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  Towards a Diverse Research Environment

  Proteomic Study on
Nuclear Reprogramming During Cell Differentiation

  Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Hypoxia/HIFα Pathway in Regulating Biological Behaviour of
Mesenchymal Stem Cells

  The Link between Adult Stem Cells and Chimerism of Liver Transplantation

  Chungking Mansions as a 'Global Building'

  The Great Kanto Earthquake and the Political and Ideological Use of Catastrophe in Japan

  Historical Frontiers:
A Study of the May Fourth Spiritual Interpretation and
Development in the Context of Hong Kong

  RGC Collaborative Research Fund - Layman Summaries of Projects Funded in 2011/12 Exercise


Chinese Mail, The China Mail and The Colonial Office Series: Important first-hand documents in investigating the history of Hong Kong and studying the cultural, societal and political developments of the city.

The topic 'Historical Frontiers' was inspired after reading RGC's Newsletter Research Frontiers two years ago. To my understanding, new frontiers refer to research areas which possess features of valuable 'discovery' and 'innovative' findings. The project's subtopic is A Study of the May Fourth Spiritual Interpretation and Development in the Context of Hong Kong. To me this is an area worth exploring and of high innovative value. For several decades, the May Fourth Movement has been a significant topic for researchers of modern Chinese history, intellectual history, as well as modern and contemporary Chinese literature. However, most of these studies have mainly focused on the perspective in a broader sense, i.e. at a national level even studies of the regional and local impact of the May Fourth Movement have always been limited to several major cities i.e. Beijing, Shanghai on the mainland.

From the perspective of this particular research, it is strongly believed that the impact of the May Fourth Movement should be analyzed from the local perspectives of other cities and regions i.e. Hong Kong and Guangdong, which in academic studies have traditionally been neglected. The real impact of the May Fourth Movement has rarely been scrutinized into these particular places. This is the reason why it is important to look into the actual regional and local impact of the May Fourth Movement. At present, it is found that only a handful of people have addressed the relationship between Hong Kong and the May Fourth Movement. Furthermore, the various records and recollections have never been analyzed together in their entirety to provide a complete and objective picture of the event. By collecting first-hand documents, such as newspaper articles of the time; Colonial Office Series; documents of public organizations; and the diaries and recollection of certain scholars, it is hoped that a clearer picture can be drawn on how the May Fourth Movement has been interpreted and developed in Hong Kong. This would help obtain a multi-level understanding of the historical meaning of the May Fourth Movement on the development of modern and contemporary Chinese history, and how different interpretations have been developed in Hong Kong. Moreover, the cultural development of Hong Kong can be analyzed by understanding how China interacted with Hong Kong in the area of politics, academics and culture during this period.




Dr Hok-Yin CHAN

In conclusion, from the perspective of studies
on the May Fourth Movement, probing into the development and interpretations of a 'fringe' region such as Hong Kong rather than that of major cities like Beijing and Shanghai will provide a more objective picture of its impact, meaning and historical value on the development of modern China. From the perspective of Hong Kong historical studies, this project will provide an alternative way of looking into the development of Hong Kong's culture and society, political environment, and academic community. This is critical in order to understand the ideological source behind the influences of Hong Kong's intellectual movement and local literature. 

Part of the findings of this project have been published in a paper entitled 'The May Fourth Movement in Hong Kong 1919' in Asian Culture (Volume 35, July 2011) published by the Singapore Society of Asian Studies and it will be reprinted in a book entitled Hong Kong: City Imagination and Culture Memories co-edited by Professor Chen Pingyuan (Peking University and The Chinese University of Hong Kong), Professor Chan Kwok Kou (The Hong Kong Institute of Education) and Professor David Der-Wei Wang (Harvard University). The book will be published by Peking University Press later this year.

Dr Hok-Yin CHAN
Department of Chinese,
Translation and Linguistics
City University of Hong Kong