Courses offered in Humanities Programme
This course aims to engage students in an independent research under individual supervision on a reading, research and/or creative project. The student will conduct an in-depth scholarly study in an area not covered in the other HUM and CPW courses.
Internship for Humanities Studies
The elective course aims to offer students majored in the Humanities Programme the opportunity to apply knowledge they have gained in classrooms to a professional and real-life environment. The fundamental values of the course lie in the pedagogical benefits of “experiential and service learning”, combined with academic reflections and the idea of host organizations supporting emerging graduates in the related fields. During the period of the internship, they will acquire relevant experiences through offering communal services, producing work to briefs and under the pressure of deadlines. They will also learn and improve their knowledge and skills through sharing their experience with colleagues in a critical and dynamic atmosphere.
What does it mean to be human? In an era of rapid technological advancement and ecological crisis, the boundaries of the human are constantly being contested, modified, and redefined. This course aims at introducing students to key concepts and debates about the posthuman. It encourages students to not only question existing hierarchies of humanness in relation to human-animal and human-machine paradigms, but also interrogate emerging materiality, morality, and ethics in cultural imaginations of the cyborg, AI, biotechnology, and environmental degradation. Through analyses of critical theory, science fiction, film, art, and popular culture, students will learn tools and skills to think critically about the ambiguous nature of the human and its racial, gender, and sexual embodiment. The course will help students develop perspectives on the risks and benefits of being human in technologically mediated futures.
This course aims to introduce students to the diverse ways of defining Asia from various perspectives and help them develop a critical awareness to think about “Asia” as a problematic under the global structure of the contemporary world. Though the traditional notion of Asia is a Eurocentric fabrication, Asia is not necessarily grasped as the other in opposition to the West. Emphasis will be placed on how historically Asia is a position without identity, a continent so much de-regionalized, and a place that keeps searching for its definition. Its developments have been intertwined with capitalist globalization, transforming the world as well as being transformed at the same time.
Humanism and the Individual
This course aims to (1) introduce the concept of Humanism, and how this concept can be seen as the basic shaping force of the modern individual course; (2) develop critical skills by assessing primary and secondary source readings in history, philosophy, art and literature; and (3) demonstrate to students the intellectual and cultural importance of interdisciplinary approaches to learning.
This course aims to (1) introduce reflections on human bodies in their situated cultures as the existential base of Humanities; (2) introduce the Chinese and various traditional discourses of the body and ends in the examination of the development of these discourses related to contemporary cultural issues; (3) study important and representative body theories and review critically the application and the manifestation of these discourses in their everyday lives; (4) consider body in interdisciplinary and cross-cultural manners; (5) enhance students’ knowledge and understanding of human bodies in relation to their cultural contexts.
Histories and Narratives
This course aims to (1) introduces both traditional and contemporary notions of history and the diverse cultural functions history is called upon to perform; (2) consider historical, cross-cultural, religious, artistic, and ideological viewpoints concerning issues of vital importance in the development of Western civilization; and (3) complement earlier courses’ discussion of the human condition, and will introduce the more specialized theoretical study undertaken in the final term of Humanities study.
Major Thinkers in Humanities
This course aims to introduce the major thinkers in the West who have significant influence in shaping the Western mind. These thinkers are selected according to their comprehensiveness of their thought about understanding of human nature, culture, art, history and the meaning of human existence and their significance in Western intellectual history. It will introduce to the students the contents of their thought by outlining their major ideas and by reading selected texts. It helps students to understand how these thinkers tackle the big issues concerning humanities, i.e. their views about man, human history, art, culture and the meaning of life, and their relation with the modern world. It aims at introducing the major figures of Western thought as factors which shape the Western intellectual universe, and thus provides a solid basis for humanities and cultural studies.
Media Representations of Ethnicity
This course aims to introduce students to the concepts of ethnic identity through different kinds of media representation. It explores the politics and dynamics of ethnic identity formation, drawing on the experiences of various ethnic groups from Hong Kong, China, and other places. We examine representations of ethnicity in the commercial and independent media, investigate what influences these representations, and consider their repercussions. We also analyse how the idea of ethnic hierarchy informs our understanding of power and privilege related to media representation and stereotyping. Although the terms “race” and “ethnicity” are always used interchangeably and together, we will offer analytical distinction between the two terms by focusing on their ideological undertakings and social construction.. Focusing more on the Chinese contexts of ethnic representations, we address if the needs and interests of minority communities are being met by the mainstream media, and whether the minority may reinforce the identification of the ethnic majority in the media depiction. In addition, we ask if change in the diversity of media images is possible and what can be done to promote change for ethnic representation.
