Anthropology at The University of Hong Kong

From 1968 until 1988 Professor Murray Groves was the Chair of the Sociology Department at the University of Hong Kong. Professor Groves studied for his Ph.D in anthropology at Oxford under the supervision of one of British Social Anthropology's most interesting researchers, Godfrey Lienhardt. Professor Groves himself did path-breaking fieldwork on the Motu in Papua in the early 1960s. The department in its early days was very small and therefore Professor Groves decided that it would be pointless to call it a department of Sociology and Anthropology. And, although anthropology remained a stream in the department under him, and the appointment of other anthropologists were made, the name of the department has never changed. Indeed, the department follows the European tradition where sharp institutional boundaries are not drawn between sociology and social anthropology, as they are in the United States.

In 1989 Dr Grant Evans was appointed as a Senior Lecturer after the retirement of Professor Groves, and was soon promoted to the position of Reader. His fieldwork had concentrated on Laos and he has written several books on the country, while his Asia's Cultural Mosaic: An Introduction to the Anthropology of Asia (1993) is used as a textbook not only in Hong Kong but also Singapore, the United States, Australia and elsewhere.

In the early 1990s, Dr Kuah-Pearce Khun-eng, who works on southern China, joined the department. Besides these two full-time staff members the department at present has one visiting lecturer in anthropology, Dr Cheng Sea-Ling whose fieldwork was in south Korea on Filipina sexworkers there.

Both Dr Evans and Dr Kuah-Pearce supervise Masters and Doctoral students.

Anthropological courses available from the sociology department are:

Anthropologists are also found at HKU in the Departments of Chinese, English, and Japanese Studies. In the Department of Chinese, Dr Aihe Wang works on cosmology, medicine and thought in China - her study, Cosmology and Political Culture in Early China, was published by CUP in 2000. In the Department of English, Dr Chris Hutton's research focusses on political issues in language and linguistics, following on from his 1999 book, Nazi Germany, Linguistics and the Third Reich. In the Department of Japanese Studies, Professor Kirsten Refsing works primarily on the language, culture, and representation of the Ainu minority in Japan; she edited the 25 volumes of The Ainu Library, published by Curzon from 1996 to 2002. Dr Dixon Wong studies business, consumption, and tourism in Japan, Hong Kong, and China; his study of a Japanese-run department store in Hong Kong, Japanese Bosses, Chinese Workers, was published by Curzon and the University of Hawaii Press in 1999. Dr Peter Cave researches and has published several articles on contemporary Japanese education in comparative perspective. Dr Yoshiko Nakano researches communication and media, and co-edited a 1999 book on the Hong Kong handover, Reporting Hong Kong.

Most of the above are also supervising Masters and Doctoral students. They also have personal homepages.

In Japanese Studies, anthropological courses include: