WELL-BEING, VALUE, AND THE PUBLIC GOOD
The Faculty of Arts’ Niche Research Area has three central topics, Well-being, Value, and the Public Good. Colleagues in the Faculty conduct research relating to these topics separately, but also on how they are interrelated. The niche research area is centrally concerned with how (cross-)cultural and creative practices bring value to the lives, not just of individuals, but entire communities, thereby playing a constitutive role in the building of good societies and in producing the public good. A thriving government-funded Liberal Arts university that is expected to produce research with relevance to society, HKBU offers a fertile environment for imaginative research on the benefits that culture and creative practices bring to the world. Among other things, colleagues in the Faculty of Arts are interested in the contributions of music to the quality of a life over time, in the role of creative writing in the context of trauma and therapy, in the value of prayer, and in the effects of creative practices on solidarity and the social bond in the context of diverse societies and amongst marginalized communities.
Structure and Role of the Faculty Niche Research Area
Six sub-themes (Performance Studies; Chinese and Cross-Cultural Health Humanities; Framing Public Culture; Creativity, Self, and Society; Minority Studies/Marginalized Populations Studies; and Anthropocene Studies) provide the structure for the niche research area, with each sub-theme being linked to an interdisciplinary research group. To facilitate interdisciplinarity, each group has an anchor and co-anchor from different departments. All research postgraduate students in the Faculty of Arts are encouraged to join at least one research group and thus the FNRA plays an important role in the development of research talent. The activities of the research groups include the development of team-based grant proposals, discussion of individual grant proposals, presentations of work in progress, and workshops with researchers from the group’s local and international networks. A map of external engagements (for example with research centres and community organizations) informs the activities of each research group, enabling both impact and the development of local and international research projects of significant scope and scale.