Friday, March 21, 2014

[Upcoming Lectures] The Cultural Psychology of Moral Thinking

[The Philomathia Lectures on Human Values 2014]

The Cultural Psychology of Moral Thinking
by Professor Richard Shweder
Harold Higgins Swift Distinguished Service Professor
Department of Comparative Human Development at The University of Chicago

Proudly presented by
The Research Centre for Human Values
in partnership with The Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities,
The Department of Anthropology, CUHK, and
The Department of Psychology, CUHK.

Is it possible to be a robust cultural pluralist and a dedicated liberal at the same time? How are anthropologists and psychologists steeped in a liberal ethics of autonomy able to fairly represent the moral thinking of “others” whose moral judgments are rooted in an illiberal ethics of community and divinity? Although this year’s Philomathia Lectures will present a thumbnail sketch of five major findings from research on the cultural psychology of moral thinking the main objectives of the lectures are (1) to highlight the limits of liberal moral concepts for judging the moral foundations of diverse cultural traditions; (2) to ask what a highly developed social intelligence should look like in a complex multicultural society; and (3) to open a long overdue conversation about the provocative “equality-difference paradox”, which suggests that embracing cultural diversity and promoting economic equality are not harmonious social policy goals.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014
The Moral Challenge of Robust Cultural Pluralism

Wednesday, 26 March 2014
The Equality-Difference Paradox: Lessons from a Jewish Village

Thursday, 27 March 2014
Response Lectures
Feat. Prof. Joan Miller, Prof. Tage Rai and Prof. Michael Bond

All lectures begin at 5:30pm
Cho Yiu Hall, G/F,
University Administration Building,
The Chinese University of Hong Kong


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

[Indian Culture Workshop 2013-2014] Session 1: Who are the Indians?

Last year, we introduced the Indian culture workshop entitled "Multiculturalism in Action" organized by Professor Siumi Maria Tam. If you are interested in Indian culture as well as its interaction with Hong Kong society, and yet you missed out the workshop, don't worry-- from this semester, we will start summarizing each of the sessions to give our reader a general idea of what this "Multiculturalism in Action" is about. 
(For general introduction of the workshop, please refer to our old post here.)

Session 1:Who are the Indians?: Truths and myths
Speakers: Prof. Tam, Mr and Mrs Rao
When we speak of Indians, what stereotypes would come across in your mind? 3 Cs- Curry, cotton, and cows? They smell? They are good at I.T and bargaining? Bobbling heads when they talk? Good at bargaining? Or, the famous comedians Russell Peters, and Vivek Mahbuhani?

This session aims at bring the stereotypes Indians face in Hong Kong to the front, and disarm it through the explanations. Mr. and Mrs. Rao have been in Hong Kong for more than two decades, and Mrs. Rao is even a English teacher in local high school. They both notice the similarities between Chinese and Indian culture. Mr. Rao introduces India as a very diversified country. She houses varies of religions that are in practice: Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism. India has 22 recognized official languages and 400 different dialects. These languages are distant from each other; even the scripts of the languages are also different. Internal diversity in terms of festival celebrations are indeed very different in varies regions in India. Using historical reasons to explain India’s diversity is that part of the Sindhi province was given to Pakistan in 1949, and a small part of Pakistan then became Bangladesh in 1971. This encouraged the largest migration in human population history, and allowed the exchange of culture and religion. Other than intra-migration, a sizable population of Sindhis is found in Hong Kong. Sindhis in Pakistan fled to countries such as, Taiwan, Africa, Malaysia and some of them eventually settled in Hong Kong.

Indian culture is not just about “Hindu culture.” Rather, it is a blend of different cultures, from Greek, English, to Mongolian. With Mr. Rao introduced some of the demographic and historical information about India and Indians, Mrs. Rao shared her experiences precisely as an “exotic” school teacher, and also as a minority citizen in Hong Kong. A lot of discrimination against Mrs. Rao’s traditional presentation—the way she dress and her long hair, although things have changed and getting better in the recent years. While she was looking for a teaching opportunity, her school asked her to guarantee she would not preach her religion. She even avoided in the lifts and the other public spaces in the past. She claims that those stereotypic acts do not hurt her as much after years, but still makes her wonder why the local is ignorant about her home culture. Mrs. Rao uses the indirect discrimination she tackled over the years in Hong Kong to disarm those prejudices. She invites students explicitly to learn and ask more about Indian culture in daily life whenever they have chances; every Indian is more than happy to introduce you and explain to the majority Chinese about their culture, so as to break down the boundaries between the minorities and the majority. 

(Middle Row, from left) Prof. Tam, Mr. and Mrs. Rao, with students from the workshop

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

[Upcoming Seminar] Peasants and Capital in Post-socialist China: Theorizing Co-ops and Land Grabs

Peasants and Capital in Post-socialist China: Theorizing Co-ops and Land Grabs

Speaker: Matthew A HALE
(Lecturer, Faculty of English Education, Sun Yat-sen University)
Time: 12:30 p.m., Friday, 14 March 2014
Venue: Room 401 Humanities Building, New Asia College, CUHK

This talk draws on several years of ethnographic research and secondary sources to analyze peasant collective action in relation to capitalist development in China since the 1990s. In post-socialist China, capital extracts surplus-value from peasants in three main ways: (1) through "unequal exchange" in the markets for credit, agricultural inputs and products; (2) through "accumulation by dispossession" (direct appropriation or destruction of peasants' land, etc.); and (3) through the wage relation. Each type of extraction has elicited corresponding forms of collective action, including petitions, riots, strikes, and cooperative enterprises. This talk draws on cases of each form in order to postulate some of their predominant tendencies, focusing on their relation to the present "holding pattern" of capitalist overaccumulation in China and globally.


Feel free to bring your box lunch or sandwich to eat during the talk

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

[Upcoming Seminar] An Open-Minded Approach to Insular Archaeology: Three Recent Contrasting Studies from Hong Kong

An Open-Minded Approach to Insular Archaeology: Three Recent Contrasting Studies from Hong Kong

Speaker: Mick ATHA
(Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Time: 12:30 p.m., Friday, 7 March 2014
Venue: Room 401 Humanities Building, New Asia College, CUHK

As a landscape specialist and field archaeologist, Dr. Atha’s research tends to be quite diverse in approach and multi-period in scope. In the seminar, he will present the findings from three recent and contrasting research projects—all of which just happen to be on islands—as the basis for a discussion of the significance and contribution each makes to knowledge. This will then serve as a springboard for discussing the wider debates concerning Hong Kong archaeology as a whole.

The seminar will be conducted in English