2023 Wordsworth Summer Conference
Tara Lee recently attended the 2023 Wordsworth Summer Conference at Rydal Hall, where she presented a paper on Robert Southey, a Romantic poet and member of Wordsworth's circle. Her paper, titled 'Steam, Speed, and Sacrifice: Epic Machinery in Robert Southey's The Curse of Kehama', comes out of her two-year GRF-funded project 'Visionary Machines: Technology and the Epic in Britain, 1790-1830'. Set in the Lake District, the conference featured a variety of activities related to Wordsworth's life and works, such as visits to Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount, both his former homes, and excursions into the historic, picturesque landscapes of the Lakes.
2023/24 General Research Fund (GRF) announcement – success for Society of Fellows!
Tara Lee has been recently announced by the Research Grants Committee (RGC) as a successful applicant of the 2023/24 General Research Fund (GRF). As the PI of a two-year project, 'Visionary Machines: Technology and the Epic in Britain, 1790-1830', she has received just under HKD 500,000 in funding.
Her project examines how, experimenting with epic form, poets in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain turned to images of machinery to interrogate the limits to human freedom in an increasingly complex, dynamic world. Carrying out literary and digital analysis on the works of Darwin, Southey, Shelley, Blake, and others, she asks the following question: ‘What can Romantic thinking about machines in verse tell us about revolution, progress, necessity, and individual agency?’ Beyond contextualizing poetic encounters with machines both real and imaginary, she considers how technological change afforded innovative approaches to form, narrative, and the attribution of agency in the epic. In doing so, she takes interdisciplinary research on the relationship between technology and literary forms in the long eighteenth century, research which has hitherto focused on the novel, into new territory.
Fellows to take up Tenure-Track positions in UK, Australian and Hong Kong Universities
As many as five fellows have secured new positions this year. Let us congratulate them!
Pete Millwood ('23) is taking up the position of Lecturer / Assistant Professor in History at The University of Melbourne, where he will be teaching Modern Chinese History and Diplomatic History.
Areti Theofilopoulou ('22) is joining the Department of Philosophy at Birmingham University as Assistant Professor in the Ethics of Non-Violence. Also in the UK, Trude Renwick ('24) has been offered a tenure-track position in the Department of Architecture at Manchester University.
In Hong Kong, Linus Huang ('23) has joined the Division of Humanities of HKUST as Research Assistant Professor. At HKUST he will continue his work in the Philosophy of Science, Neuroscience, and Artificial Intelligence. Claire Gullander ('23) will take up an Assistant Professorship in English at City University as of July 1.
Four Fellows Moving to New Positions
October 10, 2022
As we welcome three new fellows on board, let us also congratulate four fellows who have successfully secured new positions despite a difficult job market:
Dr. Hanwool Choe is now Assistant Professor in School of English at the University of Hong Kong. She will continue investigating how internet generations—Millennials and members of Generation Z— use daily vlogging (video logging of everyday lives, shared on YouTube). By integrating a range of theoretical perspectives, including sociolinguistics, social semiotics, sociology, and anthropology, her scholarship aims to deepen and broaden the evolving interdisciplinary discussions of ‘authenticity’ of identity, language, and food in the context of everyday vlogs.
Dr. Timothy Gitzen is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Wake Forest University and will begin a new project on queer youth sexuality and sex education, focusing specifically on college students in the United States.
Dr. Areti Theofilopoulou is joining the Interdisciplinary Research Lab in Bioethics (IRLaB) at the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Her current project is about injustice of abuse, and her recent work focuses on the ethics of personal relationships, and particularly on abuse and neglect.
Dr. Bai Yunfei has joined Department of Translation at the Lingnan University as Assistant Professor. His latest publication (article) is titled “Untranslated World Literature: The Chinese Novels of César Aira,” in Translation Studies (forthcoming).
