The Science, Technology and Medicine Seminar (STMS) series, hosted by the Medical Ethics and Humanities Unit, promotes cutting edge cross-disciplinary research that straddles the arts, sciences, and medicine.
The aim is to provide a friendly forum to debate and test new ideas, papers, chapters, book projects and grant proposals, as well as topical issues and individual research.
If you are interested in joining the seminars, please let us know.
We welcome suggestions for future presentations and discussion topics.
For further information about STMS activities,
please contact Dr. Ria Sinha at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 3917 9073.
27 November, 2023 (Monday) | 4:00-5:30 pm | CPD-LG.39
Title: “Sacred versus Scientific – Meanings of the Dead in Hong Kong and Singapore in the Twentieth Century” by Dr Bobby Tam
Abstract: This presentation will explore how the meanings associated with the dead transformed in Hong Kong and Singapore throughout the long twentieth century. Both cities witnessed significant urban expansion, scientific-medical development, and multicultural cosmopolitanism throughout the century. This work will question if and how the dead continued to be sacralised in face of the apparent decline of traditional rituals, the scarcity of urban spaces, the retreat of mourning from public eye, and the destruction of bodies through cremation and medical dissections. It will study how the inhabitants of the two cities maintained their emotional attachment to the dead despite the increasing ‘invisibility’ of death against the backdrop of urban and scientific development.
Speaker’s Bio: Bobby Tam has recently completed his PhD in History at the University of Warwick. His PhD research focuses on history of death from an emotional perspective, exploring emotional expressions surrounding death in multiple British colonial settings in nineteenth-century China. He completed his MPhil in History at the University of Hong Kong, studying how dead bodies were managed in early colonial Hong Kong. Bobby has published his research on history of death in the British Journal of Chinese Studies and in the edited volume Chronicling Westerners in Nineteenth-Century East Asia. He has taught topics on imperial and postcolonial history and modern history at the University of Warwick.