2021 Chang Lectures Throw Light on Archaeology, History, Postcolonialism and Migration

The Department of History invited Prof. Liu Haiwang from the Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Heritage and Archaeology, Prof. Marcos Martinón-Torres from the University of Cambridge, Prof. Madeline Y. Hsu from the University of Texas at Austin, and Prof. Zhuang Guotu from Xiamen University as guest speakers of the 2020-21 Professor Chang Chuen Memorial Public Lectures. All lectures were delivered on Zoom and attended by about a hundred students, faculty members and scholars from local and international institutions. 


In his lecture “From bronze-casting to iron-casting: Symbols and Supports of the Unification of Diverse Chinese Cultures”, Prof. Liu argued that copper and iron metallurgies were the most important technological symbols of the development of the Chinese civilizations from diversity to unification. He also touched upon the recent hottest topic - cultural relics from Sanxingdui, which proves that the Chinese archaeologists are very active today. 


Prof. Martinón-Torres delivered a lecture entitled “Archaeology, History and Science: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Terracotta Army” that he drew on his expertise in material culture, achaeometallurgy, and the archaeological application of modern technologies to offer new insights into the production of the famous Terracotta Warriors.


Prof. Hsu delivered a lecture titled “Postcolonialism, Race, and Immigration Regulation in Singapore and the United States” in which she discussed US immigration regulations in comparison with Singapore’s policies on race and migration. The postcolonial nations followed different “cultural conservation” agendas, as evidenced by differing conceptions of multiracialism but similar immigration control structures.


In his lecture “Chinese Migration to the South Seas: A Comparison between Fujianese and Cantonese Migrants”, Prof. Zhuang probed into the intertwining relationship between Chinese migration and the Maritime Silk Road from the 1600s to the present. Prof. Zhuang discussed the role that Fujianese migrants played in commerce and highlighted the significance of Cantonese migrants for their Canton spirit.


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 recognize his valuable contribution to the Department.