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13th HKU Spring History Symposium

May 3, 2024 - May 4, 2024

The Department of History at the University of Hong Kong is pleased to announce that the 13th Spring History Symposium will be returning as an in-person event this year. The Symposium will be held at the University of Hong Kong on 3 and 4 May 2024 and will provide a venue for postgraduate students and early career scholars to share their research and form connections with an international community of historians.

The theme of this year’s Symposium is Making Modern Identities. The modern era has given rise to myriad systems for categorising and identifying individuals and groups and has provoked new thinking about the self and the place of the individual in society. New gender, class, and social identities have emerged, as have rearticulations of old ones. Identities can be formulated from within as a process of self definition by individuals and communities, but they can also be imposed by one group upon another. Just as the philosophies and technologies of the modern era have provided individuals with the means to articulate their own identities in changing ways, they have also increasingly enabled states and institutions to recognise and keep track of individuals and sort them into ethnic, racial, religious, gender, and political categories, among countless others. 

Identities interact in complex ways — overlapping, conflicting, and combining and constantly in flux. The 13th Spring History Symposium will explore the many multiple and overlapping identities, both personal and communal, of the modern era. We invite papers that examine aspects of identity from a historical perspective from any time between the 18th century and the present. Postgraduate students from related disciplines who use historical approaches are also welcome to submit proposals. 

Paper topics may include but are not limited to: 

  • national identity — state formation and colonial resistance
  • regional and local identity
  • race-making
  • gender identity and gender roles
  • sexuality and LGBTQ+ communities
  • sports and entertainment fandom communities
  • class consciousness
  • state recognition of individual identities — standardisation of record keeping, passports
  • identities formed within digital communities

To apply, please submit an abstract of between 200 and 300 words and a 1-page CV to hkuhistorysymposium@gmail.com. Accommodation will be provided for non-local participants. If you will be coming from outside Hong Kong, please indicate if you will require accommodation. 

The deadline for submission is 31 January 2024, and applicants will be notified of the results in February. All papers must be presented in English. 


May 3, 2024
May 4, 2024
Event Category:


The University of Hong Kong