This course is designed as a capstone course offering students an opportunity to integrate and reflect upon what they have learned in the major while focusing on current topics and critical debates in English studies. Students are expected to be able to build on courses they have taken before and should consult individual colloquium co-ordinators before registering for the course. There will be no formal lectures but weekly meetings for the discussion of texts and issues, led by students. Assessment will be based on contributions to colloquium discussions and a final essay.
Wednesdays, 12:30 - 14:20
This course explores how linguistic and other semiotic resources displayed on signs, public notices, advertisements, posters, billboards, menus, and other types of publicly displayed texts create a sense of place that is Hong Kong. Students will have prior knowledge of broader sociolinguistic and discourse analytic literatures. The course has four key components: reading, data collection, discussion, and writing. In the first four weeks, we will read and hold student-led discussions of a wide range of theoretical and empirical studies pertaining to the study of linguistic/semiotic landscapes. In the following four weeks, students will conduct their own literature searches, plan their research projects and collect their data. In the final weeks, students will work on drafts of their projects and make in-class presentations.
Thursdays, 16:30 - 18:20
The use of experimental techniques has been increasingly common in both theoretical and applied linguistic research. This course aims to equip students with necessary conceptual and practical knowledge for conducting their own linguistic experiment. Students should have prior knowledge in general linguistics, phonetics, and/or psycholinguistics, depending on the nature of the study they would like to carry out. The first half of the course will focus on the following: literature search, formulating specific and testable hypotheses and research questions, identifying various types variables, experimental design, data collection, and basic statistical analysis. In the second half, students will conduct their own data collection and analysis under individual guidance. Students will also make in-class presentations at the end of the course. Assessment will be based on an individual research paper. Students enrolled in this course should contact the teacher at the earliest opportunity to discuss potential research ideas.
Wednesdays, 14:30 - 16:20
Global warming, driven by unfettered human activity, exacerbating inequality while causing inescapable harm (including climate change and extreme weather, sea level rise and ocean acidification, species depletion and extinction), is the most urgent problem life on earth faces in the 21st century. Yet as a “planetary” problem, it persistently defies translation into human concepts of solution. Entrenched political organizations, economic interests and cultural predispositions appear equally unfit (and unwilling) to countenance modes of action and change that might effectively bring human life worlds into regenerative alignment with a (still) vast assemblage of non-human agencies also struggling for survival. Many writers know this and dedicate their talent and imagination to the realization of social templates, both fictional and nonfictional, intended to mobilize thought and action against catastrophe. But can writing hope to cut through prevailing protocols of reading designed to bend radical flights of the imagination to (merely) uplifting ways of adjusting to the status quo? In this senior colloquium, we will read and discuss a selection of writings—fictional, nonfictional, critical and theoretical—about global warming and consider their value and import in enabling necessary change. In the spirit of a capstone experience, our readings, discussions and reflections will culminate in your own writing, be it critical or creative (or both), which we will collect in an anthology to be shared among participants, and perhaps a wider public.