Visiting Scholar Scheme 2024-25

Visiting Scholar Scheme 2024-25

Closing Date: 31 May 2024

The Hong Kong History Centre, based in the School of Humanities at the University of Bristol (UK) is now welcoming applications from visiting scholars.

The scheme welcomes expressions of interest globally from colleagues at various stages of their career who would like to contribute to, and benefit from, research activities at the Centre.

For the academic year 2024-25, we have the following funded opportunities available:

a. Visiting Research Associate positions. These are for applicants at any stage of their academic career (Early Career to Professorship) working on the history of Hong Kong, to progress their own projects and to contribute to the activities of the Centre, and more widely the School of Humanities and the Faculty of Arts. We welcome visitors for 1-3 months and in support of this activity the Centre can reimburse, against receipts, travel and subsistence costs of up to £3,000.

b. Visiting Postgraduate Research (PGR) student positions. These are for applicants who are registered as current research students at another university and who are working on the history of Hong Kong. Candidates will be expected to engage with the research community in the Centre and the School as appropriate. We welcome visiting PGR Students for 1-3 months and in support of this activity the Centre can reimburse, against receipts, travel and subsistence costs of up to £2,000 per student.

Visitors will be provided with access to shared office space and the library, and can benefit generally from a wealth of subject-specific resources from the Centre, School and wider University. In addition, you will be able to enjoy:

  • Development of new research relationships and access to a wide variety of research-related events.
  • The opportunity to participate in the life of the Hong Kong History Centre, the world’s first research centre focusing on the study of Hong Kong history.
  • Opportunities to present your research to colleagues and postgraduates within the History Department for peer support and input.

We are also able to consider applicants who are fully self-funded (by their home institution or other awards).

The deadline for all applications for joining us in academic year 2024-25 is 31 May 2024.

Application Process: Visiting Research Associate

If you are interested in applying as a Visiting Research Associate, the first step is to secure potential sponsorship from one of the Directors of the Hong Kong History Centre (Prof. Robert Bickers, Dr. Vivian Kong, or Prof. Ray Yep). If a sponsor agrees that your visit would be mutually beneficial, please submit your expression of interest to hkhistory-centre@bristol.ac.uk, attaching:

  1. Your CV
  2. A summary of your research project during your time in Bristol, including brief details of proposed research question, methodology, timetable, outcomes and how the visit contributes to the Hong Kong History Centre research and interests of individual members of staff

Selection will be based on the relevance of the research topic to the research themes active in the Centre, and final decisions will be made by the sponsor in liaison with the Centre Research Director. A good standard of English is essential.

If approved, you will be invited to complete the application process and you will receive a letter confirming your place as a ‘Visiting Research Associate’ and the dates of your intended stay.

Application Process: Visiting Postgraduate Research (PGR) student

If you wish to apply to come to the Hong Kong History Centre as visiting student, you must first secure the agreement of one of the Directors of the  Hong Kong History Centre (Prof. Robert Bickers, Dr. Vivian Kong, or Prof. Ray Yep), to act as your supervisor for the duration of your visit before you submit your application. You should contact them directly, using the contact details provided in the links.

Once you have secured the agreement of a potential supervisor and have agreed the dates for your visit with them, please submit your expression of interest to hkhistory-centre@bristol.ac.uk attaching:

  1. Your CV
  2. A cover letter
  3. A supporting statement from your supervisor in your home institution
  4. A 500-word outline of the proposed research at Bristol indicating the reasons for requesting visiting postgraduate researcher status, including current PhD project, goals and expected outcomes of your visit, and which academic(s) amongst current Hong Kong History Centre staff you will be working with.

If approved, you will be invited to complete the application process and you will receive a letter confirming your place as a ‘Visiting PGR Student’ and the dates of your intended stay.

Decisions

The deadline for all applications for joining us in academic year 2024-25 is 31 May 2024.

Applications will be considered only after the deadline of 31 May, and we will then notify successful applicants before the end of June 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions

3RD WORKSHOP OF EARLY CAREER SCHOLARS ON HONG KONG HISTORY

On 22th March, we had our third meeting of Network of Early Career Scholars on Hong Kong History. An enjoyable afternoon with Sze Hong Lam (Leiden University) examining at the international legal implications of the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 1514(XV) and 1541(XV), and how they have a lasting impact on Hong Kong’s autonomy even today; Alex Cheung (University of Bristol) reconstructing daily life experience of living in Chinese tenements and Hong Kong, and how housing condition in port cities displaced migrant workers; Phyllis Chan (University of Bristol) examining how officials investigated claims that Hong Kong residents made to British nationality; and Adrian Kwong (University of Oxford) arguing the socialisation experiences of education and work created by Hong Kong’s development challenges the authoritarian stability of Hong Kong, but the high-income and wealthy stratum benefitting from the current political economy supports it.

You can find the abstract of the presentation here.

It is always great to meet new friends and exchange ideas. We intend to meet regularly and if you are scholar based in the UK and want to be part of this network, Please write to Prof. Ray Yep, Research Director of Hong Kong History Centre, at rekmy@bristol.ac.uk. 

Job Opening: Centre Manager, Hong Kong History Centre (Maternity Cover)

Centre Manager, Hong Kong History Centre (Maternity Cover)

The role

The School of Humanities is seeking to recruit a Centre Manager for the Hong Kong History Centre. Led by Prof Robert Bickers, Dr Vivian Kong and Prof Ray Yep, the Centre will develop into a flagship research centre within the University and within the field of Hong Kong/China studies in the UK and internationally.

What will you be doing?

