Newsletter No. 178

Nobel Laureate in Literature Visits CUHK M r. Gao Xingjian, Nobel laureate in literature 2000 and the first Chinese writer ever to have won the award, visited the University last month and delivered a public lecture at Sir Run Run Shaw Hall on 30th January 2001. The lecture, on the language of literature, was conducted in Putonghua with simultaneous interpretation in English. The hall was fully packed on the day. Professorial Inaugural Lecture on English Literature in a Second- language Context Prof. Dav id Parker, professor of English, delivered his professorial inaugural lecture entitled 'TheGlobal Banyan Tree: English, Cu l t u r e, and Western Modernity' on 31 St January at L i Koon Chun Hall, Sino Building. The lecture outlines a pragmatic case for the study of English literature in a second- language context such as that of Hong Kong. It begins by advancing three claims. The first is that becoming highly proficient in a language depends pa r t ly on hav i ng knowledge and understanding of the culture or cultures in wh i ch the language is embedded. The second is that the acquisition o f cu l t u r al literacy in English is greatly assisted b y k n o w l e d ge a nd understanding of the main root systems of Western modernity. And the third is that studying literature in English historically and in depth, at least from the Renaissance on, can provide understanding of the intellectual and spiritual traditions informing Western modernity. Prof. Parker has had experience teaching in Australia, the UK, and the USA. Before joining The Chinese University in February 2000, he was head of the Department of English and Theatre Studies at Australian National University. Committed to Environmental Protection T o raise environmental awareness and to promote environment-friendly practices among members of the campus c ommu n i t y, the Un i v e r s i ty he ld an Environmental Protection Week from 9th to 15th February. The week featured a Green Campus E x h i b i t i o n, a Waste Reduction Workshop, an Environmental Protection and Cleaning Walk, a photo contest, an energy-saving logo design contest, and an energy usage guessing game. There was also a debate on the 'total ban of the use of disposable wares on campus' and a forum on 'Vision Planning: Hong Kong 2030'. The opening ceremony was held at the Un i v e r s i ty Cu l t u r al Square outside Benjamin Franklin Centre. Guests of honour included Mrs. Lily Yam Kwan Pui- ying, Secretary for the Environment and Food; Mrs. Lessie Wei Chui K i t - y e e , D i r e c t o r o f Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation; Mr. Robert J.S. L a w , D i r e c t or o f Environmental Protection; Prof. Arthur K.C. Li, vice- chancellor; Prof. L iu Pak- wai, pro-vice-chancellor; Prof. Chan K i n g - m i n g, chairman of the University Steering Committee on the E n v i r o n m e n t ; t h e presidents of CUSA and C U T A , a nd s t u d e n t representatives. I n her address, Mr s. L i l y Yam commended the University for having taken the lead to promote environmental consciousness in the tertiary sector and to support the government's call to build a clean Hong Kong. She was subsequently accompanied by the vice-chancellor and other guests to proceed to the entrance of the U n i v e r s i ty f or a t r e e - p l a n t i ng ceremony. Mrs. Lily Yam addressing the audience Students playing African drums at the opening ceremony Mrs. Lily Yam and Prof. Arthur K.C. Li planting a tree Probing Challenges Facing the Tourism and Hospitality Industries T he School o f Hotel Management organized two large-scale functions last month to address challenges confronting hospitality management in Asia and beyond in the new century. Training Programme for Top Executives Over 60 participants from almost every leading hotel company in Asia participated in the Senior Executive Training Programme conducted by the University's School of Hotel Management. The programme, which took place from 9th to 11 th January at the Regent Hotel, was organized jointly with the Hong Kong Hotels Association. Among the participants were chief executive officers of hotel chains, general managers and division heads of major hotels, and instructors of training institutes in the local hospitality field. It marked the first project by the school towards its aim of delivering advanced management t r a i n i ng for h i gh - l evel executives of the hospitality industry in Hong Kong, mainland China, and other parts of Asia. Speakers comprised professors from The Chinese University, the University of Hong Kong, Cornell University, and Johns Hopkins University. International Conference Over a hundred participants from 15 regions, including representatives from 50 d i f f e r ent un i v e r s i t i es and over 20 multinational, national, and regional organizations in the hotel and tourism industries, attended the CU 2 Joint Conference ill Hospitality and Tourism held on 13th and 14th January at the Grand Hyatt. The event was jointly organized by the research arm of the School of Hotel Management and its counterpart at Co r ne ll Un i ve r s i ty to encourage exchange between academia and industry, and to promote research in the discipline as a means of integrating theory with practice. Keynote speeches were delivered at the opening ceremony by Mrs. Selina Chow, chairman o f the Hong Kong Tourist Association, and Mr. Lui Che-woo, chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Hotel Owners. There were two industry panels, dealing with 'Critical Issues Facing the Asian Hospitality and Tourism Industry in the Coming Decade' and 'Future Prospects of the Hotel Industry' repectively, and one academic workshop, entitled 'Publishing in Hospitality and Tourism Journals'. There were also 15 paper sessions dealing with a wide range of subjects related to the hotel and tourism industry in the 21st century.