Renowned scholar explores social issues of Eurasians
The Department of History invited Professor Emma Teng of Massachusetts Institute of Technology as guest speaker of Professor Chang Chuen Memorial Public Lecture on 10 April. The topic was “Becoming Eurasian: The Establishment of The Welfare League and Eurasian Identity in Inter-war Hong Kong”.
In the lecture Professor Teng examined the founding of Hong Kong’s Welfare League in 1929, led by a group of prominent Eurasians in the colony. Many prominent Eurasians in the colony publicly claimed a Chinese identity, both as a means to escape colonial racism and as a means of upward mobility in order to fight for broader social changes.
Professor Teng further elaborated on an “ethnic shift” that took place among Hong Kong's Eurasian community around the time of the formation of the Welfare League, leading many in the younger generation to publicly embrace a “Eurasian” identity. To conclude, Professor Teng discussed the identity and role of Eurasians and how they tried to secure their positions and values.
The Professor Chang Chuen Memorial Public Lecture Series is financed by the endowment fund set up by the family of the late Professor Chang Chuen, the founding Head of the Department of History, and his former students and colleagues to recognise his valuable contribution to the Department.