The role of the Centre Manager is to support the full range of activities of the Hong Kong History Centre.  In particular, the post-holder will lead planning and policy development in respect of all matters relating to the activities of the Centre, including a substantial programme of historical research, engagement, outreach, and training. Working with partners in the UK and internationally, communications, profile-raising, policy and public engagement will be key.

You should apply if

  • You have experience and skills to play a central role in driving forward research centres within Higher Education and of responding to funder requirements.
  • You are confident working independently and be able to deal with ambiguity, as well as working effectively with others in a busy team environment.
  • You possess excellent organisation and prioritisation skills, able to delegate effectively, are analytical and have strong attention to detail.
  • You are an effective communicator with strong liaison skills and an excellent track record of working effectively across a range of stakeholders to develop and manage academic research.
  • Fluency in Cantonese and advanced reading knowledge of Chinese may be an advantage.

Please check University website for details. The job posting will end at 2nd April 2024.

Introducing Ryan Iu

One of the Centre’s missions is to nurture a new generation of Hong Kong historians.

An Early Career Scholar Network was created under the Hong Kong History Centre in June 2023. It is intended to help create a community of Hong Kong historians and offer a platform for face-to-face interaction and academic exchange among young scholars. Research students and fresh doctoral graduates working on socioeconomic, political and cultural history of Hong Kong and its global relevance are welcomed. We usually meet thrice a year (February, June and October) with participants taking turn to present their works in each meeting. Financial support is provided for our network members attending these sessions.

Please write to Prof. Ray Yep, Research Director of Hong Kong History Centre, at rekmy@bristol.ac.uk, if you are interested in joining this Network.

——

In this post, we would like to introduce Ryan Iu, a member of the Network.

Ryan Iu is a PhD student in Bristol. In the note written by him below, he shares with us his reflections on his academic journey and current project on ‘Imperial Graduates: Mapping Hong Kong’s Elites’ Networks across the British Empire, 1862-1941’.

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Ite ad fontes, a Latin phrase that could be translated to ‘Go back to the origins’.

It was the summer of 2021, and I am knee-deep in archival research at the University of Hong Kong Special Collection. This wasn’t just any old summer break – no, I was on a research trip in the midst of my master’s program at the University of British Columbia, digging out useful materials for my master’s thesis. And then it happened, as I was flipping through pages of The Anglo Chinese Commercial Directory from 1915, I stumbled upon a name that caught my eye. Without hesitation, I messaged my father.

“Hey Dad, I found someone in some old Hong Kong directories from 1915 who shares the same romanization of our last name ‘Iu’ (姚 in Chinese). His name is ‘Iu Nim Yu’, and he worked as a clerk at the International Banking Corporation. I can’t believe I found this in some old directories!”

My father responded. “Yes, it is quite interesting. You know, our family has deep roots in Hong Kong, going back generations. I’ve heard that our unique romanization of ‘Iu’ instead of the more common ‘Yiu’ stems from our ancestor’s desire to differentiate themselves from other ‘Yius’.”

Fast forward to the summer of 2023. After acquiring the genealogy book from a distant relative in Hong Kong, I dove into its pages, eager to trace my family’s roots. What I discovered left me utterly stunned, mouth agape in disbelief. ‘Iu Nim Yu’ was not just a random name from the past – he was my great-grandfather, operating under a pseudonym. None of my immediate family members had any clue of this discovery; after all, my great-grandfather had passed away when my grandfather was just a toddler, and my grandfather himself had long left this world before I came into it. Further research revealed that the Iu family had wielded significant influence within the comprador networks of the International Banking Corporation (now Citibank) in Hong Kong during the early twentieth century.

Staff and Compradors of the International Banking Corporation Hong Kong Branch in 1906. 5 out of 11 of them carried the last name ‘Iu’. (Photo from Peter Starr, Citibank: A Century in Asia (Singapore: Editions Didier Millet, 2002), 32.)
1906年香港萬國寶通銀行分行的員工和買辦。圖中11人有5人姓「姚」(Iu)。 (相片來源:Peter Starr, Citibank: A Century in Asia (Singapore: Editions Didier Millet, 2002), 32.)

Well, of course, my passion for studying the past extends beyond being an ancestry detective. Vice versa, thanks to my obsession with history, it pays to go back to my origins – you never know what fascinating secrets you might uncover along the way. My interest in history started when I was a child – it was diverse, ranging from ancient Chinese history (thanks to the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms) to modern European history (courtesy of the movie The Sound of Music). This passion led me to major in history at the University of British Columbia. After earning my BA, I hungered for more knowledge and initially planned to research the populace’s opinion in Germany towards the Treaty of Versailles. However, due to a language barrier in German, I shifted my focus to my hometown – Hong Kong – and ended up writing a master’s thesis titled ‘The Government Central School and the Elite Networks in Early Colonial Hong Kong’. Initially, I intended to study the multi-ethnic body of students in the Central School, but as I delved into my research, I became fascinated by the interconnected networks among the elite alumni, who formed such networks through marriage, political and commercial collaborations, civic partnerships, etc. I argued that the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural Central School was a conducive site for building networks and fostering a conflicting ‘Westernized Chineseness’ mentality among these elites. Besides, I have built a Digital Humanities side project to visually represent the intricate networks of key bureaucratic figures in early colonial Hong Kong, revealing insights that may have been overlooked using traditional research method.

Digital Humanities project: Network in Early Colonial Hong Kong – Rhumbl Graph
數位人文平台: 早期殖民時期香港的網絡 – Rhumbl圖表

I saw potential in my research upon completing my master’s studies. What if I expand my investigation on the Hong Kong-based elite networks and reconsider them in a local, transregional, and intra-imperial context beyond Hong Kong and within the British Empire? In my proposed Ph.D. project tentatively titled ‘Imperial Graduates: Mapping Hong Kong’s Elites’ Networks across the British Empire, 1862-1941’, I aim to further investigate deeper into how these individuals have structured transpacific, maritime, and intra-imperial connections. By tracing their biographical experiences and extensive networks – beyond textual sources like newspapers and archival documents – I hope to recruit family members or descendants of these elites in oral history interviews, gathering insights into life stories and involvements of their elite ancestors while tracing their ancestry, origins, and familial networks.

