The University of Hong Kong: Spring History Symposium

2nd – 3rd May 2019

The Department of History of The University of Hong Kong invites graduate students from around the world to submit abstracts for the 11th Spring History Symposium, taking place on 2-3 May 2019 in Hong Kong. Over this two-day postgraduate conference, participants are provided with a platform to communicate their research, reflect on and refine their ideas. The symposium offers an opportunity for postgraduates to explore the convergences and divergences, conflicts, omissions, and challenges within history.

We welcome abstracts from postgraduate students researching on any aspect on history, especially about Hong Kong and the Asia-Pacific region. Postgraduates from other disciplines using historical approaches should also feel welcome to submit abstracts. Presentations should last between 15 to 20 minutes.

Please submit your abstract of no more than 300 words through this link: Submission.  All proposals should include your name, academic affiliation, and email address. The deadline for submissions is 18 January 2019. Prospective participants will be notified by mid-February.


Organizing Committee

Ms. Joyce LAU
Mr. Dong Kue LEE
Mr. Reynold TSANG
Ms. Jackie WANG
Ms. Shuang WU
Mr. Tim YUNG


Please submit paper title and abstract of no more than 300 words to this form. All proposals should include your name, email address, and academic affiliation. The deadline for submissions is 18 January 2019.

* – required fields


Diasporic Regionalism and the Consolations of History

11th Spring History Symposium 2019

Dr. Rachel Leow
Cambridge University

This keynote explores alternatives to formalized, institutional and political conception of regions, by way of microhistory. Like Hong Kong itself, the historical phenomenon of Southeast Asian Chinese migration is balanced at the productive edges of two constructed regions — that of ‘East’ and ‘Southeast’ Asia. This keynote presses alternatives to institutional conceptions of regions that privilege national, economic and geopolitical scaffolding at the expense of almost complete abstraction from the lived experiences of regionality. Through an inversion of scale and the layering of microhistories, it explores instead the possibilities of ‘diasporic regionalism’, challenging us to ask what happens to regions when we think of diasporas―their routes and practices of movement, their intimate imaginaries, fears and expectations, and most of all their limits―rather than nations, states or economies, as their principal authors. In doing so, it hopes to recover consolations from history for our age of rising, hardening borders.

Rachel Leow is a University Lecturer in Modern East Asian History at the Faculty of History at Cambridge University, and a fellow of Murray Edwards College. Born and educated in Malaysia, she subsequently completed a BA in History at Warwick University, and an MPhil and PhD in History at St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge. She was also a recipient of a postdoctoral Prize Fellowship in Economics, Politics and History at Harvard University. Her first book, Taming Babel: Language in the Making of Malaysia, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016, and received the Association for Asian Studies’ Harry J. Benda Prize in Southeast Asian Studies in 2018. Research published and forthcoming includes studies of Chinese female bondservitude in interwar Malaya and Hong Kong, Southeast Asian participation in Chinese peace movements in the early Cold War, and transnational May Fourth-era networks in Chinese newspapers in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Her present work continues to explore aspects of Chinese migration to Southeast Asia.

All are welcome. No registration is required.

Date/Time: 03 May 2019, 14:00
Venue: Room 4.36 Run Run Shaw Tower, The University of Hong Kong
Language: English



Date: 1st May 2019 (Wednesday, Public Holiday)
Time: 10:15am to 12:30pm
Place: HKU, Sheung Wan, and Central
Meeting Point: HKU Station Exit A2 (University Street)
Dismissal Point: Central Ferry Piers



  1. Main Building, HKU  (HKU Station to Sheung Wan Station, via MTR $5 for Adult)
  2. Man Mo Temple
  3. Hollywood Road (First Road of Hong Kong)
  4. Tai Kwun (Former Central Police Station, Former Central Magistracy and Victoria Prison)
  5. Fringe Club (Old Dairy Farm Central Depot)
  6. Bishop’s House
  7. Dunddell Street Steps and Gas Lamps
  8. Former French Mission Building
  9. St. John’s Cathedral
  10. HSBC Building
  11. Statue Square
  12. Court of Final Appeal (Former Supreme Court and Legislative Council)
  13. Two International Finance Centre
  14. Hong Kong Observation Wheel
  15. Central Ferry Piers, Victoria Harbour

Bad Weather Arrangement: The walking tour will be canceled if typhoon signal No.3 (or above) or red/black rainstorm warning is hoisted or issued 2 hours before the event starts.