In collaboration with the University of Hong Kong, and funded by the Hatton Trust, the initiative will support cutting edge research into the history of Hong Kong by funding research studentships, visiting fellowships, conferences and workshops, exploring new and under-researched areas in Hong Kong history.
Hong Kong has been the subject of a number of academic and popular books and research and heritage projects, but much of its history remains under-explored.
This project aims to serve as a focal point for a programme of events and research initiatives that will provide new perspectives on the history of Hong Kong, both as an object of study in itself, and in comparative and regional perspective.
Research themes will include Hong Kong society, politics, culture and economy under colonial rule; Hong Kong elites, individuals and families and their interactions with the colonial government; and Hong Kong society, commerce and culture.
Professor Sir Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, in Hong Kong to launch the project, said: “The University of Bristol’s international collaborations are a vital part of its life and culture. I’m very pleased to launch this new initiative, which will enhance and deepen our relationship with the University of Hong Kong, and which promises a rich set of outcomes. We very much appreciate the kind generosity of the Hatton Trust which is making this happen, and its representative Dr Ron Zimmern.”
Professor Peter Mathieson, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong said: ‘I am delighted to see this link with the University of Bristol, where I spent many happy years before I took up my post as President of the University of Hong Kong. I am very grateful to Dr Ron Zimmern from Cambridge for funding and driving the project and to Professors Robert Bickers at Bristol and John Carroll at Hong Kong University for providing the academic expertise to get it under way’.
Dr Ron Zimmern of the Hatton Trust said: “Hong Kong is what it is today as a consequence of its history. The 100 years since 1850 was a formative period, where many individuals and families contributed to its success, and one where much remains to be researched and discovered. On behalf of the Hatton Trust, I am delighted that Professor Robert Bickers from the University of Bristol has agreed to direct the Hong Kong History Project and that Hong Kong University will be working closely with him.”