Professor Huang Chu-ren, President of HKAH (right), presents a plaque to Dr Catherine Ladds (centre) while Professor Clara Ho (left) looks on.

香港人文學院院長黃居仁教授 (右) 頒發獎牌予李嘉鈴博士 (中),旁為劉詠聰教授 (左)

Professor Lauren Pfister (left) presents a certificate to Dr Qu Li

費樂仁教授 (左) 頒發獎狀於璩理博士

Date: 22 May 2015 (Friday)


HKBU scholars honoured for their distinguished first books


Dr Catherine Ladds, Assistant Professor of History, won the inaugural First Book Prize 2013-14 awarded by the Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities (HKAH) for her book Empire Careers: Working for the Chinese Customs Service, 1854-1949 published in 2013.  

In addition, Dr Qu Li, Lecturer of Religion and Philosophy, was selected as an outstanding finalist for his book
Concrete Time and Concrete Eternity: Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Time and Eternity and its Trinitarian Background published in 2014.

The prize committee found Dr Ladds’s work extremely well researched and attractively written, while also breaking new ground interpretively by challenging a number of basic assumptions guiding previous studies related to foreign customs officers within the Qing empire and the Republic of China.  

Dr Ladds said: “I am thrilled to receive the award. It’s a great honour and a privilege. This book project had a long germination, taking 10 years to complete from start to finish, so it’s especially rewarding to receive recognition after this long journey. In a broader sense, I appreciate how the award highlights the achievements of early career scholars who are, as demonstrated by the finalists’ books, working in a diverse range of humanities fields. The HKAH is working hard to promote humanities scholarship in Hong Kong and book prizes are an important part of this.”  

At the recent award ceremony, Dr Ladds gave a presentation of her award-winning book. In introducing Dr Ladds, Professor Clara Ho, HKAH Fellow and Head of the Department of History of HKBU, praised her as a versatile and energetic young scholar who focuses her scholarly research in a few areas including the social, cultural, and political history of colonialism, the Chinese treaty ports, global history, Asia-Europe Relations from the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century, and history of expatriate communities.  

In addition, the prize committee said that Dr Qu has produced a very systematic work exploring not only theological research related to Barth’s complicated and prolific theological output, but also delves deeply into related philosophical and physics research.  

Dr Qu said: “I am so surprised to receive this distinguished prize from HKAH. My prayers have been answered. I am grateful to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit who are the topic of this thesis and the Lord of my life. Without the help of many people, this research project would not have been possible. I am indebted to my supervisor, Dr Graham McFarlane, for his enduring patience, intelligent advice and valuable criticism. I would also like to thank Langham Partnership (UK & Hong Kong)for awarding a generous scholarship to fund this period of research.”  

Dr Qu gave a presentation of his book at the award ceremony while Professor Lauren Pfister, HKAH Fellow and Professor of the Department of Religion and Philosophy at HKBU, responded by reading Dr Qu’s curriculum vitae and sharing his knowledge of the book.  

To give recognition and encouragement to early career achievement among scholars of the humanities working in Hong Kong, HKAH has instituted an annual prize for the best first book published by a humanities scholar in the early stages of his or her career. 

歷史系助理教授李嘉鈴博士2013年出版的《Empire Careers: Working for the Chinese Customs Service, 1954-1949》,最近獲香港人文學院頒發首屆「首部著作2013-14」。

此外,宗教及哲學系講師璩理博士於2014年出版的《Concrete Time and Concrete Eternity: Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Time and Eternity and its Trinitarian Background》,被選為優秀最後入圍作品。  




此外,評審委員會表示,璩理博士的著作非常有系統,不僅探索與巴特 (Barth) 複雜而豐富的神學理論有關的神學研究,並且深入鑽研相關的哲學及物理學。  

璩博士說:「獲香港人文學院頒發這個獎項實在感到非常意外。神垂聽我的禱告,感謝聖父、聖子、聖靈,衪是我論文的主題,亦是我生命的主。我能夠完成此研究項目,有賴不少人的幫助,多謝導師Graham McFarlane博士對我的忍耐、指導和寶貴批評,亦多謝Langham Partnership (UK & Hong Kong) 慷慨提供獎學金支持這階段的研究。」