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Call for Papers - HKU Graduate Students Conference

  • University of Hong Kong (map)


Graduate student organisers: Ting Wang, Diego Javier Caro, Chun Wai Charles Lai, Sben Korsh
Faculty advisers: Cecilia Chu, Eunice Seng
Confirmed keynote speakers: Jiat Hwee Chang, Kelly Shannon & Giovanna Borasi

While modernity has been widely perceived as a universal phenomenon that encompasses different localities in Asia, the forms of cities and urban landscapes have been shaped and reshaped by specific histories, shifting geopolitics, and growing collective concerns over ecology and sustainability. By analysing the transfer of knowledge in the built environment disciplines, this conference aims to interrogate the role agents and institutions play in the built landscapes of Asia and beyond. Graduate students from relevant disciplines are invited to submit abstracts. The focus of investigation may include architecture, landscape, urbanism, real estate, infrastructure, construction or engineering.

The papers will follow two tracks:

Diffusion and History of Modern Architecture and Construction
This track investigates processes of transfer and diffusion of modern architecture and construction. Subjects of inquiry may include material usage, technologies, and professional practices and expertise. Papers should consider how these processes implicate the forms of built environments at specific localities in Asia and beyond. We are especially interested in papers that examine the less iconic, unofficial, everyday spaces or sites, and that transcend old perspectives. This track aims at bringing attention to issues of post-colonial architectural and construction histories and expand our knowledge of transnational and transcolonial networks in history.

Mobilities of Capital and Power in Post-Cold War Asia: Landscape, Infrastructure, Urban Form
Over the past decades, accelerating processes of capitalist globalisation and foreign capital investments have had growing influence on the production of infrastructure and built landscapes in Asia. Projects funded by overseas capital have been seen as mediators of local and global interests as well as sites of knowledge exchange and political negotiation. This track invites papers that analyse the contestations and conflicts in the production of these built environments. This may include enquiries on specific projects that challenge the status quo of international relations and the ways they impact everyday life of individuals and communities at home and abroad. We are especially interested in papers that decipher the geopolitics of these projects, how they are shaped by the mobility and expansion of capital, and how these dynamics materialise in landscape, infrastructure and urban form.


Please email a 300 word abstract and 100 word bio to by Thursday 28 February, 2019 at 5pm Hong Kong Time. Abstracts will be peer-reviewed and ranked. Accepted papers will be organised into panels and will be delivered in 20-minutes, followed by comments from a discussant and attendees. Papers will be considered for inclusion in a potential edited volume.