By Scarlett Tun Hao
The School welcomed eight new postgrads in September, working on a range of linguistics and literature projects. The Alumni Magazine asked them to share a little about themselves, so we can all get to know them better. Below you’ll find their answers. Look for their contributions to the Magazine over the course of the coming year!
From left to right:
LOK, Wai Yi Pedro. With particular interest in language contact and English varieties, Pedro is pursuing his PhD under the supervision of Dr. Lisa Lim at the School of English. He received his previous MA training in Applied English Linguistics from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and lectures on English at Tung Wah College. As one of the editors of the Facebook page Kongish Daily, he specializes in rewriting Cantonese pop lyrics in both Chinese and Kongish. His research interests centre around the emergence of Cantonese loanwords in English, the cultural and social implications of Hong Kong English, and humour contained in new varieties of Englishes in computer-mediated communication.
LEUNG, Eva completed her BA in English and Comparative Literature at HKU and MPhil English in Literary Studies at CUHK. She has been a community college lecturer ever since. Currently she is working on the writings of Daphne du Maurier for her PhD, and she is a big fan of Margaret Atwood. Eva says, ‘I have a bad habit of browsing online bookstores when I start to get tired, and end up buying books I haven’t found the time to read yet. And I’m still browsing. I will worry about where to put them later. I play jigsaw puzzles and, like the books I buy, I worry about where to accommodate them later. I am obsessed with playing the harp. I want to play it as frequently as a teenage girl wants to see her new boyfriend. I can sing karaoke for hours, and my friends know they can bribe me with desserts and coffee. I love studying foreign languages, and I try to pretend I can still speak them when I meet people who speak them. I daydream a lot about the stories and poems that I want to write, but actually write very little. Did I mention I’m obsessed with playing the harp?’
WONG, Chun Hin Kelvin is a MPhil candidate who has just finished his undergraduate study in Sociolinguistics and Chinese Literature. His research is about identities and social categorization in the political landscape of post-umbrella Hong Kong as displayed in online-mediated data. Studying in Hong Kong provides him the opportunity to closely study the political discourse that takes place here. As for his hobbies, in his own words, he is ‘still exploring them, though he can perform eating, drinking and sleeping with exceptional ability.’
WU, Zhao Zhen Jasper is a new MPhil student with a general interest in sociolinguistics and philosophy, which are also fields that inspired his MPhil project—a study on the discursive formation of the Umbrella Movement. He is deeply interested in the questions of how conflicts are constituted and how collectives are created. In his own words, “though these are not, strictly speaking, questions about language, they are questions that cannot be answered without studying communication, which makes language key to addressing them.” Trying to tackle these questions, he has been reading into integrationism, community of practice, imagined communities, and self-categorization.
POON, Lok Ming Billy is a new MPhil student who completed his undergraduate degree at HKU, and his research centres around tourism discourse in Hong Kong. His interest in exploring tourism discourse comes from an internship experience with an online travel website when he wrote multiple travelogues on places like Singapore and Sweden. With his own background in sociolinguistics, it is also a great way to reflect on how other travel writers use various strategies to construct a place for potential tourists. He began his research on tourism discourse with the hope of gaining a more in-depth understanding of place-making strategies through examining the various genres of travel writings as well as the semiotic landscape in Hong Kong.
XU, Lingyi Olivia is a new MPhil Student with a major interest in the intersection between art objects and Victorian literature. Before she became an MPhil student, she completed her undergraduate study at the University of Hong Kong majoring in both Fine Arts and English Studies. Her training in both western art history and English literature enable her to capture the artistic dialogues between the two subjects, which was ongoing in nineteenth-century England. Moreover, Olivia is particularly interested in the different artistic forms associated with women, such as drawing, piano playing and theatrical performance. By focusing more on the formal qualities, or the lack of formal qualities of different artistic representations in the novel, she hopes to fill in the gap of recent research that gives prominent attention to the historical linkage between art and literature.
TSE, Wai Sum Vincent, a new MPhil student, has proposed to examine the discourse of marketization among community colleges in Hong Kong. He wants to see how these schools use their graduates’ stories strategically to promote their programs. In addition to the linguistic aspect of these stories, he wants to see how they are incorporated into websites—so he’ll be looking at the layout and navigational aspects of those websites. With Geography as his second major, he is also interested in the representations of environmental issues in the media. For future PhD studies, he is interested in environmental communication.
GUINTO, Nicanor L. is an Instructor of English at Southern Luzon State University in the Philippines. A textbook writer and former Research Coordinator of the College of Arts and Sciences of the same university, Nic has presented and published papers on language studies and English language teaching both in national and international conferences and publications. He holds a Master of Arts degree in English Language Studies from the University of the Philippines. He believes that the training he will receive both from the University of Hong Kong and King’s College London as a Joint PhD student will greatly benefit not only himself, but more importantly his future students in the Philippines, and the University and the community he serves. His research interests include sociolinguistics, critical language pedagogy, and critical discourse analysis. When he’s not busy with work, he goes on ‘food trips’ with his friends.