My primary area of research is Hong Kong cinema, literature and culture. With my comparative literature, cultural studies and sinological training from Hong Kong and Europe, I am keen on developing interdisciplinary approaches to textual and visual narratives, popular culture, creative industries, and identity studies. In one of my latest projects, I explore film, television and sport spectatorships in post-handover Hong Kong, in order to understand how creative expression and audience activities affect cultural (industry) practices, the construction of identity and the relationship between content producers, distributors, and spectators, and vice versa.
Hong Kong literature, cinema and culture; Asian screen cultures; Media narratives; Creative industry and spectatorship; Identity and cultural flows; Critical theory; Postcolonialism; Thing theory; Taiwan; Asia
Wu, Helena. 2020. The Hangover after the Handover: Places, Things and Cultural Icons in Hong Kong. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. https://www.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/books/id/53152/
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles (Selected):
Wu, Helena. 2023. “The Worlds of the Jianghu: Loyalists, Revolutionists, and Secret Societies in Late Qing and Early Republican China.” HKU Journal of Chinese Studies 1.1: 1-26.
Wu, Helena. 2022. “The Making of Citizen-Spectator in Postmillennial Hong Kong: Authorial and Spectatorial Engagement with Independent Documentary Films.” Asian Cinema 33.2: 191-207. https://intellectdiscover.com/content/journals/10.1386/ac_00055_1.
Wu, Helena. 2020. “Sports as a Lens: The Contours of Local and National Belonging in Post-handover Hong Kong.” Global Media and China 5.2: 138-153. https://doi.org/10.1177/2059436420918361
Wu, Helena. 2020. “Imagining the Future in Post-millennial Hong Kong Cinema: Visualizing the Local, the National and the Global in Cultural Imaginaries.” Journal of Chinese Cinemas 14.1: 32-49. https://doi.org/10.1080/17508061.2020.1733211
Wu, Helena. 2018. “The Travelling of Ten Years: Imagined Spectatorships and Readerships of Hong Kong’s Local.” Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 20.8: 1121-1136. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369801X.2018.1460220
Wu, Helena. 2012 “A Journey Across Rivers and Lakes: A Look at the Un/translatable Jianghu in Chinese Culture and Literature.” 452°F: Journal of Theory of Literature and Comparative Literature No. 7: 58-71. http://www.452f.com/pdf/numero07/07_452f-mono-helena-yuen-wai-orgnl.pdf
Peer-Reviewed Book Chapters:
Wu, Helena. 2023. “Revisiting Hong Kong’s Myth of Success: Alternating Utopian and Dystopian Forces in the (New) Lion Rock Spirit.” Sinophone Utopias. New York: Cambria Press, 329-350.
Wu Helena. 2022. “Shangshan ruoshui / seung sin yeuk seui / excel like water”: Media Dynamics and Multiple Realities.” In Concepts: A Travelogue, ed. Bernd Herzogenrath. New York: Bloomsbury, 75-86 https://www.bloomsburycollections.com/book/concepts-a-travelogue.
Wu, Helena. 2019. “Zai ben tu di” [Local]. Hong Kong Keywords. Edited by Yiu-wai Chu. Hong Kong: Chinese University of Hong Kong Press, 185-196.
Wu, Helena. 2018. “Transposing Jianghu in Chinese Martial Arts Cinema from the 20th Century to the 21st Century.” Chinese Martial Arts and Media Culture: Global Perspectives. Edited by Tim Trausch. London: Rowman & Littlefield, 21-50.
Wu, Helena. 2023. “A catalog of such stuff as dreams are made on by Dung Kai-cheung.” Asian Studies Review. https://doi.org/10.1080/10357823.2023.2169038
Scholarly Conference Presentations (selected):
Wu Helena. 2022. “The Worlds of Jianghu: Exploring the Place-Making Agency of an Imaginary Space.” Site, Image, Object: Rethinking Place in Chinese Visual and Material Culture. Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory, University of British Columbia, Canada. December 7-9.
Wu, Helena. 2022. “Spectators as Spectacle: The Agency of the Audience of Hong Kong Popular Music in Times of Crisis.” The 21st Conference of the International Association for Study of Popular Music. Daegu, Korea. July 5-9.
Wu, Helena. 2022. “Community Screening as a Mode.” Society for Hong Kong Studies Annual Conference. Society for Hong Kong Studies. June 24.
Wu, Helena. 2021. “Please Stand behind the Yellow Line: Seeking Safe Zone Through Digital Writing and Reading.” Society for Hong Kong Studies Annual Meeting. Society for Hong Kong Studies. June 25-26.
Wu, Helena. 2021 “Mapping Things and Places in Hong Kong through the Lens of Cultural Icons.” Journées de la Relève en Etudes Asiatiques et Orientales. University of Geneva, Switzerland. May 30 – June 1.
Wu, Helena. 2021. “Where Have Our Zombies Gone? Community Building in (Post-)Apocalyptic Hong Kong.” Hong Kong Popular Culture: Imagining a Research Field. The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, and the University of British Columbia, Canada. May 1.
Wu, Helena. 2021. “(Be)Coming of Age between Humans and Things in Postmillennial Hong Kong.” American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting. American Comparative Literature Association. April 8-11.
