Being A Catcher in the Rye: My Days at the Department of Media and Communication, CityU

Thanks to the 2010 CityU Young Scholar Visiting Program granted by the Department of Media and Communication, 18 scholars on Mainland were invited to carry on their projects at CityU for one month (in March or April). Fortunately, I was offered such a precious chance and came here on 1 March. The other seven young scholars in my group are respectively from Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou, Xiamen, Kunming, Xi’an and Guangzhou. In short, we are from “all corners of China”.

The Program has brought so much into my life and I have enjoyed every minute of it in the past three weeks. I need to appreciate the Department of Media and Communication on two accounts:

First, I have been fascinated with the academic exchanges carefully arranged. That includes a series of research workshops, discussions and peer-reviews. The professors I have always known (seems like a long time now) are talented and professional. They helped me go through the project of which I have been in charge granted by China’s Social Science Foundation (CSSF). I knew Professor Chin-Chuan Lee is very busy on a daily basis, and Professor Zhou He is now on his sabbatical leave. They, however, always would like to help me with the project no matter how laborious it is. Their advices and suggestions are very insightful and straight-to-heart indeed. With their support, I am confident my CSSF project will be dealt with much better for sure. Also, I am delighted to participate in the further academic collaborations with the Department of Media and Communication. For example, Dr. Stella C. Chia, my partner professor and I have planned our project on “Western Media and Their Special Issues of China (2003-2009)” and scheduled the background research to go ahead with grant application both in Hong Kong and on Mainland.

On the other hand, I have been surrounded by the heartfelt atmosphere here. Dr. Mike Yao has organized and facilitated a lot of activities for us. Actually, it is very clear the work of this sort is very time-consuming and trivial. Without his efforts and contributions, our calendar would not be such productive and coherent. Professor Lee and his wife invited us to climb mountain on Saturday to let us experience the local culture of Hong Kong, above all the delicious and tempting Hong Kong snack (I do like it!). The admins at the General Office are very considerate and supportive. Their friendly help makes me feel warm.

I wonder how best to appreciate their help because it seems that nothing pleases them more than to know I am happy and being productive, with my teaching, with my projects, and with my stay here. Now, I am close to finishing my work and it is time to write some reflection on my days at the Department of Media and Communication, CityU. What should I express besides “thanks”–

I am finding the Department of Media and Communication is like A Catcher in the Rye–it is a catcher of truth, beauty and goodness–and, just as importantly, a catcher of HOPE. Therefore, I would say that my days here, in this spring, in Hong Kong are the journey of being a Catcher in Rye and as William Wordsworth wrote “I have felt a presence that disturbs me with the joy of elevated thoughts…… A motion and a spirit, that impels all thinking things, all objects of all thought, And rolls through all things”.

刘琛 (北京外国语大学)