Hong Kong was – and still is – a transnational hub. My research aims to reflect on the historical experiences and mechanism of empire and place Hong Kong within the framework of transnational (or transregional) and global history. It allows me to reimagine Hong Kong – through the Hong Kong-based elite network – as one dimension of the interconnected circulation of assets, ideas, institutions, objects, and social and cultural capital, and more.

Looking ahead, I hope the case studies in my research will inspire people to ponder their origins and ancestry, enriching the understanding of family histories. After all, everyone is connected through various types of networks. I am grateful to have been a student associate at the University of British Columbia’s Hong Kong Studies Initiative. Now, I am honoured and excited to be part of the University of Bristol’s Hong Kong History Centre family – with a vibrant network of young scholars – allowing me to contribute to the history of Hong Kong by pursuing my passion for uncovering the past and exploring origins.

Ite ad fontes, everyone.

****

Ite ad fontes ——一個拉丁詞語,可以翻譯為「回到起源」。

2021年的夏天,我在香港大學特藏部埋首檔案研究。不,這不僅是個普通的暑假,當時我在攻讀卑詩大學碩士學位的途中開展了研究旅程,到香港挖掘出有用的史料來撰寫我的碩士論文。正當我的指尖翻閱著1915年《香港中華商業交通人名指南錄》,一個名字引起我注意。我毫不猶豫,立即傳訊息給我父親。

「爸,我在一些1915年的香港企業名錄裏,找到一個人與我們姓氏有著相同英文拼音IU(中文為姚)。他名字是『姚念愈』,曾在萬國寶通銀行擔任文員。我真不敢相信我在這些古老企業名錄中發現這個!」

我的父親回覆道:「是的,這確實有趣。你知道嗎?我們家族在香港紮根甚深,能回溯到好幾代以前。我曾聽說我們獨特的『IU』拼音,而非更常見的『YIU』,是源於我們祖先想要區別於其他『YIU』的姚氏。」

快轉到2023年的夏天。我從一位香港遠房親戚那裡得到族譜後,潛進字裏行間,渴望追溯我的家族根源。而當中的發現使我震驚,目瞪口呆,難以置信:「姚念愈」不是一個普通名字——他是我的太爺,而企業名錄記載的是他的字號。我的家人中沒有人知道他的字號;畢竟,我的太爺在我爺爺還是嬰兒的時候就去世了,而我爺爺也在我出生之前就過身了。在進一步研究後,我發現姚(IU) 氏家族在二十世紀初香港萬國寶通銀行(現為花旗銀行)的商業聯繫網中擁有重要影響力。

當然,我對於研究歷史的熱情不止於追溯我的家族根源。反過來說,我對歷史的著迷引領我「回到起源」——你永不知道在過程裏有甚麼等待你去發挖。我對歷史的興趣始於童年時期——從中國古代歷史(多虧《三國演義》這部小說)到現代歐洲歷史(嗚謝電影《仙樂飄飄處處聞》)。這份對歷史的「愛」引導我在卑詩大學主修歷史。取得學士學位後,我渴求更多歷史知識而修讀碩士,最初計劃研究德國民眾對凡爾賽條約的輿論和民意。然而,由於我不諳德文,我把焦點轉移向我的家鄉——香港——並最終寫了名為《中央書院與香港早期殖民時期的精英網絡》的碩士論文。寫作論文初期,我本打算研究中央書院的多元種族學生群體,但隨著深入研究,我著迷於精英校友之間相互關聯的網絡,這些精英透過婚姻、政治和商業合作、公民合作等形式建立起這樣的網絡。我認為,多元種族和多文化的中央書院有助於精英們建立人際網絡和培養出矛盾的『西方化華人特質』心態。另外,我還建立了一個數位人文的副項目,以視覺方式呈現早期殖民時期香港重要官僚人員的複雜網絡,揭示可能被傳統研究方法忽略的見解。

完成碩士學業後,我看到了這個題目的研究潛力。如果我將我的研究擴展到香港的精英網絡,並將其置於超越香港、跨地區和大英帝國內部的脈絡裏呢?在我暫定為《帝國畢業生:繪製香港精英網絡在大英帝國內的地圖,1862-1941》的博士研究項目中,我希望進一步研究這些個體如何構建跨太平洋、南洋和帝國內部的聯繫。通過追蹤他們的生平和廣泛網絡——在報紙和檔案等文字資料外——我打算招募這些精英的家人或後代作口述歷史訪談,收集有關他們精英祖先的生活故事和見解,同時追溯他們的起源和家族網絡。

Prominent Members of the Chinese Community in Hong Kong (Photo from: Arnold Wright and H.A Cartwright, Twentieth Century Impressions of Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Other Treaty Ports of China: Their History, People, Commerce, Industries and Resources (London: Lloyds Greater Britain Publishing Co., 1908), 183.)
早期香港華人社區的知名成員。(相片來源:Arnold Wright and H.A Cartwright, Twentieth Century Impressions of Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Other Treaty Ports of China: Their History, People, Commerce, Industries and Resources (London: Lloyds Greater Britain Publishing Co., 1908), 183.)

