On May 1, 2011, I had a chance to visit Hong Kong and connect with Dr. Saskia Witteborn (Chinese University of Hong Kong) and Prof. Ling CHEN (Hong Kong Baptist University).
Thanks to Saskia for a wonderful tour of the city’s highlights, from center city to the boardwalk to the mountains. Thanks to Ling for choosing an excellent restaurant, Mask, and instructions in local restaurant protocol.
Simon Harrison is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at City University of Hong Kong and author of The Impulse to Gesture: Where language, minds, and bodies intersect (2018, Cambridge University Press).
“Having originally focused on form-based approaches to gesture in spoken discourse (specialising in the expression of negation), my view of gesture increasingly integrates notions from multimodal interaction and embodied cognitive science. This has expanded my analytical unit for gesture and attracted me to analysing more complex domains of social and professional interaction. So while I continue to study recurrent aspects of gesture, my latest studies also include eye-gaze in multiactivity among lifeguards (Text & Talk), gesture in assisted performance during collaborative learning (Lingua), embodied interaction in Chinese real estate showrooms (Metaphor & Symbol).
I am currently involved in two major projects. The Multimodal Corpus of Chinese Academic Written and Spoken English (MuCAWSE) has collected over 24 hours of video-recorded group interaction between students in authentic classrooms of English for Academic Purposes. We are currently processing, transcribing and coding this corpus to run studies of gesture in collaborative discourse and learning. The second major project is a monograph called The Body Language Myth: Understanding gesture in language and communication. This book will scrutinise the global popularity of ‘body language’ and introduce readers to alternative relations between body and language grounded in empirical research instead (i.e. ‘linguistic bodies’ and ‘embodied language’).”
“The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has received another strong boost to achieve further internationalization with the award of South East Asia’s first Erasmus Mundus (EM) Mobility Grant of nearly €1.4 million by the European Commission. The grant will support a large-scale scholarly exchange involving nine universities in Europe and South East Asia and greatly benefit faculty members and postgraduate students.
EM is a flagship European Commission programme promoting international education. The successful application for the EM Mobility Grant is the joint effort of a consortium partnership consisting of nine higher education institutions across Europe and South East Asian countries, with PolyU’s Faculty of Humanities as the initiating institution and the coordinator in South East Asia, and Université de Provence as the overall coordinator and coordinator in Europe.
The grant of nearly €1.4 million will be allocated to successful applicants of the nine consortium partners in a project titled “MULTI – Multilingualism and Multiculturalism: Linguistic approaches to Transition and Identity”. This project, which will span for about three years, aims to address the linguistic, cultural and technological aspects of multilingualism and to understand the impact of multilingualism in both European Union and South East Asia societies.
With the support of EM grant, more than 80 students at postgraduate level or above and faculty members from PolyU as well as other eight higher education institutions in Europe and South East Asia will be selected to participate in the scholarly exchanges at a host university funded by the European Commission.
PolyU is expected to send forth a total of 13 postgraduate level or above students and staff to undertake an exchange programme that will last for 1-12 months. The grant will cover their travel costs, monthly allowance, and tuition fees for participants to study at partner universities in Europe and South East Asia.
The nine universities in the consortium partnership include Université de Provence (France), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HK), City University London (UK), Università di Pisa (Italy), Universität des Saarlandes (Germany), Freie Universität Berlin (Germany), National Taiwan University (Taiwan), Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) and University of Macau (Macau).”