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Sunday 19 May 2024
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Race in Europe and Asia


Organized by
Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL)

Speaker: Dr Ang Sze-wei, Department of Comparative Literature, HKU
Date : 22 January, 2015 (Thu)
Time : 12:30pm-1:30pm
Venue : Room 321, Run Run Shaw Building


This talk will explore how different expectations and assumptions about the place of literature in culture distinguish HKU and the University of Palermo, and their pedagogy. For Italian students, literature is important to national and individual identity. Italy’s art is important to cultural identity and it is not a political one. Rome was important to world civilization, but Italy now sees itself as a country that is dying. For HKU students, on the other hand, Hong Kong art and literature can also be important to its political identity as it positions itself against and in alignment with China. Certain concepts we take for granted in an American-based education does not always hold through in other national contexts. “World literature,” for example, is not a known entity in Italy. Students who study literature from at least two different languages would identify with “Comparative Literature.” In Libya, as a PhD student from Libya explained during a discussion, students do not study their national literature, but rather, they study pan-Arabic literature. Consequently, pan-Arab identity is emphasized over national identity. Our global condition is marked by how seeing so much more reminds us of how little we actually know and see, and this talk provides a view of some of the challenges universities face in a globalizing world. The development of this work was supported by exchange visits to University of Palermo through a Teaching Exchange Fellowship (TEF) award from HKU.

About the Speaker:

Prior to joining the Department of Comparative Literature at University of Hong Kong, Ang Sze-wei was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Comparative Literature at UCLA. Her current book project is comparative race studies on racial formations in Asian America and South East Asia, and she has published on race in film and literature.

For information on registration, please contact:
Ms Ivy Lai , CETL
Phone: 3917 8996; Email: laichun2@hku.hk.