香港曾經——且仍是——跨國樞紐。我的研究希望反映帝國的歷史經驗和機制,並將香港置於跨國(或跨地區)和全球歷史的框架之內。透過香港的精英網絡,這使我重新想像香港作為資產、思想、機構、物品、社會資本及文化資本等相互關聯流通的面向。

未來,我希望我研究中的案例研究能夠激發人們思考自己的起源和家族血脈,豐富對家族歷史的理解。畢竟,每個人都通過各種類型的網絡相互聯繫。我很感恩在修讀碩士時能成為卑詩大學共研香江的學生成員。現在,我很榮幸能夠成為布里斯托大學香港史研究中心這個家庭的一員,與一群充滿活力的年輕學者共事,追求對過去的挖掘和探索起源的熱情,為香港歷史做出微小的貢獻。

各位,Ite ad fontes

Annual Conference of Academy of Hong Kong Studies

Our Research Director, Prof. Ray Yep, attended the Annual Conference of Academy of Hong Kong Studies in Education University of Hong Kong last week (6-8 March 2024). A great opportunity to introduce the development of the Centre to friends in Hong Kong and mainland China. A very engaging dialogue on the state of Hong Kong studies with Prof. Lui Tai Lok, Director of the Academy as well.

Introducing Doris Chan

One of the Centre’s mission is to nurture a new generation of Hong Kong historians.

A Early Career Scholar Network was created under the Hong Kong History Centre in June 2023. It intends to help create a community of Hong Kong historians and offer a platform for face-to-face interaction and academic exchange among young scholars. Research students and fresh doctoral graduates working on socioeconomic, political and cultural history of Hong Kong and its global relevance are welcomed. We usually meet thrice a year (February, June and October) with participants taking turn to present their works in each meeting. Financial support is provided for attending these sessions.

Please write to Prof. Ray Yep, Research Director of Hong Kong History Centre, at rekmy@bristol.ac.uk, if you are interested in joining this Network.

——

In this post, we would like to introduce Doris Chan, a member of the Network.

Doris Chan is a PhD Candidate in Nanyang Technological University. In the note written by her below, she shares with us her reflections on her academic journey and current project on ‘Controlling Mobility: Post-WWII British Empire and the Chinese Population, c. 1945-1963’, focuses on the Chinese skilled and professional migration between Hong Kong, Singapore and North Borneo.

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I used to be more interested in modern Chinese and European histories in my undergraduate years and loved to read Cold War diplomatic history. However, my research interests began to change when I relocated to the UK for my master’s degree in 2020. While I was excited to live in a new environment and continue to pursue my research interest, the feeling of being a minority and alienated in the community during the pandemic was immense. My very distant tie with the new home had thus prompted me to start wondering about my and my family’s past and present (dis-)connections with this foreign land. I wondered why my grandparents and parents decided to settle and stay in Hong Kong but not elsewhere when many of their generations at different points would have considered emigration. How did the broader development of immigration control and geopolitics restrict their mobility? I began to read more about Hong Kong history, migration history, colonial history, etc. My MA thesis, therefore, revisited the influx of Chinese immigrants from China to Hong Kong after the Second World War. I asked: how did the Hong Kong and London governments manage the immigration crisis on an imperial level? How did they attempt to channel the immigrants to other parts of the empire? I looked into the case of North Borneo (today’s state of Sabah in East Malaysia) and the UK and how these two spaces emerged as potential resettlement destinations for Chinese in Hong Kong.

Sabah State Archives (沙巴州檔案局)

That was my first time working on Hong Kong, Southeast Asian and colonial histories. I was deeply fascinated by the strong historical connections between Hong Kong and the region, besides the long-studied comparison of Hong Kong and Singapore, the so-called ‘a tale of two cities’. I decided to work further in this direction. My PhD thesis, tentatively titled ‘Controlling Mobility: Post-WWII British Empire and the Chinese Population, c. 1945-1963’, focuses on the Chinese skilled and professional migration between Hong Kong, Singapore and North Borneo. Chinese migration after the war was significantly scaled down due to strict colonial immigration regulations in the region. However, a smaller scale of temporary and permanent migration was still possible due to developmental plans and the shortage for various types of labourers. Besides exploring and comparing the official arrangements of skilled labour and professional migration, I also examine the coordination and tensions between the colonial governments in formulating immigration policies and implementing controls over the Chinese population in this period, when each territory faced different economic, social, political and security concerns. Last but not least, I seek to study the transfers of information and knowledge between colonial officials in Hong Kong, Southeast Asia and the UK regarding their (re-)understanding of the Chinese population residing outside China after the war.

Predominantly, I use primary materials from government archives in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and the UK. I study government correspondences and reports to understand how policies were negotiated and decisions were made regionally and how authorities tried to take unified actions to respond to the ‘Chinese problem’. As labour migration was also closely related to the economic development of a territory, I use company files to understand the responses from British businesses towards the changing local labour supply and the changing immigration and labour regulations in the region. I also rely on Chinese- and English-language newspapers circulated in Hong Kong, Singapore and North Borneo, to look into how people perceived and received information and knowledge of, and available working and economic opportunities in, different British colonies in the region. These materials help to understand the intra-empire control of immigration and connections in the age of decolonization. I hope this research will contribute to not only understanding Chinese migration after the Second World War but also the connections between Hong Kong and other parts of the British Empire.

A report from the Royal Commonwealth Society Collection, University of Cambridge.

