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Belonging to the City: Representations of a Colonial Clock Tower in British Hong Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Catherine Chan
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-332
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Urban History
Issue number2
Early online date19 Apr 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 16 Mar 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 19 Apr 2018
DatePublished (current) - 1 Mar 2019


This study interprets the transformation of a European clock tower that was built in British Hong Kong. By examining its purpose and life in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, I focus on the voices that spoke for the clock tower in times of crisis and change. Through a combination of government documents, newspaper articles, editorial letters, historical narratives, travel guides, and photographs, this study aims to show the transitions of the clock tower in line with the development of local identity in Hong Kong during the colonial era. It highlights the shift in colonial society from a racially segregated city to a cosmopolitan city shared, to a certain extent, by urban elites, foreign settlers, and local Chinese residents.

    Research areas

  • Clock tower, Colonial heritage, Decolonalization, Hong Kong, Identity construction

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    Accepted author manuscript, 822 KB, PDF document


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