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Keynote Talk by Prof. Jay Winter
Charles J. Stille Professor of History Emeritus, Yale University

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“Statelessness: The burden of our times”

We live at a moment of convergence: the coming together of global migration, environmental crises, and war to produce what political theorist Hannah Arendt termed the burden of our times. That burden is the presence in all parts of the world of millions of people who are ‘stateless’, that is, unrecognized by any State as a national under its laws. My talk is about the stateless and their history over the last century: who they are, what they suffer, and how some of them escape from their predicament through their own actions. To think hard about statelessness is to reconfigure the boundaries that circumscribe our political lives.

Speaker: Prof. Jay Winter
Charles J. Stille Professor of History Emeritus, Yale University

Jay Winter is the Charles J. Stille Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University. He is a specialist on World War I and its impact on the 20th century. Previously, Winter taught at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of Warwick, the University of Cambridge, and Columbia University. In 2001, he joined the faculty of Yale. Winter is the author of Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History (1995); Remembering War: The Great War between History and Memory (2005); Dreams of Peace and Freedom: Utopian moments in the twentieth century (2006); Rene Cassin and the rights of man (2012), and The Day the Great War Ended, 24 July 1923: The Civilianization of War (2023). He was editor of the three volume Cambridge History of the First World War (2014), which has appeared in French and Chinese. Winter was also co-producer, co-writer, and chief historian for the PBS/BBC series ‘The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century’, which won an Emmy Award, a Peabody Award and a Producers Guild of America Award for best television documentary in 1997. He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Graz, the University of Leuven, and the University of Paris.

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Moderator: Prof. Xu Guoqi
Professor of History, Department of History, School of Humanities of
the Faculty of Arts at The University of Hong Kong

Professor Xu Guoqi was born in China and taught both in Asia and the USA before joining the University of Hong Kong’s History Department. He writes and has published widely in both Chinese and English on various topics.

Professor Xu is a leading authority of international history of modern China. His peers in Society of Chinese Historians in the United States (CHUS) recently honored him with the 2008 academic excellence award. His most recent book Olympic Dreams: China and Sports, 1895-2008, published by Harvard University Press in spring 2008, was chosen by International Society of Olympic Historians as the best book of 2008. The same book also received rave reviews from Washington Post, [London] Times, Irish Times, New York Review of Books, South China Morning Post, Toronto Star, Journal of Asian Studies, among many others. The Phoenix Television (Hong Kong) devoted two whole episodes of its book program to focus on this book, a rare treatment for any authors. His ideas and comments have been frequently sought by media such as Associated Press, Reuters, the New York Times, the South China Morning Post. His invited articles appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, and other places. Professor Xu’s research has attracted worldwide attention and his research profiles and interviews appeared in both the United States and China. Most recently two long interviews of him regarding his research on Chinese laborers in France during the First World War and the May Fourth Movement were published respectively in 2009 from China in China Archives China Archives’ February issue (中國檔案) and the July issue of Xi Hu Zazhi (西湖雜誌), a popular literary journal.

8 June 2024 (Sat) | 4:00 pm
CPD-3.04, 3/F, Run Run Shaw Tower,
Centennial Campus, HKU

(Please click here for the map)

Language: English

Registration Link (For HKU Staff and Students):

Free Admission. Registration required. First-Come First-Served.


Event details are subject to change at the discretion of the Organiser without prior notice and the Organiser reserves the right to make final decisions on event and seating arrangements.​

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