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Creativity, Self, and Society


Dr. Benedict ROWLETT, Assistant Professor, Department of English Language and Literature


Dr. Carloalberto TRECCANI, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities and Creative Writing


In this sub-theme, we take, and aim to develop, innovative perspectives on creative practices, notions of self and identity, and philosophy of subjectivity, in order to engage robustly with contemporary cultural theories. In doing so, our research carries with it the ambition to transform and even emancipate society. We welcome scholarly studies and creative arts practices with a focus on areas such as environmental consciousness, social change in cross-cultural contexts, creative futures for youth and for the disadvantaged, etc., all of which are essential to well-being, value, and the public good.
This research group enjoys good cross-faculty participation; active members come from English, Music, Translation, and Humanities & Creative Writing, with wide-ranging expertise in cultural studies, ethnomusicology; popular culture; gender studies; popular music; linguistic, narrative analysis and language as social practice; comparative literature study, etc.

Event Highlights

Working Paper Series

Our group is launching a new working paper series. The idea for a working paper series emerged from the successful postgraduate student conference held in September 2021 – “Negotiating Selves and Identities in Times of Crisis”. The best papers from that conference have been selected as the first publication for the forthcoming series. With a focus upon research related to well-being, value, and the public good, it is hoped that the new series will provide a platform for both established and emerging scholars to share their work in progress; and, as such, will grow into a diverse and significant collection of papers spanning the humanities and social science fields.

A list of possible fields includes Humanities, Culture Studies, Literature and Linguistics, Creative Practice, Theatre Studies, Disability Studies, Gender Studies, Hong Kong Studies, Social Sciences, Visual Studies, Translation Studies, Music, Museum Studies, Intercultural Studies. 

If you have any questions about the series, or would like to submit a paper, do not hesitate to contact the editorial team at

Now Open for Submission

“Exploring creativity and selves in Hong Kong disabled communities” 
StoryBoxPlayback Theatre Performance

The Faculty's inclusive Playback Theater group, StoryBox, was formed as an integral part of our Faculty Niche Research Area (FNRA) project - "Exploring creativity and selves in Hong Kong disabled communities". This collaboration between HKBU students, the deaf community, and the visually-impaired community enables participants with different abilities and backgrounds to meet and learn from each other, constituting personal growth and social dialogues. Sign up now to revisit the stars in your life in theatre!

2022 StoryBox sharing of findings

StoryBox|Inclusive Playback Theatre Sharing of Findings

Over the past 2 years, the deaf community, and the visually-impaired participants went through a surprising journey in which we grow and learn with each other. Before the new academic year begins, come and share the fruits of integration with us.

Sign Up Now Enquiry

“Recomposing the Self” 
Online Zoom Speakers’ Series

In times of rapid changes both domestically and globally, how can young people foster their creativity and cultivate their critical thinking to navigate the changing environment around them? The more the world is changing, the more we need to consider how to refashion our self in order to think about our relationship with society, to adapt to changes, and to prepare how to contribute to it.  
In many ways, around the world today the increasing interests of youth on issues of climate change, impact of social media, social inequality, multiculturalism and diversity, and so on, are an indication of their yearning to “recompose” their sense of identity and selfhood, so that they may reactivate their community connections and become better prepared to meet the challenges of their generation.  

Our zoom series aims to use a storytelling approach to stimulate young people to recognize the need (and the art) of flexibly thinking about ourselves and our relation to a society with major social transformations.  
We have invited 5 distinctive individuals who, in their own unique ways, learn how to refashion themselves because they recognize that somehow they are different and that they are not satisfied with the common ways of being. Striving with their own sense of creativity, they have each struck a new sense of well-being and self value, and used their examples to contribute to the public good.  


Compose a Self While You May

Serrini is a Hong Kong-based independent singersongwriter. She debuted in 2012 with her bedroomstudio album "Why Prey’st Thou Upon the Poet's Heart”. Ever since, Serrini has published five full albums and over 100 songs. Her latest album “Songs of Experience” received "the Best Overseas Album" award in the 10th Golden Indie Music Awards (GIMA) in Taiwan. Recently, she was freshly enlisted as one of the final five candidates for "the most popular female singers" award in the 2020 Ultimate Song Chart Awards Presentation (叱咤樂壇流⾏榜頒獎典禮). Serrini is a music producer, lyricist, poet, and a PhD candidate in the University of Hong Kong. She is also a budding petite curve size model in town. 

