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20 May 2014

CUHK and Videotage to Explore Relationship Between ‘Walking’ and Artistic or Scholarly Expression

20 May 2014

Wandering Scholars: Symposium on Bodily Gestures and the Academic Paradigm

'On Behalf of Failure' by Jack Halberstam

The Department of Cultural and Religious Studies and the Master of Arts Programme in Visual Culture Studies at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), will jointly organize the ‘Wandering Scholars: Symposium on Bodily Gestures and Academic Paradigm’ with Videotage, a non-profit local arts organization, from 28 to 30 May on CUHK campus and at Cattle Depot Artist Village.  Wandering Scholars is an interdisciplinary conference about the relationship between ‘walking’ and strategies of thought and artistic or scholarly expression. The symposium will be conducted in English.  Members of the public are welcome and admission is free.  Interested parties can register at:

Many philosophers and artists have reflected on the fact that their ideas come out of processes of walking, which includes their bodily movement as well as ambient happenings and elements of distraction. The symposium invites local and international scholars to reconsider the importance of walking, how walking has inspired their creativity in art and theory, and to explore the feasibility of using walking as an unconventional approach of education.  In particular, the symposium will also discuss knowledge transfer and acts of walking used by queer, transgendered artists and sexual subcultures, and how they posit artistic expression, notions of travel and bodily transformation. 

The symposium will feature an opening talk on 28 May by internationally renowned queer theorist Prof. Jack Halberstam on ‘On Behalf of Failure’, in which Professor Halberstam will discuss how non-normal sexual life-styles and minority experiences contribute to the foundations of scholarship, and the relationship between political failure and queer movement. 

On 29 May, Tobaron Waxman, a performance artist, will present a transsexual performance art piece entitled ‘The 71st Face’ at Cattle Depot Artist Village, followed by a talk ‘Queer Mobility and Home Sickness’ by mainland Chinese filmmaker Fan Popo. 

On 30 May, there will be a *Longtable Symposium entitled ‘Old School/New School’ guided by several artists and scholars to further explore walking as alternative knowledge transfer in and around university spaces.  Participants will be invited to take a walk on the scenic university campus of CUHK, while the invited guests will give short talks about various kinds of walking and how it has inspired their work.  (*The Longtable is a performance installation, developed by performance artist Lois Weaver, that experiments with using the private form of dinner party as a structure for public debate.  It encourages informal conversation on serious subjects and experiments with formats that inspire public engagement.) 

Details of Wandering Scholars are as follows: 





  28 May

4:30pm   – 6pm

Opening lecture ‘On Behalf of Failure’ by Jack Halberstam

LT5, Yasumoto International Academic Park, CUHK

  29 May

1pm   – 5pm

Performance by Tobaron Waxman and Film Discussion by Fan Popo

Videotage, Cattle Deport Artist Village, 63 Ma Tau Kok Road

  30 May

12pm   – 6pm

Presentations and Group Walk

Room G24, Fung King Hey Building, CUHK

For more information, please visit the website: or contact Miss Lina Chan, Department of Cultural and Religious Studies, CUHK (Tel: 3943-3726; email:

Wandering Scholars: Symposium on Bodily Gestures and the Academic Paradigm

Wandering Scholars: Symposium on Bodily Gestures and the Academic Paradigm


'On Behalf of Failure' by Jack Halberstam

'On Behalf of Failure' by Jack Halberstam


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