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在就讀大學本科期間,我一直對現代中國和歐洲史較感興趣,也很喜歡閱讀有關冷戰史的著作。2020年,我到英國修讀碩士學位。本來我是十分期待在一個新環境生活並繼續我的研究,但人在異鄉難免有一種疏離的感覺,而正直疫情期間更加劇了這一種孤立感。在我父母及其上一輩有許多人都會考慮移民,正因為我與新「家」的疏遠關係,我開始反思過去和現在我(以及我的家庭)與這片陌生國度的關係。我想知道為何他們會選擇在香港落地生根,到底歷史上的移民政策和地緣政治又如何影響他們的流動性(mobility)和決擇?我開始閱讀香港史、移民史、殖民史等的書籍。在我的碩士論文中,我重新探討二次世界大戰後由中國到香港的移民歷史:當時殖民政府是如何從帝國層面上應對移民危機?香港和英國政府是怎樣將移民從香港輸出到英殖帝國的其他角落?我集中討論英屬北婆羅州(British North Borneo)——即今天馬來西亞的沙巴州——和英國,並探討兩地如何逐步成為香港移民的潛在目的地。

National Archives of Malaysia, Sabah Branch(馬來西亞國家檔案局,沙巴州)

這是我第一次研究香港、東南亞和殖民史。除了大家耳熟能詳的「雙城記」——香港和新加坡的比較之外,我對歷史上香港和東南亞之間的深厚聯繫感到著迷,因此決定繼續向這個方向研究。我的博士論文暫命題為「操控流動:二次世界大戰後英殖帝國與華人(1945-1963)」(Controlling Mobility: Post-WWII British Empire and the Chinese Population, c. 1945-1963),集中研究香港、新加坡和北婆羅州三地熟練勞工和專業人士的移民歷史。華人移民潮在二戰後大幅減少,但因為戰後世界各地都加速發展經濟,導致熟練勞工和專業人士出現短缺,所以在此期間仍有一少部分短期和永久移民的例子。研究課題中我會首先探索和比較政府處理熟練勞工和專業人士移民的手法,再探討面對不同的經濟、社會、政治、國家安全的情況下,三地殖民政府在推出移民政策及控制華人措施時所作出的協調和面對的衝突。最後,我會分析在移民政策收緊後,三地政府以及英國官員之間對居住在中國以外的華人群體的新認知,以及新認知的知識轉移(transfer of knowledge)。

我主要利用香港、新加坡、馬來西亞和英國的政府檔案。其中,官員之間的通訊和報告都有助理解制定政策時的談判過程和決定,以及三地政府在面對所謂「華人問題」時如何達成或嘗試達成一致的行動和回應。亦因為勞工移民對每個地方的經濟發展息息相關,我也會運用一些公司檔案去理解英資商人如何回應當時多變的勞工供應及勞工和移民條例。我也依靠當時在香港、新加坡和北婆羅州流通的中、英文報紙,去探索三地人們是如何接收、認識其他殖民地的資訊,各地的經濟及就業機會。這些資料能幫助了解英殖帝國內部的移民控制,和去殖化期間帝國內部的聯繫。我希望這項研究可以進一步了解二戰後華人移民的歷史,以及了解除了新加坡之外,香港和位於亞洲的英屬殖民地的關係。

A file from the National Archives, United Kingdom.

 

And we were on tour in Japan last week!

And we were on tour in Japan last week!

On Tuesday our Co-directors Robert Bickers & Vivian Kong were at a roundtable at Kyoto University, introducing the Centre and some of its major research outputs. On Thursday & Friday, the team moved to Tokyo and presented on their individual research at the Hong Kong History Symposium at Rikkyo University. It was a fruitful week, and we thank our hosts in Kyoto and Tokyo for giving us the opportunity to showcase our work and exchange with other Hong Kong Studies colleagues in Japan.

Digital Humanities Approaches to Navigating the Early Colonial Hong Kong History

香港浸會大學圖書館的Eric H. C. Chow和我們香港史研究中心的Ryan Iu整理並介紹了有助探索早期殖民地香港歷史這段豐富時期的數碼平台。

如果你對這段時期的香港歷史感興趣,或者正在學習和研究相關議題,推薦你閱讀以下這篇文章。

Digital Humanities Approaches to Navigating the Early Colonial Hong Kong History

(Scroll down for English version)

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節錄:

//近年來,早期殖民地香港的研究開始積極參與發展涵蓋各種歷史主題的數碼人文項目。學者,尤其是專注於早期殖民地香港歷史的歷史學家,已利用計算工具和線上數據庫的力量,對數碼學術作出重大貢獻,增進研究、教學,甚至視覺呈現。這些努力設法改善觀察並產生新的實證證據,同時還嘗試將學術信息轉移到公眾歷史領域。在這篇短文中,我們希望提供有關早期殖民地香港歷史的數碼人文工具、數據庫和計劃的簡介概覽(從英國香港的建立到二戰期間日本佔領為止)。這個概覽旨在為對這個領域感興趣的初學者提供資源指南。所介紹的計劃將分為三個主要類別:遙距閱讀的文本數據庫,地理信息系統(GIS)和社會網絡研究。//

以下為介紹的計劃(詳細介紹請點進上面鏈結閱讀):

【遙距閱讀的文本數據庫】
The Hong Kong Government Reports Online(1842-1941) | (Earlier Version)

Hong Kong Government Reports Online(1842-1941) | (Later Version)

Colonial Office correspondence collection (CO 129) | (Subscription Required)

Old Hong Kong Newspapers Collection

【地理信息系統】
Hong Kong Historic Maps

Hong Kong Historical GIS (1900 to 1933)

1941年香港戰役空間史研究計劃

【社會網絡研究】
Networks in Early Colonial Hong Kong

Mapping Sino-Foreign Networks and Mobility in Nineteenth Century China

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Eric H. C. Chow from Hong Kong Baptist University Library and our Hong Kong History Centre’s Ryan Iu have compiled and introduced useful digital platforms for navigating the rich period of early colonial Hong Kong History.

If you are interested in this period of Hong Kong History, or studying and researching related topics, you may find this piece inspiring.