"Ping Pong Diplomacy: U.S.-China Exchange
Then and Now"
May 23, 2022
The National Committee on the United States-China Relations hosted a virtual program on April 18, 2022 with Pete Millwood and Jing Tsu as they reflected on the 50th anniversary of the Chinese ping pong team’s historic visit to the United States and its continued relevance to the U.S.-China relationship today, in a conversation moderated by Keisha Brown. The talk is recorded and available at: https://www.ncuscr.org/event/ping-pong-diplomacy-us-china-exchange/
Abstract of the talk: After more than two decades of hostility, Ping Pong Diplomacy began a shift in the U.S.-China relationship towards exchange and engagement. In 1972, engagement was far from inevitable and, just as in 2022, anything but easy, with detractors on both sides. The challenges faced and overcome during the early years of exchange may offer lessons for today: despite competition, skepticism, and controversy, engagement remains critical for addressing global, regional, and bilateral issues effectively.
New Article Publishes
APRIL 19, 2022
'“Minute by Minute”: The Radical Presentism of Queer Youth Sexuality' by Dr. Timothy Gitzen:
This article examines the radical presentism portrayed in narratives of queer youth sexuality. In particular, it interrogates the portrayal of queer youth sexuality and mental health in the Norwegian teen television drama Skam and three of its European adaptations (Skam France, Skam Italia, and wtFOCK).
The article is published in the interdisciplinary journal Sexuality & Culture, Volume 26 (Issue 2), in April 2022.
New Monograph Coming Soon
MARCH 18, 2022
Scream for Life. The invention of a punk counter-culture in the People’s republic of China (Scream for life. L’invention d’une contre-culture punk en Chine populaire, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2022, 414p.)
This monograph retraces for the first time the history of the punk-rock movement in China since its inception in the 1990s in Beijing and Wuhan. Using a ethnographic approach, the author explores the meaning given by Chinese punks to their musical practices. This book provides an unprecedented perspective on this little-known cultural movement, recalling the story of Chinese rock or the introduction of dakou CDs and tapes in the Chinese black-market, describing in details an ethnography of a tour with a punk band or the politics of pogo dancing in underground live venues.
Nathanel Amar holds a PhD in political science from Sciences Po Paris and is the director of the Taipei antenna of the French Centre for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC). He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Society of Fellows in the Humanities of the University of Hong Kong between 2017 and 2019.
For more details of the book, please visit: https://pur-editions.fr/product/8156/scream-for-life
New Book Published
FEBRUARY 14, 2022
Philosophy of Neuroscience, the new book by Dr. Linus Huang (Postdoctoral Fellow at the Society of Fellows), provides a comprehensive introduction to philosophy of neuroscience. It covers such topics as how neuroscientists procure knowledge and presents examples of knowledge acquired in neuroscience that are then employed to discuss more philosophical topics such as the nature of explanations developed in neuroscience.
The book is available for download online at Cambridge until February 23, 2022.
External Grant Award
JANUARY 24, 2022
Dr. Timothy Gitzen has been awarded USD13,500 (approximately HKD105,300) from the Academy of Korean Studies in support for his recent book project.
New Article & Podcast Features
JANUARY 17, 2022
"Sino-American Social Science Exchanges in the 1970s" article by Pete Millwood:
Items is a digital forum for insights from the social sciences.
From 1947 to 2008, the Items newsletter (also called Items & Issues in its later years) was the principal mode by which social researchers learned about the SSRC’s programs and broader issues in the social sciences. This forum renews and reimagines this newsletter as a space of scholarly engagement; its curated essays reflect on the state of the social sciences today.
"Duties Towards Children" podcast featuring Areti Theofilopoulou
Thoughts: Philosophy Untangled is a podcast created by Glasgow University Philosophy students. In every episode, they explore a different philosophical topic with an expert.
Four Fellows Take Up New Positions
DECEMBER 19, 2019
Despite a difficult job market, the Society of Fellows in the Humanities continues to boast a successful job placement record. Following Yu Zhang‘s departure last year, to take up a tenure-track position in Chinese Literature at Poly U, this year we saw a record four post-doctoral fellows accept as many positions.
Monica Lee Steinberg is now Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of Hong Kong. In this role, she is continuing to research and write in the area of art, pseudonymity, and law.
