In order to form a strong united voice on behalf of the humanities, Hong Kong’s leading humanities scholars from all of its institutions of higher education has established the Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities (HKAH). The academy held its inaugural meeting on 18 April and formed its first executive committee. Prof. David Parker from CUHK was elected its secretary. Another member from CUHK elected to the executive committee was Prof. Simon Haines.

Professor Parker said, ‘Excellent achievements in the humanities in Hong Kong often go unmarked. Part of the mission of the HKAH is also educational: to help explain and show more clearly how the study of the humanities enriches our society. This kind of analysis has the power to provide in-depth insight into why, how and what humans think, believe and value; it provides understanding of the underlying frameworks people use to choose, act and make sense of their lives.’

The academy has drawn its 39 foundation fellows from all eight of Hong Kong’s publicly funded institutions of higher education, as well as the Open University of Hong Kong. Other foundation fellows from CUHK are Professors Hsiung Ping-chen, Shun Kwong-loi, David Faure, So Fong-suk Jenny, Wong Kwok-pun Laurence and Lee Ou-fan Leo.

Professor Shun said, ‘Most humanities disciplines have a distinctive nature different from other non-humanities disciplines. As a result, there is also a difference in, for example, the way to assess advance in scholarship or to structure inter-disciplinary inquiry in the humanities. The establishment of the HKAH is an important step forward in facilitating the understanding of the distinctive nature of the humanities and in forging a link between the development of the humanities in the region and internationally.’