Newsletter No. 146

2 No. 146 19th May 1999 CUHK Newsletter A Visit to Conclude Al l Visits and Begin New Ventures Faculty of Arts Goes to Beijing and Shanghai for Academic Exchange Prof. S.T. Kwok A delegation from the University's Faculty of Arts visited Beijing and Shanghai for academic exchange f r om 20th to 24th A p r i l. The delegation is the largest academic delegation in the arts from Hong Kong to visit mainland institutions since the revertion of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty. Led by dean of the faculty, Prof. S.T. Kwok, and the three sub-deans, Profs. Archie Lee, Serena Jin, and Chan Wing-wah, it comprised the chairs of several departments in the faculty including Chinese Language and Literature, English, Japanese Studies, Religion, Fine Arts, Modem Languages and Intercultural Studies. The dean and two sub-deans — Profs. S.T. Kwok, Serena Jin and Chan Wi ng -wah 一 also represented their respective academic departments, namely History, Translation, and Music. T h ey v i s i t ed c e n t r al g o v e r nme nt institutions such as the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; regional institutions such as the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences; major universities such as Peking University, Tsinghua University, East China No rmal University, Fudan University; professional or specialized institutions such as Be i j i ng Admi n i s t r a t i ve College, Foreign A f f a i rs College, Central Conservatory o f Mus i c, Chinese Academy of Arts, and the Shanghai Administrative Institute. Their itinerary also covered Shanghai Museum and the Ministry of Education. The trip was, in the words of Prof. S.T. Kwok, a 'preliminary conclusive visit', one which makes an introductory summary of all the existing and previous interfaculty and interdepartmental links of the faculty with the mainland. The delegates also tried to work out the details and the ways in wh i ch ' o v e r a ll comprehensive interdisciplinary exchange and cooperation' can take place or be enhanced. The visit to Peking University, with whom the faculty has had many previous exchanges, was in fact to iron out negotiations begun by Prof. Arthur K.C. L i, vice-chancellor of the University, during his Beijing visit in October 1998. Building on this sound foundation the two institutions engaged in more focussed discussion about conducting smaller j o i nt projects that come under the area of Cultural Encounters and Exchange, which has been designated an area of excellence in the Faculty of Arts. A new area for cooperation has also been opened up. Entitled 'Chinese Culture in the New Century', it w i ll not only examine Chinese culture from the viewpoint of the Chinese but also review interpretations of China by foreigners. An agreement was reached with Fudan University and Tsinghua University to begin a major collaborative research scheme entitled 'Culture, Environment, Business and Human Resources'. Members o f the University's Centre for Environmental Studies also participated in the planning of this interdisciplinary research programme as well as part of the visit. With the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the faculty explored possibilities of cooperation in three areas. The first is graduate studies —t he faculty will act as the academy's facilitator when it eventually recruits students from Hong Kong, and w i l l also help to promote the academy's graduate programmes. The second is faculty journals — the academy has been asked to sponsor the faculty's two journals, one in Chinese and one in English, and its senior academics w i ll serve as advisers as well as members o f the editorial board. The last area of collaboration is interdepartmental research projects. With the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, the largest centre for the study of Shanghainese history and culture in Shanghai, the f acu l ty w i l l embark on comparative studies of Shanghainese and Hong Kong culture. This w i ll complement the setting up of the new Hong Kong Cultural Research Resources Centre at the University by the Faculty of Arts and the University Library System. With the Foreign Affairs College, the only institution devoted to the training of diplomats in China, of which Prof. Kwok is the adviser to its Hong Kong Development Research Centre, links begun a year and a half ago were confirmed. With Beijing Administrative College and Shanghai Administrative College, which provide teaching in the humanities and cross-cultural training to civil-servants- to-be on the mainland, discussions were made concerning the joint organization of teaching and special training programmes for their students. Many agreements were reached with the Chinese Academy of Arts, the most comprehensive institution in China for the study of the Chinese arts. It covers areas including literature, music, and the performing arts f r om antiquity to present times. At the departmental level, there w i l l be academic visits, lectures, and j o i nt publications between the academy and the CUHK Department of Chinese Language and Literature and the Department of Music. At the faculty level, there w i ll be a major conference on 'Reflections on Chinese Art', the details of which have yet to be worked out. The faculty w i l l also help the academy develop their research resources. Preliminary discussions have been made and agreement reached on a comparative study o f the cultural ecology of Kunming, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing to be conducted by the Department of Modem Languages and Intercultural Studies j o i n t ly w i th Tsinghua University and Fudan University. The study w i ll come under another area of excellence of the faculty, namely, Localism/Globalism. The faculty w i l l lend its expertise to the Central Conservatory of Music in its development of humanities and general education. Regular visits and lectures between the conservatory and the Department of Music were confirmed. The faculty also met with officials from the Ministry of Education. Prof. Kwok reported that they were delighted to f i nd that the ministry's directions for tertiary education reform were much the same as the faculty's. Its three broad directions were: to broaden the curriculum, promote interdisciplinary study, tailor programmes and courses to better fulfil social and cultural needs. This fruitful visit to Beijing and Shanghai is in line with the faculty's goals and strategies for the new century. These include developing faculty-based interdisciplinary core courses, revamping of curriculum to keep up with societal changes and cater to the diverse interests of students, concentrating on specific areas of excellence (i.e. localism and globalism; tradition and modernity; and culture, env i r onmen t, business and human resources), and consolidating links w i t h leading academic institutions on the mainland and overseas. O Piera Chen The delegation outside the grave of Matteo Ricci located in Beijing Administrative College, which was the site of a former Catholic seminary The delegation at the Chinese Academy of Arts