The Humanities are performed not only in lectures, texts, seminars, and classrooms, but also in theatres, concerts, festivals, electronic and networked media, and other sites of intellectual and cultural activity and exchange. But it might also be said that the Humanities are ‘performed’ in a wider field that encompasses social struggles, the machinations and mediated rhetoric of politics, in hospital emergency rooms and police stations, or in global financial markets: places in which subject-object relationships dissolve into one another, or where artistic practices become a kind of performed hermeneutics.

Proudly hosted by the Research Institute for the Humanities at The Chinese University of Hong Kong and the first CHCI Annual Meeting held in Asia, Performative Humanities explored these emerging issues, the ways in which they are transforming scholarly practice and the landscape of the Humanities, and their regional/global inflections.

Our program featured leading scholars and writers, filmmakers — including a talk by world-renowned Director Tsai Ming-liang — organizational leaders from Asia and beyond, workshops, and opportunities for stimulating interaction with peers from CHCI’s increasingly global membership, including meetings of our member groups and Networks. The city of Hong Kong and the New Territories, with their complex social and cultural histories, were featured in the program in the form of historic meeting venues, culinary experiences, musical performances, poetry readings, and opportunities to engage with the sights and sounds of this incredible city.

In addition, a full morning was devoted to presentations by scholars from five continents who were participating in CHCI’s Humanities for the Environment and Religion, Secularism, and Political Belonging projects. Generously funded by a major, multi-year grant from the A.W. Mellon Foundation, these pilot projects were part of a developing program to leverage the collective strength of CHCI’s international networks and to explore exciting new forms of multi-institutional collaboration. This project led to the formation of the CHCI member networks, which hold pre-conferences at the annual meetings.


The following program update was posted on 4 June 2014.

Thursday 5 June

16:00 - 17:00 (4:00 - 5:00 PM)
Annual Meeting Check-In Opens
Venue: Esther Lee Building

17:00 – 18:30 (5:00 - 6:30 PM)
Cantonese Opera Performance and Seminar
Venue: Lee Hysan Concert Hall
(An additional charge for the opera and dinner applies after 31 December 2013)

Presented and organized by Yu Siu Wah, Department of Music, CUHK, and
Yung Sai-shing, Department of Chinese Studies, National University of Singapore
Introduced by Leung Yuen Sang, Dean, Faculty of Arts, CUHK

18:45 – 19:00 (6:45 - 7:00 PM)
Transportation to Hyatt Regency Shatin

19:00 – 21:00 (7:00 - 9:00 PM)
Welcome Dinner
Venue: Hyatt Regency Shatin
(An additional charge for the opera and dinner applies after December 31, 2013.)

Friday 6 June

08:20 – 09:30 (8:20 - 9:30 AM)
Venue: LT6, Lee Shau Kee Building

09:30 – 10:00 (9:30 - 10:00 AM)
Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Prof. Joseph Sung, Vice Chancellor, CUHK
  • Ian Baucom, President, CHCI, and Director, Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke University
  • Prof. Hsiung Ping-chen, Director, Research Institute for the Humanities, CUHK

10:00 – 11:30 (10:00 - 11:30 AM)
Panel 1 - Narcotics and Empires: The Opium War in Literature, History, and Film
Panel Chair: Prof. Alan K. L. Chan, Dean, College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University

  • Twenty-Thousand Cases
    James Chandler, Director, Franke Humanities Institute, University of Chicago
  • One Pound of Flesh Lost and Regained: the Opium War, Colonial Modernity and Hong Kong
    Liao Hsien-hao, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, National Taiwan University
  • Visions of Empire: Bringing Opium into Focus
    R. Bin Wong, Director, UCLA Asia Institute, University of California, Los Angeles

11:30 – 12:00 (11:30 AM - 12:00 PM)
Tea Break

12:00 – 13:00 (12:00 - 1:00 PM)
Report by Prof. Ian Baucom, President of CHCI

13:00 – 14:30 (1:00 - 2:30 PM)
Lunch Reception

14:30 – 16:00 (2:30 - 4:00 PM)
Workshop 1 - Digital Archive, Digital Humanities, and Performance

  • Introduction: The Foundation's Mission and Vision in the Globalization Age
    Chu Yun-han, President, The Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange, Taiwan
  • Guarding the Treasure Trove of Dunhuang Art and Inheriting the Cultural Heritage of Mankind: for the Seventieth Anniversary of Dunhuang Academy
    Fan Jinshi, President, Dunhuang Academy
  • i-Cave: An Interactive Multimedia System for Virtually Touring Mogao Caves
    Shih Shou-chien, Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, and Hung Yi-ping, Graduate Institute of Networking and Multimedia, National Taiwan University

16:00 – 16:30 (4:00 - 4:30 PM)
Tea Break

16:30 – 17:30 (4:30 - 5:30 PM)
Plenary Speech: Chai Min Leong (a.k.a Tsai Ming-liang 蔡明亮) on 《不得不慢》 or It's Got to be Slow

Chai Min Leong is one of the most celebrated "Second New Wave" directors in Taiwanese Cinema. His films have been acclaimed worldwide and have won numerous awards. In 2003, he was voted by The Guardian as #18 of the 40 best directors in the world. He will discuss his work and the idea of Slow Cinema. The Director will be introduced by Prof. Lin Wen-chi, Director, Chinese Taipei Film Archive.