Date18 March, 2021 (Thursday)

Watch Now:


Unity in Diversity

An Indian by descent, Hong Kong-born and raised, Jeffery is one of the first ethnic minority registered social workers in Hong Kong. Committed to helping refugees and minority rights, in 2014 he travelled to the United Nations in Geneva to speak about the issues of segregated schools He has been featured in numerous documentaries, news articles, TV programmes. He has received The Secretary for Home Affairs' Commendation awarded in recognition of his dedicated service and outstanding contributions to the enhancement of racial harmony and integration. Recently been selected as 2019 JCI Top Outstanding young persons and also 2019 Cathay Pacific’s Change Makers award. He has been with Christian Action’s center for refugees for 11 years as a social worker. 

Date22 April, 2021 (Thursday)
LanguageEnglish & Cantonese 

The Key to Becoming a Slashie

Kiki is the co-artistic director of Encounter Playback Theatre, as well as a freelance facilitator, artist and project coordinator. She finished her bachelor's and MPhil. degrees at the Humanities Programme of Hong Kong Baptist University, and was also a graduate of Centre for Playback Theatre (New York). She actively participates in theatre, community arts and education fields, and believes that story is one of the keys that brings changes in the world. Kiki is devoted to the promotion and development of playback theatre in Hong Kong, one of the major groups that performs extensively for different communities and continually  organizes trainings for local fellows. She had coached and led numerous community theatre groups whose core members are physically challenged in different ways. 

Date14 May, 2021 (Friday)

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Spinning Outwards to a Larger We - 
Benjamin Koen x Lian-Hee Wee: A Dialogue

Benjamin Koen: Ben’s life has always been connected to the power of music in human creativity, imagination, transformation, healing, and wellbeing. Ben grew up in a highly diverse community where he had opportunities to share his music for healing and wellbeing with people from numerous backgrounds and cultures. Dr. Koen’s research and applied practice in music, meditation, healing, and wellbeing illumines the elusive process of how music heals.  He is widely published, including two benchmark books with Oxford University Press: The Oxford Handbook of Medical Ethnomusicology, and Beyond the Roof of the World: Music, Prayer, and Healing in the Pamir Mountains.


Lian-Hee Wee: Like many others, Lian-Hee’s identity may be described along different parameters. Culturally, he is a hybrid of Southeast Asia, various southern elements of Chinese, some flavours of American, and echoes of a British colonial past. Linguistically, he has a few first languages including Chiuchow and Hainanese, the latter he had lost and the former he speaks only with his parents, siblings and cousins, and necessarily only about mundane homely stuff. Lian-Hee is native in Singapore English across different social registers, Mandarin, and near native in Cantonese and Hong Kong English. His friends have kindly given him such wonderful appellations as guqin player/maker, flutist, poet, painter, animal-lover, activist, and scientist. However, friends are those who acknowledge one’s delusions. Professionally, he is a theoretical phonologist and a professor at the Department of English, Hong Kong Baptist University. 


Date18 June, 2021 (Friday)

Watch Now:




2022StoryBox|Inclusive Playback Theatre Sharing of Findings.
The launch of the new Working Paper Series.

This September, our group will host the First Postgraduate Student Conference in Humanities, with the theme of “Negotiating Identity and Creativity in Times of Crisis.” The conference invites presentations from RPGs from all local universities, and will lead to the launching of a new Online Working Paper Series featuring outstanding papers from the conference and beyond.
For more information, please visit our website: 

StoryBox Playback Theatre Performance
During March to June, our group will host an online zoom Speakers’ Series for all secondary school students in Hong Kong, with the theme of “Recomposing the Self.” Five outstanding speakers will give talks.
2020A recent accomplishment of this sub-group: our FNRA initiation grant, led by Dr. Amy Lee (HMW) and Dr. Benedict Rowlett (ENG), entitling “Exploring creativity and selves in Hong Kong disabled communities,” has received a $1 million grant. This two-year project has commenced in June 2020. It uses drama as a medium through which to combine cultural learning, experimentation and research inquiry. It centers on the creation of a Playback Theatre in which members of the disabled community will work together with HKBU students. 
Our group expanded to include postgraduate students. So far, three RPGs from HMW and ENG have joined us.
2019The group discussed a possible project theme of “Articulating minority, refugee, immigrant narratives using musical improvisation” and a seminar series entitled "Recomposing the Self." Suggestions were made to have creative training combined with research components in these projects.
2018In our inaugural meeting in November, participants shared their own relevant research interests, explored common interests, and brainstormed our potential research pathway under this sub-group. 

Playback Theatre performance


Playback Theatre performance