Call for Applications – Urban Studies Training Program, to be held in Hong Kong August 2014

Call For Applications

Visit the Program’s website to learn more and apply:


Since 2010, the Harvard-Yenching Institute has jointly organized a series of advanced training programs entitled “Urban Studies and the China Experience” with the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Shanghai History Research Center at East China Normal University. The program invites leading experts from overseas and China to share on their areas of specialization, with the aim of introducing cutting-edge research approaches to a younger generation of scholars. In 2014, the advanced training program will be held at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences from August 18th to 24th and it will focus on “Inter-Asian Urbanity: Connections and Comparisons”.


Asian cities have undergone centuries of growth and decline, social transformations, political strife and cultural fusion. They also present diverse paths to engage the global political economy in the 21st century. As in the past, the re-emergence of a vibrant and inter-connected Asia sees the region’s urban populations mobile and growing. They are culturally diverse, at times volatile in their emotions and challenging in their claims for entitlements. The program attempts to use different disciplinary frameworks to position cities at global crossroads of trade and finance, politics, culture, and ethnicity, and to understand people’s strategies for survival and advancement as urban spaces are reconfigured. Speakers will involve historians, anthropologists, political scientists, urban designers, architectural scholars, sociologists, and film-makers. We shall reinforce the program with field trips, one on Hong Kong as a colonial, multi-ethnic hub, the other on contemporary cross-border logistics. A documentary film on new immigrants and community building will complement the trips. This utilizes the unique assemblage of the Hong Kong region, in historical and contemporary terms, to illuminate the analytical themes we would explore across disciplines.

General Information

This intensive week-long training program is targeted at PhD candidates and junior faculty members and 20 places will be offered. Applicants should submit a research proposal on a topic related to the theme of this year’s advanced training program in either English or Chinese and an abstract in both languages. Upon the conclusion of the program, participants may submit their revised research proposals to the Harvard-Yenching Institute using insights acquired during the training. A very small number of outstanding trainees may be selected to spend a year in residency as a visiting scholar at the Harvard-Yenching Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Room and board as well as local trips related to the program will be fully covered by the organizing institutions. Participants will need to arrange their own journey to and from Hong Kong. Individuals with acute financial need may request for assistance to help defray the travel expenses. The deadline for online application is March 31st, 2014.

To apply, please visit