Wu, Helena. 2020. “Representing the City in Hong Kong’s Web Fiction.” Wired China. University of Zurich, Switzerland. November 27-28.
Wu, Helena. 2020. “The Song Emperor’s Terrace.” Mapping Hong Kong—A History Workshop. University of British Columbia, Canada. May 29-31.
Wu, Helena, and Lai, Kwok-wai. 2019. “A Trans-local Collaboration of Local Imaginaries: From Ten Years Hong Kong to the Ten Years International Project.” Society for Hong Kong Studies Annual Conference. Society for Hong Kong Studies, Hong Kong. June 22.
Wu, Helena. 2019. “Between Locality and Local Relations: The Case of Sung Wong Toi.” The Question of Locality: Hong Kong Literature and Culture Annual Conference. School of Chinese, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. May 30-June 1.
Invited Scholarly Presentations (selected):
Wu, Helena. 2022. “Rivers and Lakes and Beyond: Jianghu as a Traveling Concept.” University of Cologne, Germany. November 17.
Wu, Helena. 2022. “Graffiti Artist x Flâneur: The ‘King of Kowloon’ and his Street Calligraphy in Hong Kong.” Visual and Material Culture Research Seminar. Museum Of Anthropology. Vancouver, Canada. October 13.
Wu, Helena. 2022. “Fans: The Spectacle of Hong Kong Cantopop.” Symposium: Celebrating 70th Anniversary of Cantopop. University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. August 26-27.
Wu, Helena. 2022. Book Talk: The Hangover after the Handover: Things, Places and Cultural Icons in Hong Kong. University of California,USA. April 20.
Wu, Helena. 2022. “Sharing Screen: Community Building and Creative Engagement in Hong Kong.” Asia Days. St. Gallen University, Switzerland. March 16.
Wu, Helena. 2022. “Hong Kong and the Freedom of Speech.” Digital Dialogues: Digital Harassment Across Asia. Association for Asian Studies. February 16.
Wu, Helena. 2021. “Community Screening and Alternative Spectatorship in Hong Kong.” Hong Kong Uncharted Webinar Series. Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. May 7.
Wu, Helena. 2020. “Hong Kong’s Lion Rock: A Local Icon, a Myth and More?” St. Gallen University, Switzerland. November 10.
Wu, Helena. 2020. “Sports as a Lens: The Making of Athletes’ and Spectators’ Identities in Postmillennial Hong Kong.” Global Media and China webinar series. October 29.
Wu, Helena. 2020. “The Worlds of Jianghu: Loyalists, Revolutionists and Secret Societies in Late Qing, Early Republican China.” University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. July 6.
Wu, Helena. 2019. “The Spectatorships and Circulation of Ten Years in Hong Kong.” International Workshop: New Media, Creative Industries and Cultural Entrepreneurs in China. St. Gallen University, Switzerland. December 5.
Talks and Panel Discussions (selected)
Conversation with Filmmakers: Keep Rolling. University of British Columbia. Vancouver, Canada. January 26.
Panel discussion. “Elevating Chinese-language Music in Canada.” Jade Music Festival, Vancouver, Canada. December 7.
Community talk. “The Taste of Hong Kong Cinema.” Chinatown Storytelling Center, Vancouver, Canada. October 1.
Panel discussion. “Cinema Thinks the World: Goodbye Dragon Inn.” Cinematheque. Vancouver, Canada. June 2.
Conversation with Filmmaker. Anson Mak’s Fear(less) and Dear. University of British Columbia. Vancouver, Canada. March 11,
Conversation with Filmmaker. Alvin Tsang’s Reunification. University of British Columbia. Vancouver, Canada. January 28.
Conversation with Filmmakers. Leung Ming-kai and Kate Reilly’s Memories to Choke On, Drinks to Wash Them Down. Global Hong Kong Studies @ University of California. USA. October 7.
Media Interviews (selected)
So, Karen. “Hong Kong’s Lunar New Year Films in Vancouver.” Cantonese Omni TV. January 31.
Chun, Andrea. A1 News Beat. Radio AM1540. January 27.
Quinn, Stephen. “Legacy of prominent Cantopop composer Joseph Koo.” The Early Edition. CBC Radio. January 6. https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-91-the-early-edition/clip/15958355-more-legacy-prominent-cantopop-composer-joseph-koo.
Chun, Andrea. A1 News Beat. Radio AM1540. September 8.
Wu, Jiaxuan (Josie), and Cheung, Esther. “Asian artist tackles stereotypes in a new circus, theatre and drag show.” The Thunderbird. August 31, 2022. https://thethunderbird.ca/2022/02/24/asian-artist-tackles-stereotypes-in-a-new-circus-theatre-and-drag-show/.
Moliere, Ashley. “‘A poignant memory’: Artist pays tribute to Hong Kong’s old airport with new Vancouver installation.” CBC. June 25. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/art-installation-kai-tak-airport-vancouver-1.6500582
Jones, Gary. “The ‘can do’ attitude that defines Hong Kong.” BBC. May 16. https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20220515-the-can-do-attitude-that-defines-hong-kong.
So, Karen. “Global Screening of Memories to Choke On, Drinks to Wash Them Down.” Cantonese Omni TV. October 5.