HKBU Endowed Chair Professor John Erni Shares Insights on Critical Diversity at Inaugural Lecture

Press Release by HKBU Public Affairs (reposted)

Hong Kong Baptist University held an inaugural lecture yesterday (10 September) by Professor John Erni, who was awarded the title of The Fung Hon Chu Endowed Chair of Humanics, on “How Do We Inhabit Openness? Rethinking Whole Person Education”.

The guests of honour who attended the occasion included Chairman of the Fung Hon Chu Foundation and Group Chairman of the Fung Group Dr Victor Fung, Chairman of the Council and the Court of HKBU Mr Cheng Yan-kee, and President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Roland Chin.

Citing his research and community service on ethnic minorities, Professor Erni shared his thinking on the question of “openness”, which he believes can reinvigorate the ethos of Whole Person Education, particularly through the concept of “critical diversity”. Discussing inclusion and the “strangers” around us, Professor Erni said that from a humanistic, anthropological and cultural perspective, the designation of the “whole person” demands our ability to navigate among the boundedness of society, the groundedness of our lived experience, and the openness of a seemingly boundless horizon.

Professor John Erni is Chair Professor and Head of the Department of Humanities and Creative Writing of HKBU. He has published in the areas of international and Asia-based media and cultural studies, human rights philosophy and politics, gender studies, youth popular culture studies, and critical public health studies. In the past decade, one of his primary studies has been on ethnic minorities in Hong Kong, due in part to his multicultural upbringing. In recent years, Professor Erni has also received a number of grants to study issues related to human rights and cultural citizenship. He is now leading several interdisciplinary cultural studies research projects in collaboration with renowned overseas institutes or universities.

An Endowed Chair is among the highest honours that can be bestowed upon prominent academics at HKBU in recognition of their accomplishments and in support of their scholarly endeavours. The Fung Hon Chu Endowed Chair of Humanics was established with the generous donation from the Fung Hon Chu Foundation in 2006 to commemorate the late Mr. Fung Hon Chu as well as the 100th anniversary of the Li & Fung Group. It is the Fung family’s wish that this Endowed Chair will help the University uphold its mission of Whole Person Education and cultivate all-round talents for the benefit of society.









The abbreviated lecture


Lecture in full