Digital Humanities Approaches to Navigating the Early Colonial Hong Kong History

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Quote:

//In recent years, the study of early colonial Hong Kong has begun to actively engage in the development of digital humanities projects encompassing various historical topics. Scholars, particularly historians specializing in the history of early colonial Hong Kong, have harnessed the power of computational tools and online databases to make significant contributions to digital scholarships, enhancing research, teaching, and even simply visual representation. These efforts also seek to improve observations and generate new empirical evidence while also attempting to transfer information from the scholarly to the public historical domain. In this short post, we aim to provide an introductory overview of digital humanities tools, databases, and projects related to the history of early colonial Hong Kong (spanning from the establishment of British Hong Kong to its occupation by Japan during the Second World War). This overview is intended to serve as a resource guide for beginners who are interested in this field. These projects will be categorized into three main groups: textual databases for distant reading, Geographical Information System (GIS), and social network studies.//

Below are the introduced projects (detailed introduction please read in the link above):
【Textual Databases for Distant Reading】
The Hong Kong Government Reports Online(1842-1941) | (Earlier Version)

Hong Kong Government Reports Online(1842-1941) | (Later Version)

Colonial Office correspondence collection (CO 129) | (Subscription Required)

Old Hong Kong Newspapers Collection

【Geographical Information System】
Hong Kong Historic Maps

Hong Kong Historical GIS (1900 to 1933)

The Battle of Hong Kong 1941: a Spatial History Project

【Social Network Study】
Networks in Early Colonial Hong Kong

Mapping Sino-Foreign Networks and Mobility in Nineteenth Century China

Introducing Nathanael Lai

One of the Centre’s mission is to nurture a new generation of Hong Kong historians.

A Early Career Scholar Network was created under the Hong Kong History Centre in June 2023. It intends to help create a community of Hong Kong historians and offer a platform for face-to-face interaction and academic exchange among young scholars. Research students and fresh doctoral graduates working on socioeconomic, political and cultural history of Hong Kong and its global relevance are welcomed. We usually meet thrice a year (February, June and October) with participants taking turn to present their works in each meeting. Financial support is provided for attending these sessions.

Please write to Prof. Ray Yep, Research Director of Hong Kong History Centre, at rekmy@bristol.ac.uk, if you are interested in joining this Network.

——

In this post, we would like to introduce Nathanael Lai, a member of the Network.

Nathanael Lai is a PhD student in University of Cambridge. In the note written by him below, he shares with us his reflections on his academic journey and current project on popular politics and Hong Kong’s regional connections.

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I was – I still am – struck by what I first read in December 2020. I was two months into graduate studies, starting to feel inundated by the sea of materials I must consume daily. But I could not put down Tim Harper’s then freshly published magnum opus. Underground Asia traces a connected arc of anti-colonial struggles across early-twentieth-century Asia. Hong Kong was a key site of connections, as revolutionaries banded together, sharing resources and drawing strength from a “sense of co-presence.” The book ends with Hong Kong. There, in a cell, Indonesian anti-colonialist Tan Malaka once said, hauntingly, to his British interrogators: “Remember this. My voice will be louder from the grave than ever it was while I walked the earth.”

My research to date embraces two themes of the book: popular politics and Hong Kong’s regional connections. My undergraduate thesis at HKU centred around the so-called 1956 riots in Hong Kong, a spillover from disputes in today’s Li Cheng Uk Estate on 10 October, the national day of the Republic of China. I was engrossed in the way the disturbances were narrated – not just by the state but by governor Alexander Grantham himself. His official report on the incident, published in English and Chinese, holds a special place in my intellectual journey. It introduced me to questions surrounding colonial statecraft, mass resistance, and the politics of translation. It opened up for me the world of historical research.

October 1956 was no less turbulent for Singapore. Clashes ensued from student protests in Chinese middle schools. I forayed into tracing Hong Kong’s Southeast Asian connections in my MPhil research at Cambridge. It was an experiment in writing “entangled histories” of Hong Kong and Singapore at a time when disturbances swept almost simultaneously across both colonies. British officials learnt from one another in quelling upheavals, while itinerant triads and intellectuals, “yellow culture,” and human rights discourses underpinned these episodes of dissent. Hong Kong’s history – I tasted and did for the first time – stretches well beyond Hong Kong.

The politics of the Cold War coursed through Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. My previous research crystallised into my PhD study. It scrutinises how historical actors articulated politics beyond “binaries” of the Cold War era: pro-communist versus anti-communist, left versus right, pro-Beijing versus pro-Taipei. I am invested in the Chinese capitalists, educationalists, journalists, and athletes travelling across 1950s Hong Kong and Southeast Asia – along what was effectively a Hong Kong-Singapore-Thailand corridor. Hong Kong’s history is part of Southeast Asia’s and vice versa. Indeed, my project afforded me the fortune of travelling, like my subjects, to different places, collecting pieces of Hong Kong’s past in far-flung archives and libraries: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Taipei.

Hong Kong was at the heart of Bangkok. The colony figured in the 1950s and 60s as a de facto “centre of cultural China” for Thailand’s Chinese communities. From newspapers to Teochew-dialect operas, from films to wuxia (martial arts) novels, Hong Kong’s cultural productions filled Bangkok’s Chinatown and beyond. Part of my research has delved into Chinese-language textbooks used in Thailand’s Chinese schools. Designed with a view to promoting the Kuomintang, they were edited by educationalists from across Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Taiwan, and published in Hong Kong.

