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Book Talk Series

Book talk #14 with Prof. Chu Yiu-Wai Stephen on his latest book “Hong Kong Pop Culture in the 1980s

(Amsterdam University Press, 2023)

Book Abstract

This book deals with the 1980s – the “golden decade” of Hong Kong pop culture – in which a cosmopolitan lifestyle of pop and chic emerged in the city. Bookended by two major historical incidents, the 1980s will probably enter the annals of Hong Kong history as the decade that defined its future after reversion to Mainland China. Having witnessed and experienced the rise of Hong Kong pop culture to unprecedented heights in this decade, the author enhances its context through a story about his own personal belongings. Examining popular genres including television, film, music, fashion, disco and city magazine, this book teases out the distinctive aspects of Hong Kong pop culture that defined (his) Hong Kong. As Hong Kong has been undergoing drastic changes in recent years, it is necessary to point toward new imaginaries by re-examining its development. Toward this end, this book will shed light on an important research area of Hong Kong Studies as an academic discipline.

Yiu-Wai Chu is Inaugural Professor and Director of Hong Kong Studies Programme at The University of Hong Kong, and Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of Humanities. His research interests focus on postcolonialism, globalization and Hong Kong culture. His recent English monographs include Main Melody Films: Hong Kong Directors in Mainland China(Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2022), Found in Transition: Hong Kong Studies in the Age of China(Albany: SUNY Press, 2018), Hong Kong Cantopop: A Concise History (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2017), and Lost in Transition: Hong Kong Culture in the Age of China (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2013). In recognition of his contribution to the promotion of Hong Kong culture and Cantopop, the South China Morning Post presented him the Spirit of Hong Kong Award (Culture) in 2019.

If you want to get a physical copy of the book, please go to

Should you have any questions about this event, please feel free to email us at [email protected].

Book Talk #14 –
Date: April 18, 2024 (Thursday)
Time: 1700 – 1830 Hong Kong time
Format: TBC
Language: English

Preview of the book talk series:

#15 Multiracial Britishness: Global Networks in Hong Kong, 1910-45 with Vivian Kong in June 2024; Hybrid

Past book talks:

#1 Hong Kong Takes Flight: Commercial Aviation and the Making of a Global Hub, 1930s–1998 by John D. Wong (HKU) on 07 October 2022 (Friday) at 17:00HKT; In-person

#2 Hong Kong Visual Culture: The M+ Guide by Tina Pang (M+) on 04 November 2022 (Friday) at 17:00HKT; In-person

#3 英國檔案中的香港前途問題 by Gary Cheung (CityU) on 18 November 2022 (Friday) at 17:00HKT; In-person

#4 Building Colonial Hong Kong: Speculative Development and Segregation in the City by Cecilia L. Chu (HKU) on 25 November 2022 (Friday) at 17:00HKT; Hybrid

#5 Political Censorship in British Hong Kong: Freedom of Expression and the Law (1842–1997) by Michael Ng (HKU) on 09 December 2022 (Friday) at 17:00HKT; Hybrid

#6 Hong Kong Foodways (Hong Kong Matters) by Sidney Cheung (CUHK) on 13 January 2023 (Friday) at 17:00HKT; In-person

#7 New Territories 界 by Justin Hui on 3 February 2023 (Friday) at 21:00HKT; Online

#8 Hilton Cheong-Leen ( 張有興 ): First Chinese ‘Mayor’ of Hong Kong by Gary Cheung & Oliver Chou on 28 April 2023 (Friday) at 17:00HKT; Hybrid

#9 Unsettling Exiles: Chinese Migrants in Hong Kong and the Southern Periphery During the Cold War by Angelina Chin (Pomona College) on 12 May 2023 (Friday) at 13:00HKT; Online

#10 Covert colonialism: Governance, surveillance and political culture in British Hong Kong, c. 1966-97 with Florence Mok (Nanyang Technological University) on 15 September 2023 (Friday) at 17:00HKT; Hybrid

#11 Hongkongers in the British Armed Forces, 1860-1997 with Chi Man Kwong (HKBU) on 14 November 2023 (Tuesday) at 17:00HKT; Hybrid

#12 Accomplice to Memory with Q.M. Zhang on 17 November 2023 (Friday) at 09:00HKT; Online

#13 香江佳城——香港華人古墓兩千年史 with 梁基永 on 11 January (Thursday) at 17:00HKT; Hybrid

Prof. Chu Yiu-Wai Stephen
Date & Time
Talk #14 - April 18, 2024 (Thursday) 5:00 - 6:30 pm HKT