Scholars share new perspectives on railways and urban history
20 May 2021
The Department of History organised an online symposium entitled “New Perspectives on the Railway and Urban History” on 27 April to examine the railroad and the city through a comparative lens to yield new perspectives on urban history.
The global spread of railroad networks in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries shaped urban space and urban life in profound ways, yet our understanding of these changes often remains siloed within national historiographies. Featuring Dr David Schley, Assistant Professor of the Department of History at HKBU, as the convenor, and Dr Elvan Cobb, Assistant Professor of the Department of History at HKBU, Dr Raghav Kishore, Teaching Fellow of the Department of International History at the London School of Economics, and Dr Zhang Lei, Assistant Professor of the Department of History at Lingnan University, as speakers, the symposium examined cities in a number of distinct political-geographical contexts: the United States in the 1830s, the Ottoman Empire in the mid-nineteenth century, colonial India at the turn of the century, and republican China.
The symposium also brought together papers from diverse subfields that fostered conversations about power, politics, technology, and race that cast the railroad and the city in a new light.