Chinese-language textbooks published in Hong Kong and used in Thailand (Source: Chinese in Southeast Asia Collection, Central Library, National University of Singapore)香港出版之泰國中文教科書 (資料來源:新加坡國立大學圖書館東南亞華人特藏)
Chinese-language textbooks published in Hong Kong and used in Thailand (Source: Chinese in Southeast Asia Collection, Central Library, National University of Singapore)
香港出版之泰國中文教科書 (資料來源:新加坡國立大學圖書館東南亞華人特藏)

Hong Kong was at the heart of Southeast Asia. Another part of my research centres on Sing Tao Daily. This well-known Hong Kong newspaper was once the cornerstone of a media empire spanning Hong Kong and Southeast Asia: tycoon Aw Boon Haw’s “Star” newspapers. One journalist by the name of Jimmy Wu – branded by many as “leftist,” whose life I am still trailing in earnest – started off as Sing Tao’s chief reporter. But he later became the women’s column editor of Singapore’s Sin Chew Jit Poh and then chief editor of Bangkok’s Sing Sian Yer Pao. He drew on his Hong Kong contacts as he moved through this constellation of “Star” newspapers. He pieced together ideas about gender and politics at the same time as he revealed his own in Southeast Asia.

Hong Kong is at the heart of the world. My research has taught me Hong Kong’s role in the making of Southeast Asia. But the city was and is embedded in the region and beyond. I don’t take for granted the privilege to research the history of Hong Kong alongside other historians committed to the city’s regional and global connections. Nor do I take as given the chance here to contribute, however slightly, to the University of Bristol’s Hong Kong History Centre, one of the institutes flourishing outside Hong Kong that is dedicated to the city’s past. Hong Kong history promises to be part and parcel of the world, and I am grateful there is one part I could play in this.

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我曾經­ —— 現在仍然 —— 被幾年前第一次讀到的一本著作所震撼。當時我開始攻讀碩士兩個月,對每天需要閲讀海量的學術著作開始感到不知所措。但對於Tim Harper當時出版不久的一本鉅作,我卻毫不厭倦。《地下亞洲(Underground Asia)》追溯二十世紀初亞洲各地反殖民鬥爭的互聯關係。香港是革命家聚集、共享情報,並從彼此資取力量的一個重要樞紐。該著作以香港作結。印尼反殖民主義者Tan Malaka曾在當地的一個牢房裡,對審問他的英國官員說:「記住,我在墳墓裡的呼聲,將比我在世時的更為響亮。」

我目前為止的研究涵蓋書中兩大主題:「大眾政治」(popular politics)和香港的區域性聯繫。我在港大的學士論文追溯1956年10 月 10 日(中華民國國慶日)在香港發生、由李鄭屋村居民糾紛引發的一場騷亂(所謂五六或雙十暴動)。我對英國殖民政府­ —— 尤其是港督葛量洪(Alexander Grantham)本人 —— 如何敘述當時的情況非常感興趣。葛量洪就事件所撰寫,並以中英文出版的官方報告,對我的學術旅程具有特別意義。這份報告讓我更加了解殖民統治手法、群眾抵抗,以至翻譯的政治等議題。更重要的是,它帶我走進歷史研究的世界。

1956 年 10 月對新加坡來說同樣動盪不安。當地華校學生的示威行動觸發了大規模警民衝突。在英國劍橋攻讀碩士期間,我開始探索香港與東南亞的連結。我以當時在香港和新加坡幾乎同時發生的騷動為中心,嘗試剖析兩地歷史如何「交織」(entangle)起來。我發現當時兩地英國官員就如何平息動亂互相學習。同時,遊走香港以及東南亞的黑社會和知識分子、猖獗的「黃色文化」,以及有關人權之思潮貫穿港星兩地的反抗事件。我第一次意識到香港歷史原來遠遠超出香港的地域界限。

National Archives of Thailand (left); National Archives of Singapore (right)泰國國家檔案庫 (左); 新加坡國家檔案庫(右)
National Archives of Thailand (left); National Archives of Singapore (right)
泰國國家檔案庫 (左); 新加坡國家檔案庫(右)

冷戰政治席捲香港和東南亞。過往的研究塑造了我的博士論文題目。我的研究審視歷史人物如何表達冷戰時期不同「二元框架」(binaries)以外的政治思維,嘗試進一步打破當年不同所謂對立的意識形態:親共與反共、左派與右派、親中與親台。我特別關注在五十年代穿梭香港、新加坡和泰國三地(可謂「港星泰」走廊)的華人資本家、教育家、記者以及運動員,他們如何遊走冷戰時代的政治版圖。我認為,香港史是東南亞史的一部分,反之亦然。我的研究正正讓我有幸可以跟我關注的歷史人物一樣,遊走曼谷、清邁、吉隆坡、新加坡、台北等地,在不同檔案庫與圖書館收集與香港歷史相關的珍貴資料。

香港曾在曼谷扮演關鍵角色。上世紀五六十年代,香港對泰國華人社群而言是「中國文化」的源頭。香港的文化出品 —— 無論是報紙、潮州戲劇、電影或武俠小說 —— 均遍佈曼谷唐人街及其他社區。我的研究其中一部分正正探討泰國華校當年使用的中文教科書。部分教材以宣傳國民黨為目標,由香港、曼谷及台灣的教育家編輯,在香港出版。

香港曾在東南亞扮演關鍵角色。我的研究另一部分聚焦港人熟悉的《星島日報》。該報曾經是大亨胡文虎橫跨香港及東南亞的報紙帝國 —— 「星系報業」 —— 之重要基石。我現時仍在努力追蹤一位當年被標籤為「左派」的記者吳占美。四十至五十年代初,他是《星島》的採訪主任;一九五八年,他到新加坡擔任《星洲日報》的婦女版主編,及後成為曼谷《星暹日報》主編。吳氏在穿梭各「星系」報紙的同時,不忘善用他在香港建立的人脈;在東南亞編織有關性別等議題的報導同時,亦表露了自己的觀點與政治。

