Editor’s Introduction (Pilot Issue)

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Editor’s Introduction (Pilot Issue)

Dear community of PolyU readers,

It is with great pleasure that I announce the pilot publication of Inscribe: A journal of undergraduate student writing. This pilot project is funded by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s Teaching and Development Grant (2013 – 2015).  The muse for Inscribe stemmed from the observation that many of our undergraduate students have the potential of developing into published writers and that they should have a platform to showcase their work outside of the immediate classroom, to become polished researchers, to have relevant English language learning opportunities and to gain experience in editorial, marketing and managerial leadership skills.

Inscribe, in its current form, publishes work from general education subjects with literacy integration at the PolyU, and from students who display a penchant for outstanding writing. With an expected annual publication using an online platform, Inscribe aims to showcase the best student writing. The next goal now is to attract a student editorial and management team to make the publication managed and run by students. Inscribe also aspires to offer an interactive platform for the PolyU community to engage in dialogue with the authors and each other.

This issue includes work from 12 aspiring young researchers and writers who have engaged in the process of honing their writing skills not only during their CAR subjects but also through working closely with the editorial team of this issue.

In Chi Wai LAW’s “Time Traveling to the Past,” creative storytelling is invoked to illustrate the concept of time travel. With two speakers who are disappointed at arriving at a closed café, dialogue is used to banter about the possibility of going back in time to an open café referencing a well-known Hollywood film. Other issues surface during discussion, including the possibility of death during time travel and how timelines become blurred.

Ching Lam WONG also imagines speakers conversing, this time, about two issues: God and Selfishness in “The Meaning of Life.” This article is meant to be presented as a “process of thinking” rather than a series of definitive answers, and embarks upon a journey along some well-trodden paths such as the meaning of life and the rationality of faith, and other not so well-frequented paths such as the potentially innate selfishness of humankind.

“Is a Fair Outcome of Globalization Attainable Both for Developed and Developing Countries?” by Kristian VIFLOT postulates on  the rules and regulations which industrialised countries endorse and which developing countries may adopt under duress. The paper goes on to note that cultural preservation suffers in favour of economic gains when considering globalisation goals, citing the growing middle-class in China, Brasil and India as candidates for the nod in this direction. However, new values and beliefs are beginning this way of thinking, pushing instead for a future which holds positive outcomes for all countries in both economy and human rights.

Moving from governance to spirituality, Pak Yeung LAW writes about “The Different Forms and Functions of the Goddess Kwan Yin,” exploring gender, spiritual roles, and religious meaning in relation to the Goddess and across time. This historical unfolding illuminates the practices and devotion in China and India towards Kwan Yin, which have remained unchanged, yet the Goddess herself has been forever metamorphosing.

Pui Yan LAM’s “Critical Book Report on The Fall of Hong Kong: Britain, China, and the Japanese Occupation” closes in on the historical account by Philip Snow and his depiction of the Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong and the subsequent rise of Hong Kong after British re-occupation. The review considers the “painful” experience of this event felt by China but also hopes the reader will consider the account as not only centred on the Japanese Occupation, but also as a coverage of 20th century Hong Kong.

An insightful approach to management and organisational culture can be found in Sarah MILLAR’s “Reflecting on Managing Organisations.” Millar encourages successful enterprises through strategic planning, a sound business foundation and employee motivation, purporting that different organisations reflect varying cultures, and that savvy business managers should harness their conceptual, technical, communication, decision-making and control skills in order to match employees with an appropriate business culture and appropriate duties. Delivered in an “informative and reflective” manner, this article delineates a process which should ultimately ensure an organisation’s success through its ability to be goal-oriented .

Being an influential deity in Chinese culture, Guanyin is also examined by Ursula YOUNG in “The Strengthening of the Guanyin Cult through Divination in Hong Kong.” However, Young adopts a different perspective, exploring instead the Goddess’ “cult” and its empowerment through the practice of divination. Bringing to light the Kwun Yum temple in Hong Kong and the Guanyin Oracle ritual, the article observes Guanyin’s place in modern day society and the importance she has over her followers, seemingly influencing self-healing and social behaviour.

Wenqi GUO investigates Hong Kong’s film industry over the last few decades through her paper, “Hong Kong Film, Hollywood and the New Global Cinema: No Film is an Island.” Also positioning the conversation on a post-colonial globalisation, Guo moves the reader through the development of Hong Kong’s film industry, its positioning as a hub for Chinese cinema, and the contributions of such power-players as Tsui Hark and John Woo. Acknowledgement is also given to Hong Kong’s role in producing symbolic kung-fu and horror flicks.

“Scientific Method” by Yaqi WAN is a look into the conscious and unconscious reinforcement of humanity’s understanding of the world through discovery and dialogue with Nature, and the evolution and revolution of humankind. The author suggests that empiricism and scientific theory can both, as “extensions of common sense” help society to better understand its environment, exemplifying this idea through its application to historical events and daily life.

A further article, “The Cinema of Hong Kong: History, Arts and Identity; Hong Kong Cinema and Its Interaction with Global Culture,” by Zhen ZHAO is a review illuminating the growth of the Hong Kong filmmaking industry from 1840 to post-colonialism, beyond its borders and into the international arena, with such titles as Kung Fu Crazy, Infernal Affairs, and the iconic Chungking Express. Finally, the collection of essays addresses challenges encountered by the industry due to globalisation, the revitalisation of the Cantonese film, and its subsequent embrace by Hollywood.

Zhuhai YE ponders the unresolved question of free will, its relationship to freedom, and its impact on the studies of Philosophy, Science, Arts and society at large in the article “On Free Will.” Navigating with a cross-disciplinary approach – Determinism, Libertarianism, and Compatibilism – alternative explanations, positions and implications are directed towards free will and various academic disciplines. To help substantiate these claims, a dialogue approach is used, adapted from the BBC mini-series, Sherlock.

Our last student work is a review of Taiwanese writer, Shih Shu-ching’s “novel,” City of the Queen: A Novel of Colonial Hong Kong. Jini WANG in “City of the Queen, an Epic Tale of Colonial Hong Kong” subscribes to the notion that the book is both a historical depiction and a story covering period of Hong Kong just shy of the Handover, citing the presentation of facts and a storyline as evidence; and the use of multinational characters, backgrounds, personalities, and histories as a means to typify class and social structure in Hong Kong. While Wang also deliberates certain weaknesses in the book, proposing possible “lack” in originality and an “excess” of narration, she ultimately lauds it as an epic tale.

I believe that you will enjoy our students’ gifts and I look forward to continuing these conversations with you in the upcoming future. And, on a final thought, I would like to thank the following people who have helped make Inscribe possible: the Inscribe editors: Phil Todd, Grace Lim, Jim Lo, Caitlin Feenstra and John Karl Jones; senior advisors: Ms. Shari Lughmani and Dr. Freeman Chan; Project Associate: Kevinia Cheung; the eLDSS team: Roy Kam and Anthony Ho; Dr. Bruce Morrison, Director of the English Language Centre; and the TDG selection committee.


Yours cordially,

Dean A. F. Gui

Editor-in-Chief, Inscribe: A journal of undergraduate student writing