This course provides an overview of the key concepts, theories, and issues in Cultural Studies. It introduces students to the origins and foundational concerns of Cultural Studies as an academic discipline and an intellectual practice; examines selected critical engagements with reference to specific contexts; and considers the work of Cultural Studies in relation to social, historical, and institutional conditions. The course also addresses such issues as the role of theory and analysis, the relevance of Cultural Studies for public cultures, as well as the constraints and possibilities faced by Cultural Studies practitioners today in their divergent attempts to engage in critical projects of our time.
The Art of Creating Stories: Writing and Appreciation
The course will explore the art of storytelling by discussing the history and role of storytelling in humanities. Followed by introduction to the fundamental elements, i.e. character, point of view, structure, plot, tension and dialogue with selected examples from different genres and forms, a wide variety of fictions, poems and movies will be introduced in this class. Students will learn to appreciate the art of storytelling, and create their own work. At the end of this course, students will develop a series of creative work that show their unique voice by making use of strategies acquired during the process of learning.
The Double Face of Creativity: Fact and Fiction
This course aims to demonstrate the interrelationship between fact and fiction in the writing of creative works through the examination and discussion of the historical fiction. While it is generally believed that fact and fiction are two different and sometimes even opposite writings which happen in different contexts, this course hopes to show that they are two sides of the same coin. Through a study of the historical fiction, students will see the creative aspects of a critical research, and how being critical is an important step towards creativity.
Special Topics in Theory and Culture
This course aims to provide an opportunity for senior students to have an in-depth study of a selected topic related to theory and culture. Students will look at cultural issues from an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural and theoretical perspective. The course will guide students to integrate various points of view and develop their own critical judgment.
Special Topics in Media and Cultural Studies
This course aims to provide an opportunity for senior students to have an in-depth study of a selected topic related to media and cultural studies. Students will examine the selected media and culture topic from an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural and theoretical perspective. The course will guide students to integrate various points of view and develop their own critical judgement.
Special Topics in Arts and Creativity
This course aims to provide an opportunity for senior students to have an in-depth study of a selected topic related to arts. Students will look at creative arts from an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural and theoretical perspective. The course will guide students to integrate various points of view and develop their own creative work and/or critical judgement.
Critical Theories II: From Marcuse to Post-Marxism
This course aims at introducing the theoretical framework of the Critical Theories from Marcuse, Walter Benjamin to Habermas. It will provide a sound foundation for the students in understanding the basic concern and arguments of these theories and critically reflecting on their relevance and implications for the contemporary world.
Directing: from Text to Stage
This course aims at introducing the basic ideas about the role of director in theatre production, from choosing a play, play analysis, guiding the actors, to staging, etc. It will also provide training to students by organizing practical exercises like script analysis, group discussions and rehearsal. It will offer students some initial experience in staging a play by scene presentations.
Comedy: Idea and History
This course aims at introducing and analysing different forms of comedy in theatre, from ancient Greek to modern comedy, from the west to the east. By the end of the course students should be able to describe the aesthetic qualities, structure and psychological effects of different forms of comedy in theatre. Further, they would be able to critically interpret great comedies, their different forms and methods of performance and staging, and assess the meaning of comedy in theatre for our real life.
Phenomenology and Aesthetics
This course aims at introducing the basic ideas of phenomenology from Husserl, Heidegger to Merleau-Ponty, and their implications for art and aesthetics. It will use examples in art like painting, literature and performing arts to explore the implications of phenomenology for understanding art, Chinese art and aesthetics in particular.
Hermeneutics and Cultural Understanding
This course aims at introducing the basic ideas and methods of modern philosophical hermeneutics from Schleiermacher, Dilthey, Gadamer to Ricoeur. It will also use examples like translation and inter-cultural dialogue to illustrate the significance of philosophical hermeneutics. Special attention will be given to the possibility of the dialogue between Chinese and Western culture and philosophy.