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Professor Wong Siu-lun (黃紹倫) will be giving a keynote speech entitled “Chater’s Choice: An Indian Armenian in British Hong Kong” during 9:50-11:00am, 23 February 2017, at LT2, Yasumoto International Academic Park (YIA), The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Moderator: Prof. Sidney C.H. Cheung, Associate Dean (Education), Faculty of Arts, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Abstract: Sir Catchick Paul Chater (1846-1926) was a prominent Armenian from Calcutta and ‘the father of everything in Hong Kong’. One of his major achievements was the Praya Reclamation in Central District that transformed the waterfront of the British colony. In this paper, I shall examine through the prism of his will the three choices he made at the end of his life as projections towards the future. First, he decided not to create a family dynasty. Second, he donated his precious possessions including his palatial residence and his collection of historical paintings and porcelain to the Hong Kong government. Third, he left the major part of his estate to the Armenian Church in Calcutta even though he had never returned to his native place after his move to Hong Kong. In conclusion, I shall discuss the implications of his choices in relation to issues of migrant entrepreneurship and the emergence of cosmopolitan port cities.
The Speaker: Professor Wong Siu-lun is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Honorary Professor of the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (inc. Centre of Asian Studies) at the University of Hong Kong. He is also Honorary Senior Research Fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies and the Centre of Contemporary Chinese Culture at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interests include the study of entrepreneurship, business networks, migration, social indicators, and the development of sociology in China. Professor Wong is the author of Sociology and Socialism in Contemporary China (1979), and Emigrant Entrepreneurs: Shanghai Industrialists in Hong Kong (1988). He is also the editor of Chinese and Indian Diasporas: Comparative Perspectives (2004), and co-author of Hong Kong Movers and Stayers: Narratives of Family Migration (2010). He was awarded the Bronze Bauhinia Star in 2000 for his service in anti-corruption work, and the Silver Bauhinia Star in 2007 for his contributions to the formulation of population policy and to higher education. Currently, Professor Wong is the Chairman of the University Council at Hong Kong Shue Yan University.
Young Scholars Session
As to provide young scholars an opportunity to introduce their research in a lively, youthful environment, we have arranged a Young Scholars Session in the conference. Young scholars can use this platform to present his/her research on a pull-up banner with text and graphics, exchange research experiences, and receive feedback from other conference participants. Other conference participants are invited to come and support the young scholar presenters.
Date: 23 February 2017
Time: 17:30 – 18:45
Venue: 2/F Lobby, Yasumoto International Academic Park, CUHK
Presenters: Master and Doctoral students and Postdoctoral researchers (completed their doctoral degree within the previous five years)
Fieldtrip to Wanchai
There will be a guided cultural tour to the Blue House cluster and the Wanchai community on 25 February 2017. In the tour, you will learn about how the urban renewal policy affects heritage preservation and how the local community seeks to revitalize their neighborhood.
The field-trip cost is HK$150 (about US$20), which include transportation from CUHK to Blue House. Prior registration is required.
Following the tour, there will be a sharing session on the following topics by two speakers well-experienced in community building in Hong Kong.
Prof. Mirana May Szeto (司徒薇) will give a talk on “Blue House and Beyond: Cultural and Prefigurative Community Building“. She will share her view about what the Blue House case taught us and how we have moved beyond that, as well as the impact of the 2014 Umbrella Movement on community building.
Prof. Szeto is the chairperson of Community Cultural Concern and Assistant Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Hong Kong.
Ms. Suki Chau (周希旋) will share on “Blue House: Historical Building Conservation for Community Building“. She will talk about the bottom-up community planning of the Blue House project and how it helps to build the community. The success of Viva Blue house relies on the operation of an open, tolerant, community-led, bottom-up and participatory heritage conservation model, which conserves the living character of the local-mixed-use Tong Lau culture. Successful heritage conservation should be welcoming to people of different age groups, classes, educational backgrounds and cultures, allowing everybody a role to play.
Ms. Chau is a social worker at St. James’ Settlement. She has worked for the community engagement and heritage preservation in Wanchai community for over 10 years.