I've done it! I've survived a quarter of graduate school, relatively unscathed (my existential/career-based crises numbered in the single digits; I think that is success). Hopefully, I will take more time to blog this quarter, especially since I will be starting a research seminar on modern China this quarter that will run until June.
Also, happily, I've spun left and right and round and round and finally came to the conclusion that I should start to follow my heart (research-wise...perhaps follow my analytical mind would be a better phrase here?) I am fascinated, frightened, intrigued, excited, and pretty much in love with Hong Kong. I've always had a secret desire to do a People's History/Wang Zheng Women in the Chinese Enlightenment-esque book about 1980s Hong Kong Chinese and their identity struggles with the handover. Unfortunately, this idea is a.) inchoate; b.) already done by some people and c.) not really history yet.
But a class on South Asia made me ask a lot of questions about Hong Kong that actually pertain to history. What was going on in Hong Kong in the early 20th century? Were there anti foreign protests to match those in the mainland? Were there anti-colonial protests to match those in other British colonies? At what point did people in Hong Kong go from being citizens of the emperor to colonial subjects to citizens of China to citizens of the global economy? (Perhaps not all in that order). With all these questions bouncing around in my head, my adviser and I thought it would be fruitful for both of us if I did a historiographical survey of work on colonial Hong Kong. 40 pages later, I have a lot of new ideas, and I'm probably more confused now than I was before. But one thing is sure: I'm not putting this pull to Hong Kong in a drawer.
So this quarter, I want to explore these ideas and hopefully find some insight. I don't know if I have readers, but if I do, and you see something interesting that pertains to my research, please post a comment (or email me if you know me). I always appreciate ideas and directions.
Happy year of the tiger (raar!)