The CLC subject is mainly interested in the understanding of traditional Chinese culture, aiming at developing students’ cultural values with a strong foundation on Chinese culture, literature, and philosophy. Cultural Studies, however, is not based on any single national culture, and it is more interested in contemporary cultural happenings than traditional thinking. It analyzes everyday experience to decode the ideological structure of contemporary culture, an approach that can also be found in some areas of the current CLC subject, as shown in the question related to travel and culture in the Year 2003 CLC Advanced Level examination. Yet, Cultural Studies has a much broader and complex view on “culture,” concerning not only culture in the narrow sense but also social structure and ideological struggles between different forces; hence providing students new and extensive views toward humanity at large.
Religious Studies and Cultural Studies at CU are two independent programs housed under the CRS Department, but the syllabi are designed in a way that interaction between the two programs are substantial, with the aim of broadening the perspectives of students of both programs in the study of culture, which has always been strongly rooted in religions. For the Cultural Studies program, we particularly believe that an in-depth understanding of religious structures and thinking are important for us to understand today’s global politics, in which the secular and the religious are increasingly intertwined.
There are many interactions between these disciplines, and they share some common concerns in the study of the mechanism of culture. While it is difficult to draw clear boundaries among them, Cultural Studies self-avowedly practices interdisciplinary thinking and methodologies, while most other disciplines have their more concrete professional and academic confines. More specifically for the Cultural Studies program at CUHK, we are based in the Arts Faculty and therefore study culture more from a humanities perspective. While social sciences based subjects often study society through “scientific” research methods, our program is more interested in studying texts and representations (literature, films, TV programs, plays, sports, space, advertising, myths etc.), and we are committed in constantly rethinking our methodology.