Interdisciplinary 1-day Conference at The University of Sheffield
and Creative Reading
25th January 2019
Abstract submission deadline November 10th 2018 – Call for Papers is now closed
Bringing together English Literatures, Translation, Creative Writing and Social Science scholarship, this small conference examines how we represent Hong Kong space and people, past present and future, and implications Hong Kong’s political and cultural identities.
In 2003, Xu Xi described Mike Ingham’s collection of Hong Kong Writing in English as ‘born in necessity.’(City Voices : Hong Kong Writing in English 1945 to the Present, Hong Kong University Press, 2003, p.17) She identifies a desire to make a marginalised literature visible to a new global readership. In present day Hong Kong, this desire is paramount. Since the 2014 Pro-Democracy protests, the Hong Kong identity question has become the antithesis of de-colonial dilemmas. The 2017 Netflix documentary Joshua, a sensationalised narrative of Wong and the Umbrella Revolution, epitomises a resurgence in global interest in Hong Kong’s contested political narratives about its colonial past and repatriated future. The documentary also raises questions about the place of the marginal and the underdog and in globalised, digitally demarcated world.
Occupying intersections between Britain and China, past and futures, local and transnational, and marginal and the mainstream, Hong Kong textuality is treacherous terrain. And yet the compulsion to define, re-define and re-inforce Hong Kong identities has preoccupied creative writers and critics of the city from Han Suyin to the present. But how, if at all, do we make sense of the conflicting and yet idiosyncratic voices that respond to and shape Hong Kong, and what are the implications of this for Hong Kong’s contested political narratives?
Our conference aims to investigate linguistic, formal, and cultural intersections that exist in ideations of Hong Kong, and innovative approaches to writing of and through these intersections. We invite both critical and creative responses to the question of what Hong Kong textuality is and what it can be.