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The 14th Annual CUHK Anthropology Postgraduate Forum
第十四屆 香港中文大學 人類學系 研究生論壇


Date: Friday 3 Feb & Saturday 4 Feb 2023


Venue: Online via Zoom



Renewal: Anthropological Imagining


in the Midst of Change





Waves of change pervade history. Responding to the uncertainty and opportunity embodied within changes, renewal, whether as action or desire, shapes human experiences in significant ways, despite it sometimes being an illusion. Today, hope for renewal seems to be intensifying around the world, creating an urge for new anthropological investigation, theorization, and imagination.




What does renewal mean in practice? How are visions of renewal and its variants—restoration, reconstruction, and regeneration—interpreted, circulated, and enacted within various sociocultural traditions, political projects and individual life experiences? In what ways do history, memory, and nostalgia underlie projects of renewal? How do positionalities shaped by different social categories and identities, such as gender, race, ethnicity, class, and caste, impact attitudes toward, and experiences of, renewal? What emotional and bodily experiences does renewal open up? How do relationships among the Self, the Other, the environment, and the material world reconfigure in the process of renewal? How are visions of the future contested through reinterpretations of the past? What do different formulations and experiences of renewal tell us about what it means to be human? And in what ways is disciplinary renewal emerging in anthropology today?




Convened by the Department of Anthropology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, this year’s Postgraduate Forum aims to examine the diverse meanings and practices  of renewal. We encourage conference papers that potentially speak to renewal, as well as associated concepts like restoration and reconstruction, from all anthropological subfields and related disciplines. For example, papers might address how renewal is envisioned and experienced in the aftermath of pivotal events, including but not limited to pandemic, displacement, ecological crisis, social movement, and natural disaster; papers might also engage with traditions or institutions of all kinds, whether biomedical, religious, political, economic, cultural, ethical, or ontological, to problematize mainstream knowledge and values regarding renewal and its alternative expressions; papers might investigate disruption and reconstruction in the past as well; applicants can also take anthropology’s research practice and disciplinary history as points of investigation, and provide critiques of anthropological theory and methodology. Above are just a few examples, among many others, of how reflecting through the lens of renewal can shed light on our understanding of human experiences. We invite you to join us in developing the rich theoretical potential of the concept.



Forum Committee:
Ao, Chon Hei (Alvin)
Kiran, Huzeyfe
Li, Xing
Ma, Jinghan
O’Reilly, Neil
Zheng, Xinche
Zuo, Mengge  


Faculty of Arts, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Department of Anthropology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong


For more information, contact The Forum Committee at: anthforum@cuhk.edu.hk