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Prof. Tam Kwok Kan 譚國根

BA CUHK, MA Illinois, PhD Illinois

Dean of School of Arts and Social Sciences
School of Arts and Social Sciences

Email: kktam@ouhk.edu.hk
Tel: 27685700, 23981220


Professor Tam spent his teenage years at St. Joseph's College, Hong Kong, where he got his first inspiration about life and writing through reading literary works from different cultures. He was fascinated by the experience of an entirely unfamiliar world presented in the works of literary masters, such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Ivan Turgenev, and Leo Tolstoy. He then read English at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and obtained his BA degree in 1979. With a growing interest in world culture and languages, he went on to study comparative literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA and received his AM and PhD degrees in 1981 and 1984 respectively. Prof. Tam's academic training in the US has enabled him to see literary and cultural issues from a global perspective.

Prof. Tam is internationally renowned for his studies on Henrik Ibsen (the Father of Modern Drama), Gao Xingjian (the Nobel Laureate in 2000), and Asianization of English. He joined the Chinese University of Hong Kong in the early 1980s after working at the East-West Center, USA, where he conducted research on cultural politics in Asia. In the mid-1990s, he chaired the English Department at the Chinese University, which was ranked the best tertiary English department in Hong Kong by South China Morning Post in April 2000. He headed the Graduate Division of English twice in the early 1990s and early 2000s, and directed the Comparative Literature Research Programme for more than a decade, making it one of the most active research centres in Chinese-Western literary studies. He joined the Open University of Hong Kong as Dean of Arts and Social Sciences and Chair Professor in January 2007.

Selected Publications


  • English and Globalization: Perspectives from Hong Kong and Mainland China (edited, with Timothy Weiss). Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 2004. xxvii + 276 pp.
  • Anglophone Cultures in Southeast Asia (edited, with Rüdiger Ahrens, David Parker, and Klaus Stierstorfer). Heidelberg: Universtätsverlag, 2003. 316 pp.
  • Sights of Contestation: Localism, Globalism and Cultural Production in Asia and the Pacific (edited, with Wimal Dissanayake and Terry Siu-han Yip). Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 2002. xxi + 339 pp.
  • Shakespeare Global/Local: The Hong Kong Imaginary in Transcultural Production (edited, with Andrew Parkin and Terry Siu-han Yip). Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2002. xii + 155 pp.
  • Soul of Chaos: Critical Perspectives on Gao Xingjian (edited). Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press. 2001. viii + 345 pp.
  • Ibsen in China 1908-1997: A Critical-Annotated Bibliography of Criticism, Translation and Performance. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press. 2001. x + 263 pp.
  • The Politics of Subject Construction in Modern Chinese Literature [主體建構與現代中國文學Zhuti jiangou zhengzhi yu xiangdai Zhongguo wenxue]. Hong Kong; New York: Oxford University Press. 2000. viii + 231 pp.
  • A Place of One's Own: Stories of Self in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore (edited, with Terry Siu-han Yip and Wimal Dissanayake). New York: Oxford University Press. 1999. xxii + 419 pp.
  • Voice of Hong Kong: Drama 1997 [Xianggang de shengyin: Xianggang huaju 1997香港的聲音: 香港話劇1997] (edited). Hong Kong: International Association of Theatre Critics. 1999. xx + 439 pp.
  • New Chinese Cinema (co-authored with Wimal Dissanayake). New York: Oxford University Press. 1998. vii + 96 pp. + 8 pp. of plates.

Book Chapters

  • "Globalization, Cultural Contestation and Bilingual Creativity in Southeast Asian Englishes." In Lin Jinhua, Ken Henshall, and Xiao Hong, eds., Ethnic Identities and Linguistic Expressions: Languages, Literatures and Cultural Interaction in an Age of Globalization, pp.343-360. Beijing: People's Literature Press, 2006.
  • "Voices of Missing Identity: A Study of Contemporary Hong Kong Literary Writings." In Shi-xu, Manfred Kienpointner, and Jan Servas, eds., Read the Cultural Other: Forms of Otherness in the Discourses of Hong Kong's Decolonization, pp. 165-176. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2005.
  • "A Psychoanalytic and Cultural Reading of Masculinity: Sexuality and Power in Half of Man is Woman" [Nanxing zhuti yishi de xinli fenxi yu wenhua jiegou: Nanren de yiban shi nuren zhong de xingyu yu chuanli 男性主體意識的心理分析與文化解構]. In Yang Naiqiao and Wu Xiaoming, eds., Comparative and World Literature [Bijiao wenxue yu shijie wenxue 比較文學與世界文學], pp. 522-535. Beijing: Peking University Press, 2005.

Journal Articles

  • "The Self as Cultural-Linguistic Hybrid in the Age of Globalization." Canadian Review of Comparative Literature 30.304 (2003/2006), pp. 504-525.
  • "Ibsenism and the Modern Chinese Self." Monumenta Serica (Germany), Vol. 54 (2006), pp. 307-318.
  • "Ibsenism and Feminist Awakenings among Early Modern Chinese Writers." Interlitteraria (University of Tartu, Estonia) 11.1 (2006), pp. 113-128. Republished in Spanish: "Ibsen y la consciencia feminista en los primeros escritores chinos modernos" (Traduccion de Eduardo Lalo). Debats (Spain), Vol 94, No. 4 (2006), pp. 78-89.
  • "Spatial Poetics of the Self and the Moral-Dramatic Structure in A Doll's House." Ibsen Studies (University of Oslo, Norway), 5.2 (December 2005): 1-18.

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Modified Date: Oct 21, 2017
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