USJ to stage two seminars on cultural preservation, language

The University of St Joseph (USJ) will host two public lectures next week on intangible cultural heritage and the study of the Chinese language, the university announced yesterday in a statement.

Held in English from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., Oct. 24 at the Don Bosco Auditorium of the university, the first lecture is titled “Documenting Intangible Cultural Heritage via VR Tour: Hungry Ghosts (Yulan) Festival Celebrations in Hong Kong.” Hong Kong Professor Selina Ching Chan will discuss the documentation of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) and explore how it can be achieved through events such as festivals and by reflecting on the “authorized heritage discourse.”

Chan serves as Academic Vice-President and Professor of Sociology at Hong Kong Shue Yan University.

She notes that existing documentation of ICH, through dances, martial arts performances and craftsmanship, has focused on tangible aspects, such as physical features, conveyed through a variety of techniques, positions, rotations, forces, and joint angles.

She argues that despite the widespread use of digital technology in ICH preservation, which may be used to capture intangible aspects by emphasizing the accuracy of postures and skills, it has disregarded the fluidic nature of ICH and overshadowed the multiple and complex meanings inherent in it. She contends that the documentation of ICH should highlight its dynamic features, and individual agency in creating “new” practices, as well as its communal aspect.

In another lecture also held in English from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. the following day at the same venue, Dr. Ana Cristina Alves will delve into the relationship between contemporary Sinograms and Chinese tradition.

Through the analysis of some of the most commonly used characters in contemporary Chinese thought, she will discuss the ideological mainstream based on the philosophical tradition of the country.

Alves received a PhD in Philosophy of History, Culture and Religion from the University of Lisbon in 2005. She coordinates the Educational and Chinese-Portuguese translation activities at Macau Scientific and Cultural Center in Lisbon. AL

Categories Macau