Founding members & teaching staff

Founding members

Prof. Lui Tai-lok

Lui Tai-lok is the co-author of City-States in the Global Economy; Hong Kong Toy Story: Sociological Observations of Creativity and the Creative Industry; Hong Kong, China: Learning to Belong to a Nation; and Hong Kong: Becoming a Chinese Global City. He has also been a regular columnist for newspapers and magazines in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mainland China, and a programme host for Commercial Radio Hong Kong. He writes extensively on Hong Kong culture, the creative industry, the middle class in East Asia, and global cities. He was commissioned by the History Museum to carry out research on the changing role of childhood in Hong Kong. He was also an advisor to the RTHK on a series of programmes on Hong Kong’s history and culture.

Dr. Ng Chun-hung

Ng Chun-hung’s research deals with Hong Kong culture and society, with a particular emphasis on popular culture, creative industries, collective identities, and social development in Hong Kong and the Greater China region. He was in a team commissioned by the Central Policy Unit and the Home Affairs Bureau to conduct research in creative industries in Hong Kong, the Pearl River Delta, and the Hong Kong Film Industry. He gets funding from the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust and the Lee Hysan Foundation to carry out archiving and research work on James Wong and Hong Kong popular culture. In addition to being active in academic research, he has been a regular column writer for local newspapers, offering distinctive sociological comments on recent trends in culture and society. He has also been an advisor to a series of programs on Hong Kong culture produced by RTHK.

Dr. Travis Kong Shiu-ki

Programme Director of Media, Culture and Creative Cities [MSocSc-MCCC]

Travis Kong received his M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Essex. He now teaches sexuality and queer theory, as well as media and cultural studies. His research interests are Chinese homosexuality and masculinity, prostitution in Hong Kong and China, and transnational Chinese sexuality. To date, his articles have appeared in books, encyclopedias, and journals, such works include: Body & Society; Sexualities; Gender, Work and Organization; Deviant Behavior; Critical Asian Studies; Lancet; AIDS Care. He is on the international advisory editorial board of Sexualities: Studies in Culture and Society and the author of Chinese Male Homosexualities: Memba, Tongzhi and Golden Boy (Routledge, 2011). He is also a consultant on a number of projects regarding sexuality and a cultural activist who has worked with many non-governmental organizations, such as AIDS Concern, China AIDS INFO, Chi Heng Foundation, Midnight Blue, Xiyan Information Consultation Centre, Ziteng, and Hong Kong International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.He is the recipient of the HKU-Kings Fellowship 2013-2014 and The Social Sciences Faculty Outstanding Teaching Award 2013-2014.

Teaching staff

Dr. Tommy Tse Ho Lun

Tommy Tse completed his Bachelor’s and M.Phil. degrees at Department of Comparative Literature, The University of Hong Kong, with his expertise in gender studies and literary and cultural theories; and his Ph.D. at Department of Sociology, HKU, specialized in the interdisciplinary study of fashion communication, media and cultural industries in the Asian context. His works have appeared in Asian Journal of Business Research (MAGScholar), International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education (Taylor & Francis) andLuxury Brands in Emerging Markets (Macmillian). Tse has acquired experience in advertising, copywriting and marketing in various media companies and creative services agencies, including Art Map Ltd., ADO and TBWA\. Tse also worked as a project-based copywriter for various global fashion, luxury and pharmaceutical brands for over six years. Before joining HKU, Tse worked at the School of Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University; the Department of Fashion and Image Design, Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI); and the Culture and Media Domain, HKU SPACE CC/CIDP.

Dr. Sylvia J. Martin

Sylvia Martin received her PhD in anthropology from the University of California, Irvine. Prior to joining the University of Hong Kong, Sylvia was a Visiting Assistant Professor in Anthropology at Pomona College in California. Sylvia was also the recipient of a Postdoctoral Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Hong Kong in 2010-2011.

Sylvia conducted a multi-sited ethnographic study of the Hollywood and Hong Kong film and television industries, examining the labor involved in creating spectacle on film and television sets in both sites amid the uncertainties and risks of industrial production and globalizing processes. This research explores the thematic commonalities and transnational connections between the two commercial production centers, as well as the contrasts, attending to localized practices and the cultural logics that shape them.

