Department of Chinese Culture

Doctor of Philosophy / Master of Philosophy

Sept 2020 Entry


The Department of Chinese Culture (CC) was established in September 2008. Its mission is to impart to students knowledge about the culture of China, to help them broaden their intellectual horizons and to reach an integrated understanding of the relationship between self and society, so that they can develop foundations for their future careers, improve the quality of their lives and become responsible national and world citizens in this age of globalisation.


To fulfil its mission, in addition to offering an undergraduate and a taught postgraduate programme related to the culture of China, CC offers research programmes in Chinese culture leading, respectively, to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Master of Philosophy (MPhil). The Department’s research covers the following areas.


  • Chinese Government and Society in Imperial China
  • Chinese Literature and Cultural History
  • Modern Chinese Intellectual and Political History
  • Neo-Confucian Philosophy and Learning
  • Traditional Chinese Intellectual and Religious History

Research Areas

Chinese Government and Society in Imperial China

This research area includes the study of government ideals and statecraft of the dynastic founders, government organisational principles and administrative systems; institutions and policies for political order and social stability; expansion and consolidation of territories; ethnic conflicts and acculturation; performance of the emperors and their high ministers; bureaucratic malpractices and partisan conflicts; means of social control and ideological indoctrination; the presence of the state in local society; book printing, literacy and social mobility; social welfare and social discord; and testing Confucian claims and ideals.

Prof. Chu Hung-lam3400
Ms Loris Lau3400

Chinese Literature and Cultural History

This research area focuses on literature both as an expression of culture and as an active participant in the shaping of culture in pre-modern and modern China. The themes addressed include the interactions between elite and popular culture, oral and written culture, literature as a tool of indoctrination and of resistance, literature and the book trade, literature and performance, literature and religion and literature and gender.

Dr. Mark Meulenbeld3400
Dr. Kevin Schoenberger3400
Dr. Zhang Yu3400
Ms Loris Lau3400

Modern Chinese Intellectual and Political History

This research area scrutinises the ideas, institutions and movements that defined China’s modern experience from the late Qing, through the Republican era, up to the end of Mao Zedong’s stewardship of the People’s Republic. Themes include the various ‘-isms’ that inspired intellectual debates; reform programmes with and without state sponsorship; social movements initiated from the top-down and the bottom-up; revolutions and nation-building projects; and new institutions such as the party-state and mass organisations.

Prof. Han Xiaorong3400
Dr Brian Tsui3400
Ms Loris Lau3400

Neo-Confucian Philosophy and Learning

This research area examines Neo-Confucian conceptions of man’s place in the universe; universal principles and their particularistic manifestations; knowledge and action in learning; perfection of the self; the moral uplifting of the populace; articulations for a strong government and social and cultural integration; major Neo-Confucian schools and their doctrines; the major works of Neo-Confucianism; the philosophies of Zhu Xi and Wang Yangming; the ideological rebels of late Ming; and Confucian reflections on the early Qing.

Prof. Chu Hung-lam3400
Ms Loris Lau3400

Traditional Chinese Intellectual and Religious History

This research area examines the history of Chinese thought, including Confucianism, Buddhism, Daoism and popular religions and their material productions from early to pre-modern China. In addition to the internal coherence of Chinese systems of thought, institutional and cultural contexts and practices are emphasised.  These include the close interaction between ideas and social change, politics and economics.

Dr Mark Meulenbeld3400
Ms Loris Lau3400

Research Facilities

The research activities of the Department rely heavily on library facilities, such as EndNote, databases, book collections, journals, etc.

Other Information

No information is available at present.

Supporting Documents

Academic Referee's Report

Compulsory - Two Academic Referee's Reports are required

Research Proposal

Compulsory - A standard form must be used for the submission of research proposal.  Please click here to download the form.

Transcript / Certificate