Prior to Director Chai's talk, you may want to view some of his films from our list of suggestions.

17:30 – 19:00 (5:30 - 7:00 PM)
Film Viewing

  • No Form 《無色》(2012)
  • Walker 《行者》(2012)
  • Walking on Water 《行在水上》(2013)

19:00 – (7:00 PM -)
Dinner on your own

Saturday 7 June

8:20 – 9:00 (8:20 - 9:00 AM)
Tea and Coffee
Venue: LT6, Lee Shau Kee Building

9:00 – 10:00 (9:00 - 10:00 AM)
Plenary Session: The Way We Perform Now
Shannon Jackson, Director, Arts Research Center, University of California, Berkeley

10:00 – 10:30 (9:00 - 10:30 AM)
Tea Break

10:30 – 12:00 (10:30 AM - 12:00 PM)
Panel 2: The Concept of Performance in New Media Art
Chair: Timothy Murray, Cornell University

  • The Mediated Re-embodiment of Cultural Heritage
    Jeffrey Shaw, School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong
  • Actention: Active Presence in Media Art
    Maurice Benayoun, School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong
  • What is it after mixing everything together?
    Ellen Pau, Member of Board of Directors, Videotage Hong Kong

12:00 – 14:30 (12:00 - 2:30 PM)
Lunch and Meetings
Venue: Lee Shau Kee Building

Member Network Meetings Part I

  • Digital Humanities
  • Humanities for the Environment
  • Public Humanities

Member Group Meetings Part II

  • Associate Directors and Administrators
  • New Directors

14:30 – 16:00 (2:30 - 4:00 PM)
Workshop: Engaging Asian Institutions
Chair: Ann Waltner, Institute for Advanced Study, University of Minnesota

  • What this World Needs More in Humanities: The Role of University Education
    Simon Shun-Man Ho, University of Macau
  • A New Attempt on Asian Studies
    Oki Yasushi, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo
  • Terms of Engagement in Academia East and West
    David Schaberg, University of California, Los Angeles

16:00 - 17:00 (4:00 - 5:00 PM)
Transit from CUHK campus

17:00 - 18:00 (5:00 - 6:00 PM)
Cultural Tour of Hong Kong - click for a for preliminary program chci.2014AM.HKmembertour. Please indicate your interest in this optional trip on the registration form.

Sunday 8 June
(Venue information to come.)

08:00 – 09:00 (8:00 - 9:00 AM)
Transportation to the venue

09:00 – 10:30 (9:00 - 10:30 AM)
Networking the Global Humanities: Research from CHCI Project Groups Part I

Short papers representing research being conducted in the context of CHCI's global networking pilot project, was made possible with support from the A.W. Mellon Foundation. Two sessions were presented.
Moderator: Sylvia K. Miller, Special Projects Coordinator and Senior Program Manager, CHCI

Humanities for the Environment Group

  • The Uncertain Human Future: A Council in Progress
    Sarah Buie, Clark University
  • Toward the Cosmolopocene: Articulating "Storied Matter” in the Multiverse
    Joni Adamson, Arizona State University
  • Responding to the Anthropocene: Lessons Learned from ‘Habitat Humanities’ Studies
    Sophia Dawn Christman-Lavin, English Department, Stony Brook University
  • The Role of the Environmental Humanities: Perception and Agency in the Face of Global Climate Change
    Charles Travis, Trinity College Dublin
  • The Mullet Shot: Sustainable Fishing in the Multispecies Estuaries of Eastern Australia
    Jodi Frawley, University of Sydney

10:45 – 12:15 (10:45 AM - 12:15 PM)
Networking the Global Humanities: Research from CHCI Project Groups Part II

Religion, Secularism, and Political Belonging Group

  • Conservative Appeals to Religion and Nationalism in Contemporary Debates Concerning Citizenship and the European Union
    Ernst van den Hemel, Research Fellow, UtrechtUniversity
  • Religion and the Secular in "East" and "West"
    John Vignaux Smyth, Portland State University
  • "That Old-Time (Post-Secular) Religion": Khomeini's Political Theology as a Case Study of Post-Secular Faith
    Ori Goldberg, Minerva Center, Tel Aviv University
  • Civil Religion in the Context of Chinese History
    Prof. Poo Mu-chou, Chinese University of Hong Kong

12:30 – 13:00 (12:30 - 1:00 PM)
Mellon updates by Prof. Ian Baucom, President of CHCI

13:00 (1:00 PM)
Macau trip (optional), returning to Hong Kong around 23:00 (11:00 PM)