Mar 20 2020


7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

AAS Annual Conference in Boston 2020

SHKS Reception
20 March 2020 (Friday)
7:30pm – 9:30pm
The Fens @Sheraton Boston Hotel

In addition to the reception, SHKS has sponsored the two panels at the AAS annual meeting.

Integrating Hong Kong Studies and Chinese Studies: Views from the Watery Fringes of South China’s Pearl River Delta

  • Date: 21 March 2020
  • Location: Hynes: Room 205, Level 2
  • Time: 9:00 AM – 10:45 AM

The first Opium War (1840-1842) gave birth to a modern Hong Kong whose political, economic, and social development has been profoundly different from its neighboring mainland. Although Hong Kong studies, against this background, has evolved into an area studies with distinct themes and methodologies, it is still widely considered a subfield, if not a periphery, of Chinese studies. This interdisciplinary panel explores the prospects of integrating Hong Kong studies and Chinese studies by discussing several theoretical approaches to the watery fringes in South China’s Pearl River Delta, where coastal strips and waters are scattered with isles, bays, and channels. Gary Luk traces Chinese urban settlements in British Hong Kong to the social ecology of the “littoral borderland” in the lower Pearl River Estuary since the first arrival of Westerners in the early sixteenth century. Based on his five-decade ethnographic and historical research, James Watson examines the economic practice of lineage-based farmers and waterborne itinerants in a Hong Kong frontier zone shaped by the multivariate ecosystem that characterizes the Pearl River Delta. Ho-fung Hung conceptualizes the Hong Kong region as a “Zomia on the shore” where people’s resistance to state control is traceable to the late twentieth century, thereby highlighting Hong Kong’s deep historical linkage with China before 1997. As a cultural critic, Nadine Attewell will reflect on what these papers have to tell us about the everyday practices of labor, encounter, and intimacy through which the Pearl River Delta has been made and remade as a borderland over time.


Insurgent Encounters: Contentious Politics and Social Movements in Hong Kong

  • Date: 21 March 2020
  • Location: Sheraton: Berkeley, 3rd Floor
  • Time: 3:00 PM – 4:45 PM

This panel takes up issues related to activism, social movements, and contentious politics, focusing on the recent-year protests and political demonstrations in Hong Kong. The existing discussion of Hong Kong protests largely focus on young protesters; this panel goes beyond the typical loci of research, dealing with topics of women and motherhood, the elderly, religion, and counter-mobilization. A survey of these aspects of social movements in Hong Kong not only articulate the dynamic of protests and activism, but also enrich the knowledge about geo-politics and insurgency.The interdisciplinary panel enables discussions between perspectives and methods in media studies, journalism and communication, political science, and cultural and gender studies. Sara Liao identifies the convoluted relationship between the narrative of motherhood, women politicians and misogyny in Hong Kong’s anti-extradition bill protests, investigating the gender dynamics and political imaginations in insurgency. Rose Luqiu examines how protesters mobilize the elders in the anti-extradition bill movement, highlighting a new and nuanced form of political persuasion in contentious politics. Guo Ting emphasizes a neglected area of religious history and Christianity in Hong Kong’s multiple social movements, demonstrating how religion significantly contributes to indigenous identity transformation and the protest framework. Yaoyao Dai tackles the phenomenon of fake grassroots movement as government astroturfing, explicating individuals’ attitudes toward different media frames and the effects of pro-government mobilization. Together, the panelists and their research illuminate how politics is invested and contested in their respective fields of study, exploring a society of insurgency and counterinsurgency

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