Department of English @ Hong Kong Baptist University



HKBU ENG Research Workshop SeriesThe Department of English Research Workshop Series is a platform for discussing research that is at any stage of planning or implementation. Presenters will describe some research that they have been working on for some time, have just started working on, or are thinking about working on in the future. Attendees will ask questions and try to brainstorm ideas in an attempt to help the presenter fine tune his/her methodology, research questions, or anything else that attendees may think of.

The two aims of this research workshop series are: 1) for presenters to share their research processes, approaches, and methods so that attendees can all get ideas and learn from others’ research experiences; 2) for presenters to get ideas from attendees’ questions and suggestions, so that they can refine and improve their research methods. It is hoped that attendees, both students and colleagues, will learn some new things about the research process, and that they will then adopt whatever they like, e.g., a particular presenter’s approach to coming up with new ideas, a way of formulating research questions, a reason for choosing a particular methodology, etc.

All students and faculty are welcome and encouraged to attend. No registration is required. Do not worry about asking questions or offering advice. It is perfectly acceptable to just show up, observe, and learn. But you may surprise yourself—you might actually think of some good advice for the presenter! And it would be a shame for presenters to miss that opportunity, so please do come.

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/// Speaker: John C. Wakefield ///
Date: Monday 25 September 2017 {fb}
CantoneseTopic: English Loanwords in Cantonese: How Their Meanings Have Changed

In this seminar John C. Wakefield will describe some research that he has begun, and which he plans to expand on. He will then solicit suggestions for how to improve his methodology. This research relates to a recently written paper that describes the semantic change of six English loanwords in Cantonese: sot1 “short”; ku1 “cool”; hep1pi2 “happy”; ang1kou4 “uncle”;  haai1 “high”; on1si2 “ounce”. {Click here to read more information about this workshop.}

/// Speaker: Jason S. Polley ///
Date: Monday 16 October 2017 {fb}
Jason S PolleyTopic: The Burmese Way and the High Way; Or, A Beer a Beer my Freedom for a Beer—A memoir of an aborted deportation

In the spirit of creative criticism and the blending or dissolution of classical genre paradigms—see, for instance, Stein’s The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas (1933), Faulkner’s Requiem for a Nun (1953), Nabokov’s Pale Fire (1962), Hunter S Thompson’s Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas (1971), Hayden White’s “The Historical Text as Literary Artifact” (1974), Frey’s A Million Little Pieces (2003), Eggers’ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (2001), and Affleck’s I’m Still Here (2010)—this seminar aims to investigate the means by which I should produce and disseminate the tentatively titled text-in-process named just before the beginning of this sentence. That first sentence exposed my strategies to all culture freaks and criticism geeks. It, that first sentence, encoded and/or included the following key words, some or all of which I hope to address in this interactive—Socratic rather than pontific—seminar. {Click here to read more information about this workshop}

/// Speaker: Robert Fuchs ///
Date: Monday 6 November 2017 {fb}
Robert FuchsTopic: A Corpus-based Study on False Friends in Advanced Learner English: Implications for Second Language Pedagogy

This study focuses on the erroneous use of false friends (words that look alike but differ in meaning) in the spoken and written academic learner English of speakers of five different first languages (Dutch, French, German, Italian, Spanish), relying on the International Corpus of Learner English, version 2 (ICLEv2) and the Louvain International Database of Spoken English Interlanguage (LINDSEI). Results indicate that only certain false friends are often used inaccurately, but that word frequency is a poor predictor of inaccurate use. Thus, the analysis explores other factors such as word class and concreteness in order to explain how likely learners are to commit false friends-related errors. Based on these results, recommendations for second language pedagogy will be made.

Given that this talk is part of a research seminar, I would welcome comments from the audience on the following questions (as well as others): 1) What other factors could explain why certain false friends are more likely to cause errors than others? 2) Could frequency in a learner’s first language be an important factor? If so, what comparable corpus or corpora of the five languages exist from which word frequency measures can be derived? {Click here to read more information about this workshop}


Also featuringLeonard Neidorf @ HKBUThe Style of Beowulf and the Conversion to Christianity:
A Study in Historical Aesthetics
Date & Time: Wednesday 6 December 2017; 4:30 {fb}
Speaker: Leonard Neidorf

Abstract This paper reconsiders the historical plausibility of Fred C. Robinson’s argument for the use of an “appositive style” in Beowulf. The poet, in Robinson’s view, contrasts paganism and Christianity by placing their representative elements into a state of apposition, which enables the audience to perceive both the admirable and regrettable aspects of the pagan past without passing explicit judgment upon it. Several critics have denounced Robinson’s interpretation as anachronistic and implausible, but this paper contends that its credibility is increased in the light of a hitherto unrecognised historical analogue. A letter written by Daniel, Bishop of Winchester, about methods for converting pagan Germanic peoples is shown here to recommend rhetorical strategies that distinctly resemble the appositive style of Beowulf. The composition of Beowulf is consequently situated in a milieu close to the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons, in which an aesthetic of pagan and Christian apposition evidently prevailed. {Click here to learn more about the speaker.}


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/// Speaker: Winnie Chor Oi Wan ///
Date: Monday 29 January 2018 {fb}
/// Speaker: Jason Eng Hun Lee ///
Date: Monday 12 February 2018 {fb}
/// Speaker: Lian-Hee Wee ///
Date: Monday 19 February 2018 {fb}
/// Speaker: Tammy Lai-Ming Ho ///
Monday 12 March 2018 {fb}
Topic: Cantonese in Anglophone Literature
/// Speaker: Stuart C. F. Christie ///
Date: Monday 2 April 2018 {fb}
/// Speaker: Magdalen Ki Wing Chi ///
Date: Monday 16 April 2018 {fb}


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