Events / HKHC SPEAKER’S SERIES, Dr. Catherine S. Chan, Lingnan University

HKHC SPEAKER’S SERIES, Dr. Catherine S. Chan, Lingnan University

7 March 2024
9:00 am - 10:30 am

HKHC Speaker’s Series, Dr. Catherine S. Chan, Lingnan University


Remembering the Canine Bloodbath: The Dark Side of Hong Kong’s Progressive Seventies
Speaker: Dr. Catherine S. Chan, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
Date and Time: 7 March 2024, 9 – 10:30am (UKT) / 5 – 6:30 (HKT)
Venue: Online (Zoom)
Language: English


To attend, please register on Ticketpass.


1970s Hong Kong is usually remembered as a period of optimism, progress, and constructive reinvention. The MacLehose administration, the longest in the history of British Hong Kong, introduced a series of social reforms—free education, more housing projects, better social welfare, etc.—to regain local confidence following the social disturbances of 1966 and 1967. There was, however, a dark side to this narrative of ‘progress.’ The well-publicised ‘Hongkong Clean Campaign,’ which ran for years in hopes of improving the city’s sanitation, was more than a call to sweep the city’s streets and housing estates clean. It resulted in the irrational mass slaughter of thousands of dogs and the restructuring of human-canine relations, particularly with the lumping of domesticated, stray, and feral dogs under the shared categories of ‘nuisance’ and ‘undesirable.’ Delving into the anti-dog movement that emerged in the early twentieth century yet climaxed during the ‘Hongkong Clean Campaign,’ my study will uncover, from a more-than-human perspective, narratives of cruelty that helped underpin Hong Kong’s progressive seventies.


Catherine Chan is Research Assistant Professor of History at Lingnan University. She is a social and urban historian of diaspora, heritage preservation issues, and human-animal relations in colonial and postcolonial Hong Kong, Macau, and Philippines. Chan has published extensively on the Macanese diaspora and is currently working on a book project concerning the more-than-human history of dogs in twentieth-century British Hong Kong.