ASIA 323/HIST 377: History of Cantonese Worlds

This course traces the evolution and transformation of the multi-faceted Cantonese worlds, both in the context of the history of China and that of the Cantonese diaspora. The goal is to help students understand the worlds forged by those who have come to be identified as “Cantonese” and how such worlds have intersected or overlapped with other political, commercial, or cultural realms. This course traces the construction of “Cantonese” as a category or identity and examines how Cantonese languages, beliefs, and practices—in short, culture—could broaden or challenge our understanding of “Chinese-ness.” Our geographic focus will be on the Cantonese worlds of present-day South China, but attention will also be given to the Cantonese communities in the greater Pacific region.

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What are “Cantonese worlds”?

What is the significance of the “Cantonese worlds”?

Why are there so many dim sum restaurants?

What could students expect to learn?

In the media

卑詩大學新課程教授廣東人歷史 [OMNI Cantonese (BC)]

全球首設唐人世界課程 UBC 開班研究華南歷史 [Singtao Daily (Vancouver)]

Instructor (2022W)

Dr. Clement Tong is Visiting Assistant Professor of the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. He is currently a lecturer of Greek and Hebrew languages at the Vancouver School of Theology, and teaches a course on Hong Kong’s history and current events at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University. He is also the Global Mandarin Program Administrator at ACTS, and an adjunct professor of the Trinity Western University. Having worked as a certified translator in Canada for many years, he is interested in translation theories and practices as well as how they are related to the notions of identities and transcultural communication. He is the author of Revelation and Text: Story of the Chinese Bible (1807–1919), Authority and Breakthrough: Chinese Bible Translations in the Modern Time, and is involved in several Hong Kong-themed projects that have resulted in works including “The Hong Kong Week of 1967 and the Emergence of Hong Kong Identity Through Contradistinction” and “Translating Memories — The Fight over Pikachu in Hong Kong.” He is currently working on a project regarding the study and writing of the Cantonese language in 19th century China.