Sylvia has also recently taught and published on the construction of cultural icons through media, memory, migration, and transnational markets. Other teaching interests include anthropology of race, ethnicity, and gender as well as ethnographic encounters.

Dr. Tom McDonald

Tom McDonald is an early-career anthropologist with a focus on the changing material culture of everyday and ethical life in modern China; the impact of new technological forms on society; and the social production of innovation. His work is dedicated to using ethnographic engagement to achieve a richer understanding of how the material world is affecting society, social relationships, kinship and morality.

Prior to joining HKU, he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Department of Anthropology, University College London. Between 2009 and 2011, he spent two years in a remote county-town in China’s Yunnan province undertaking the long-term study which formed the ethnography used in his PhD, submitted in 2013. The thesis documented the transformation of hospitality practices from domestic to commercial spaces, and discussed how this transition precipitated a number of social changes in the town.

He has recently completed a further 15 months fieldwork in rural north China, examining the impact of social media on everyday life in a small town and its peripheries as part of the Global Social Media Impact Study. His first full length monograph, entitled Social Media in Rural China: Circles and Strangers is due to be published with UCL Press in 2016.


Dr. Victor Shin

Victor Shin received his PhD in sociology from the University of Cambridge. His main areas of research are economic sociology, comparative capitalism, institutional change, and the organization of the media and cultural industries. The first phase of his research is concerned with the geopolitics and the changing structure of Hong Kong’s film industry since the 1970s. The sequel of this study focuses on the political economy and the transformation of market culture and professional etiquette in the field of Chinese media since the 1980s.


Dr. Cho Li-fung


Cho Li-fung examines investigative reporting in mainland China through news media organizations known for their exposés of government corruption and social ills. Her research focuses on the initiatives of enterprising journalists, their improvised newsgathering and production methods, and their ability to circumvent the content regulations of propaganda departments. Her research also looks at the role of the Party-State in stifling, directing, and encouraging the watchdog role of the press in China, and considers the relevance of this development to traditional notions of press freedom and control. Cho was a reporter at the 21st Century World Herald, a newspaper in Southern China that was shut down after it published articles calling for political reform. Prior to coming to Hong Kong, Cho worked for over ten years in various San Francisco non-profit organizations advocating for civil rights, affirmative action, health, education, and leadership development for low-income Asian American youths and their families.

Dr. Au-Yeung Shing

Shing Au-Yeung was born and raised in Hong Kong. Like most boys of the time, he was a science pupil in secondary school. At university, he gradually migrated to social science and obtained a B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Michigan. Among     those days, he also encountered video art from university courses and the Hong Kong Arts Centre workshops. Those experiences left a persistent mark in his life. In 2001, commissioned by the Hong Kong Film Archive, he made a video paying tribute to the retired director Lung Kong. The work was exhibited in 2001 and again in 2010. From 2001-2004, in every summer, he curated and taught the “Video-making day camp” for     teenagers, jointly sponsored by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, HKSAR and universities including HKU. Recently, he designed and held workshops on “digital story telling” for various communities as part of the Hong Kong Memory Project.

Dr. Carmen Tong Ka Man


Carmen Tong completed her bachelor, master and doctoral degrees at Department of Sociology, HKU. She is especially interested in student strategy and adaptation in the schooling process. Her M.Phil. research was about the experience of young lesbians in secondary school while her Ph.D. research explored students’ ethics and visions in competitive schooling environment. Carmen’s interest in education and schooling came from her teaching experience as a lecturer for 7 years at community college. Her approachable personality makes students willing to share with her their issues and feelings. These become Carmen’s motivation to represent their inner voices and stories in academic study.

Dr. Gary Wong Pui fung

Gary Wong obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham (UK), the Bachelor of Social Sciences (majors in psychology and sociology) and M.Phil. from HKU. He has served as lecturer at Kingston University London, Chinese University of Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong and HKU Space Suzhou College. He has also spent some years in the public affairs consultancy and worked at Commercial Radio Hong Kong. His research interest includes urbanisation of China (with Shanghai as a focus), Lefebvrian analysis, social mobility and radio history of Hong Kong. He is working on three projects, namely the cultural production of radio drama in Hong Kong (1960s-1970s), China’s history of world exhibitions, and the cultural/spatial history of Central (Hong Kong).