: D4-G/F-04


Cultural analysis is an interdisciplinary approach that offers a way to analyse many types of cultural objects: from literature, film and television to music, theater, advertisements, news reports, billboards, official documents, festivals, etc. It approaches these objects according to four main principles:

1) always look closely;

2) do not think that you already know what your object is or how you will interpret it, but allow the object to surprise you;

3) be aware of the assumptions you bring to the object because of your background and the context in which you analyze it;

4) when using a theory or concept in your analysis, do not just ask what the theory/concept says about the object, but also ask whether the object teaches you something new about the theory/concept.

(12 April) Lecture: Peripheral Visions in the Globalizing Present

Date: 12.04.2016

Time: 12:30-14:30

Venue: D1-LP-06

Respondent: Dr. Heidi Huang, Department of English, Hong Kong Baptist University


Does it still make sense to speak of centers and peripheries? Globalization discourses, whether proposing a flattened world or one traversed by disjunctive flows, tend to stress the inadequacy of center-periphery models. Yet it seems impossible to understand the globalizing present without making some distinction between what is (becoming) central and what is (becoming) peripheral in geographical, political, economic, social and/or cultural terms. This lecture shifts the focus from the central and ask how today’s peripheries are lived, imagined and mobilized in strategic ways, arguing that peripheries are invaluable for creating alternative perspectives on the globalizing present and also impact what is central by its interconnected realms of revelation, innovation and futurity.

(13 April) Workshop: Spectrality and Literature

Date: 13.04.2016 (Wed)

Time: 18:30-20:30

Venue: B4-LP-05


The “spectral turn” of the 1990s put ghosts and haunting center stage as conceptual metaphors able to illuminate various phenomena involving a sense of simultaneous absence and presence, materiality and immateriality. Much of the force of the spectral metaphor was derived from literary accounts featuring literal ghosts, including Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Toni Morrison’s Beloved. In turn, Julian Wolfreys has applied the spectral metaphor to literature in order to argue that it is itself an inevitably haunted realm. This workshop aims to explore the close relationship between spectrality and literature as well as the benefits, risks and potential of such an approach.

Esther Peeren will provide an introduction to her book The Spectral Metaphor: Living Ghosts and the Agency of Invisibility, which deals with these questions, leading into a discussion based on three readings distributed in advance of the workshop:

  • María del Pilar Blanco and Esther Peeren, “Introduction: Conceptualizing Spectralities.” The Spectralities Reader: Ghosts and Haunting in Contemporary Cultural Theory. New York: Bloomsbury, 2013. 1-27.
  • Jacques Derrida, “Injunctions of Marx” (excerpt). Specters of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning, & the New International. 1993. Trans. Peggy Kamuf. London and New York: Routledge, 1994. 3-12.
  • Julian Wolfreys, “Preface: On Textual Haunting.” The Spectralities Reader: Ghosts and Haunting in Contemporary Cultural Theory. Ed. María del Pilar Blanco and Esther Peeren. New York: Bloomsbury, 2013. 69-74.