Since September 1st, 2019, Nathanel Amar has been a researcher and the director of the French Centre for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC), Taipei office. Located in the Academia Sinica, CEFC Taipei was created in 1994 to promote French and Taiwanese academic cooperation and organize seminars and conferences on a wide range of subjects.
On 1 January 2020, John Gabriel will join the Musicology/Ethnomusicology faculty at the University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at the rank of Lecturer. The Conservatorium is Australia’s oldest and largest school of music, and the University of Melbourne is regularly ranked Australia’s top research university. This is a full-time, tenure-track equivalent position.
Also starting in January 2020, Robert Kramm begins his appointment as Freigeist-Fellow and principal investigator of the research group “Radical Utopian Communities: Global Histories from the Margins, 1900-1950” at the Department of History, LMU Munich. The research is funded by the VolkswagenStiftung with over EUR 860,000 as part of their Freigeist-Fellowships, a highly competitive program for early-career scholars designed to facilitate the implementation of extraordinary research projects.
Two Fellows Accept New Roles
OCTOBER 16, 2019
Dr. John Gabriel has accepted a new position as Lecturer in Musicology (permanent, tenure-track equivalent) at University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, commencing from January 2020.
Dr. Robert Kramm receives over EUR 860,000 from the VolkswagenStiftung for his project “Radical Utopian Communities” as part of the Freigeist-Fellowship program. The project will be affiliated with the Department of History and the Munich Center for Global History at LMU Munich starting January 2020.
Four New Fellows Joining the Society &
Two Moving to New Positions
September 4, 2019
Welcome back from the summer break! Here’s an update of our people –
Meanwhile, two of us had moved on to other positions: Dr. Monica Steinberg is an Assistant Professor in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures (American Studies) of HKU; while Dr. Nathanel Amar has been appointed as the Director of the French Centre for Research on Contemporary China in Taipei, Taiwan.
Also, there will be a series of events and lectures to come this Fall, stay tuned! Looking forward to seeing you!
June 4, 2019
Congratulations! Dr. Monica Steinberg has been awarded for the Patricia and Phillip Frost Essay Award for her article “Naming: Heteronymy and the Imaginary Artists of George Herms”, selected by the editorial board of American Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s peer-reviewed journal.
The full press release is available at: https://americanart.si.edu/press/2019/15/monica-steinberg-receives-15th-annual-frost-essay-award-her-article-about-george
The article “Naming: Heteronymy and the Imaginary Artists of George Herms” is available at: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/699609
Activity Notes (1st Semester, 2018/19)
December 13, 2018
Dr. John Gabriel
This semester, John gave presentations on the German musical imaginary of China in the 1920s at the annual conference of the German Studies Association, on the role of jazz in the Communist propaganda music of Hanns Eisler at the conference “Machines in the Musical Imagination” at the University of Ottawa, on radio opera in Weimar Republic Germany at the annual conference of the American Musicological Society, and on German/American cultural exchange at the symposium "Mediating Music/Sound" at HKU. He also had an article on Ideologies of Late Style in the Reception of Elliott Carter’s Music come out in the journal Elephant and Castle: Laboratorio dell’imaginario.
Dr. Beth Harper
Since arriving in Hong Kong Beth has traveled to present at three different conferences. She presented a paper entitled “Christian Mysticism, Platonism and the Zhuangzi: first contacts and collisions” at the Contemporary Philosophy in East Asia Conference at National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan. 9-11 August 2018. She returned to Taipei to present at Taipei Tech's biennial literature conference on "Literary Fantasy and its Discontents", 21-23 November, finally she traveled to Vienna, Austria to present at paper from her book project entitled "Bad Mothers in Early Modern Tragedy" at an interdisciplinary conference on the topic of Evil Women, 1-2 December.
Dr. Harriet Hulme
Harriet recently presented her work at the Borders Inside and Out Symposium at CUHK, giving a paper focused upon the theme of hospitality in the work of Mohsin Hamid. Next semester, she will participate in several conferences: in February, she will present on the ethics of re-narration at the Uses and Abuses of Storytelling Conference in Finland; in March, she travels to Tokyo to present her work at the Asian Conference on Arts and Humanities 2019; and in July she will give a paper at the Society of French Studies Annual Conference in the UK.