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Chinese and Cross-Cultural Health Humanities


Dr. KWOK, Wai Luen, Head of Department of Religion and Philosophy


This is an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural research field that focuses on the relationship between arts, humanities, health, and well-being. The concept of health is studied in relation to (i) language, discourse, and narrative; (ii) literary representations; (iii) philosophy and (applied) ethics; (iv) religion and spirituality; (v) gender studies, and (vi) creative writing and performing arts (e.g. music and visual arts).

Upcoming Event

Chinese and Cross-Cultural Heath Humanities Lecture Series : Why is this Pandemic Unprecedented?

Lecture Series : Music-Neuro-Programming: SEA Meditation for Health and Wellbeing

Music-neuro programming is a process of harnessing the power of music-meditation to reprogram the subconscious mind to achieve health, wellbeing, and life transformation goals. Dr. Koen explains why many of the obstacles to health, wellbeing, and goal-achievement lie in the subconscious mind and function like “bugs” or “viruses” in the “mental software” running on the “operating system” of the subconscious mind. Dr. Koen presents key conceptual models, methods, and select case studies exploring how the SEA Meditation practice can bridge the conscious and subconscious mind to achieve health and wellbeing goals.

DateMar 26, 2021 (Fri)
Time2:30 - 4:00pm
SpeakerDr. Benjamin Koen (The Department of Music, HKBU)




Building Chinese Bioethics in the Time of COVID-19

New Book: "Building Chinese Bioethics in the Time of COVID-19"



Previous Events and Projects

Chinese and Cross-Cultural Heath Humanities Lecture Series : Why is this Pandemic Unprecedented?

Lecture Series : Why is this Pandemic Unprecedented?

One of the most heard words to describe the COVID-19 pandemics is “unprecedented.” But in fact, it doesn’t even make the top 10 list of fatalities among all the epidemics in human history. Why is this time so different? This talk will look at the changes in our perception that makes this epidemic indeed unprecedented. There is a misconception of medicine due to the increased availability and effectiveness of technology, but scientific knowledge is not really as certain and definitive as the media portrays and usually takes years of research to arrive at a consensus. Globalization and the accessibility of communication and social media makes the situation much more immediate. 

Date25 Jan 2021 (Monday)
Time2:30 - 4:00pm
SpeakerProf. Joseph Tham, UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights




COVID-19 Vaccine: Hopes, Hypes and Fairness

COVID-19 Vaccine: Hopes, Hypes and Fairness

As the global COVID-19 epidemic continues to take a heavy toll on human lives, public health and the economy, hopes are high that the unprecedented pace of new vaccine development may help bring an end to the epidemic.  This talk will be in two parts.  The first part takes a critical look at where the hopes lie, the basis of positive expectation, cautions and yet to be resolved questions on the new COVID-19 vaccine(s).  The second part considers ethical issues as related to new vaccine development and its allocation when available, focusing on fairness and responsibilities.


Date1 December 2020 (Tuesday)
Time2:30 - 4:00pm
SpeakerDr. Derrick Au, the Director of the Centre for Bioethics at The Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Chairman of the Bioethics Course Committee of the Faculty of Medicine, CUHK





Is Music Joy ? Retrofitting Ancient Music

Joy seems an unlikely paradigm for music theory, Yet it was fundamental to music theories from different parts of the ancient world. Today, joy is not fundamental to music theory; if anything, much philosophical thought on music veers towards the tragic. This talk considers the relationship between music and joy, and in what sense a theology of joy might help in recovering joy as a music theoretical paradigm today. 


Date12 November 2020 (Thu)
Time2:30 - 4:10pm
SpeakerProf. Daniel Chua, Chair Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Music, University of Hong Kong


Individual and Well Being: The Representations of War Trauma in Classical Chinese Poetic Tradition 

Funded by Initiation Grant for Faculty Niche Research Areas (FNRA-IG), HKBU (24 months, HK$ 934,968)


Chinese dynastic history alternated between periods of stability and growth and those of civil war, some of which lasted for decades and caused widespread destruction to all levels of society. Poetic accounts about the experiences of war shared many themes with other literary genres – the horrors of death and destruction, the pain of loss and displacement, human vulnerability, and nostalgia of the past – but through lyrical voices and highly stylized language that set them apart from prose accounts. Though the periods of war were intermittent, wartime poetry was a part of a broader continuous poetry tradition where earlier texts and literary conventions played a role in shaping the poetic accounts of war, while wartime poetry, in turn, was an important factor in pivoting new developments in the history of poetry.

Poetry in the Chinese classical tradition, including both shi and ci, has properties that make them unique grounds to explore the interactions between trauma and literary language. The genres give pre-eminence to unite the emotive, the sensory, and the rational dimensions of experience in highly stylized language, mediated by the poetic subject. Thus, Chinese poetry about the experience of war and its aftermaths pushes the limits of literary trauma theory and test its fundamental assumptions.

The current project differs from past scholarship by treating wartime poetry as a genre from the perspective of psychic trauma, which allows us to pursue our inquiry on the cross section between psychoanalytic, literary, and cultural studies down the line of literary historical perspective. We will focus on the poetry from the fall of the Northern Song, the Yuan-Ming transition, and the Taiping Rebellion. In each of these periods, we ask the following questions on the relationship between war, trauma, and literature:

  1. What are the ways in which poetry-writing contribute to psychic healing and regrowth, both individually and on the communal level?
  2. How has the traumatic experience impacted the writing of poetry, and in turn, if traumatic experience is made accessible and communicable through literary language, to what extent and in what ways does the medium affect the representation and transmission of trauma?
  3. What material effect would the choice of poetic genre – along with its set of literary conventions and expectations – have on writing of traumatic experience?
  4. How has the writing of trauma in each of these periods influenced the development of poetry?





Date2nd and 3rd November 2019 (Sat & Sun)



Related Journals and Articles

Forgetfulness and Flow: “Happiness” in Zhuangzi’s Daoism

Ellen Y. Zhang (Department of Religion and Philosophy, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong)