I received my PhD in modern Chinese history with a graduate minor in cinema studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2011; a MIS in Archival Studies from the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto in 2002; and a BA in French and Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto in 2000.
Prior to my doctoral studies at the University of Illinois, I worked as an archivist at the Archives of Ontario (Toronto) between 2002 and 2003.
Currently, I am working on my book manuscript tentatively titled, “A Cinematic Community: Family and Home in Postwar Hong Kong Visual Narratives.” “A Cinematic Community” examines the changing nature of the colonial encounter between British Hong Kong and its colonial subjects in the 3 decades following the end of World War II. My project complicates this shifting relationship in high politics, in visual narratives and through the consumption of these narratives by audiences in Hong Kong and in the diaspora. The stakeholders involved in this encounter are the British colonial government, Hong Kong-based Cantonese left-leaning film companies, and the Chinese migrants – primarily those from the working class – who flooded into colonial Hong Kong in the aftermath of World War II and following the Communist takeover. I argue that all 3 actors contributed to creating a unique postwar Hong Kong film culture and by extension Hong Kong’s local community: the Cantonese film companies in staking a claim to a new understanding of Confucian ethics in the reconstitution of the postwar Chinese family through their films in the 1950s; the colonial government in its censorship policies and subsequent role as producer of informational short films in the 1960s; and the Hong Kong Chinese as audiences whose stories were the building blocks of state-sponsored and commercial filmic narratives of their social and cultural life.
My next book project will continue my interest in the intersections between colonizer and colonized relations during the postwar period in and through cultural practices. In particular, I will explore the cultural history of gambling and its representations in film and explore its functions as leisure and entertainment, social control and vice in 1950s and 1960s Hong Kong.
Undergraduate and graduate course offerings:
I am willing to supervise graduate students in the areas of East Asian cinemas, Postcolonial studies and Cold War cultures.
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