Southeast Asian Chinese Language Press Seminar in Hong Kong, 1966. Sally Aw (Sing Tao’s proprietor) as organiser (first row fifth from the left); Jimmy Wu (Bangkok Sing Sian Yer Pao’s chief editor) as participant (second row first from the right). (Source: Chinese Overseas Collection, University Library, Chinese University of Hong Kong)1966年於香港舉辦的東南亞中文報紙研討會。胡仙(《星島日報》持有人)為主辦人之一(前排左起第五位);吳占美(曼谷《星暹日報》主編)則為參加者之一(中排右起第一位)。(資料來源:香港中文大學圖書館海外華人特藏)
Southeast Asian Chinese Language Press Seminar in Hong Kong, 1966. Sally Aw (Sing Tao’s proprietor) as organiser (first row fifth from the left); Jimmy Wu (Bangkok Sing Sian Yer Pao’s chief editor) as participant (second row first from the right). (Source: Chinese Overseas Collection, University Library, Chinese University of Hong Kong)
1966年於香港舉辦的東南亞中文報紙研討會。胡仙(《星島日報》持有人)為主辦人之一(前排左起第五位);吳占美(曼谷《星暹日報》主編)則為參加者之一(中排右起第一位)。(資料來源:香港中文大學圖書館海外華人特藏)

香港在世界扮演關鍵角色。我的研究使我了解到香港在東南亞發展史中的地位。但香港的影響,不論以前抑或現在,均超越其自身以至東南亞這區域。我慶幸能夠與其他歷史學家共同研究香港歷史與其他區域以至世界的聯繫。我亦高興能夠在此 —— 英國布里斯托大學香港史研究中心(現時香港以外其中一所發展旺盛、聚焦香港史的研究中心)—— 分享自己的研究和願景。我深信香港史會成為世界重要的一部分,而我為自己可以為此出一分力感到榮幸。

“Hong Kong Documented” / 《香港史. 記》

Hong Kong Documented / 《香港史. 記》

“Hong Kong Documented”, a 10-episode series co-produced by Hong Kong History Centre and Society for Hong Kong Studies, showcases the works of experts and scholars of Hong Kong history studies. These committed history lovers adopt different approaches in preserving and promoting the knowledge of local history, with their fascinating works covering a wide range of issues: fashion, military, economy, identity, heritage building and Hong Kong representation in Britain etc. Together, they uncover the resilience of the city and enrich our understanding of our past.

New episodes will be released bi-weekly.

You can watch the video on our Centre’s YouTube Channel Playlist.

《香港史. 記》訪問系列,由香港史研究中心與香港學會聯合製作。一連十集的專輯,尋訪十位熱愛香港歷史的專家學者,介紹他們如何以不同形式和手法去探討各種課題目。他們的研究興趣廣泛,包括時裝、經濟、防務、身份認同、文物保育以至香港在英國的形象等。這些共同努力成果,呈現出香港這個城市的韌力,也大大提高我們對本地歷史的認識。

每兩星期將上載新一集影片。

你可以到我們中心的YouTube Channel Playlist觀看影片。


【Episode 1 / 第一集】

We talk to Dr. Vivian Kong, Co-Director of Hong Kong History Centre. She shares with us her career trajectory and her latest work on the multifaceted nature of the Hong Kong-UK bonding.

第一集,我們訪問了香港史研究中心聯合總監江偉欣博士。江博士與我們分享她的學術經歷,更闡述她對香港人親英情意結歷史軌跡的研究成果。


【Episode 2 / 第二集】

What is digital history? What is the role of Hong Kongers in the Battle of Hong Kong in 1941? Why does Chi Man fall in love with military history?

Dr. Kwong Chi Man, Hong Kong Baptist University, shares with us his passion about military and social history of Hong Kong and his new projects.

何謂數碼歷史?香港人在1941年的香港保衛戰有甚麼角色?鄺智文又何以會對軍事史有濃厚興趣?

在這個訪問中,香港浸會大學的鄺智文博士將會與我們分享他的研究興趣和觀察。


【Episode 3 / 第三集】

When did western suits become popular in Hong Kong? What are the historical and social implications behind this change of dress code? Dr. Katon Lee of Hong Kong Baptist University will share with us his insights on these issues in this new episode.

香港人何時開始穿著西裝?洋服潮流背後又有甚麼歷史和社會意義?今集請來香港浸會大學的李啟雋博士,為我們分析箇中故事。


【Episode 4 / 第四集】

Have you heard about Tai Ping Theatre in Western District? It was in fact a landmark building in Hong Kong movie business, and also a major venue for Cantonese traditional opera performance for artists in Hong Kong and Guangdong. In this episode, we will talk to Prof. Ching May Bo of City University of Hong Kong about her latest works on the history of Tai Ping Theatre.

有聽過西環的太平戲院嗎?你又可知道它不單止是香港電影業的地標,還曾經是廣東大戲在粵港一帶的重要表演場地。今場我們請來城市大學的程美寶教授,為我們細訴箇中歷史。


【Episode 5 / 第五集】

There has been growing interest in promotion of study of local history and heritage conservation in civil society in recent years. We will talk to three activists in coming episodes. Let’s start with David Bellis, who has been running Gwulo.com, a webpage of old Hong Kong photos for more than a decade.

學院以外,公民社會中有不少朋友以不同的方式去推動歷史教育以至保育工作。一連三集,我們會與大家分享三位民間高手的故事。率先登場的,是長期經營歷史圖片網頁Gwulo.com的 David Bellis(貝大衞)。