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Reading: Between: Capital, Culture, and the Transformation of Hong Kong’s Universities


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Between: Capital, Culture, and the Transformation of Hong Kong’s Universities


Gray Kochhar-Lindgren

University of Washington, Bothell, US
About Gray
Gray Kochhar-Lindgren is Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Learning and Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at the University of Washington, Bothell. With degrees in philosophy, religious studies, literature, and a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies, Gray is the author of Narcissus Transformed, Starting Time, TechnoLogics, Night Café, and Philosophy, Art, and the Specters of Jacques Derrida. Currently, he is working on collaborative projects on Philosophy in the Streets, Global Noir, and the emerging global university. The recipient of two teaching awards, Gray has taught in Switzerland, Germany, and the United States, and, in 2009-10, served as a Fulbright Scholar in General Education at the Hong Kong America Center and the University of Hong Kong, where he holds an Honorary Professorship at the Centre for Humanities and Medicine.
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The public universities in Hong Kong are preparing for a momentous educational reform in the Fall of 2012 that will create four- instead of three-year degrees and add a strong General Education component to the curriculum. In this essay, I examine the trajectory of this reform from the point of view of an "insider-outsider" Fulbright Scholar in General Education who, based at the University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong America Center (but working with colleagues across the system), consulted on the formation of interdisciplinary courses, interactive teaching, and administrative infrastructure for the launch of the reform. I examine the change in light of the flow of global capital, the development of the "whole person" familiar to us from the discourse of the Liberal Arts, and of the demands of multinationals based in Hong Kong for a differently trained globalized workforce. The Hong Kong experiment is, I argue, an illuminating site to examine in order for us to better understand the emergence of the global university.
How to Cite: Kochhar-Lindgren, G., 2013. Between: Capital, Culture, and the Transformation of Hong Kong’s Universities. ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts, 20(2). DOI:
Published on 29 Apr 2013.
Peer Reviewed


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