Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Official statements from HKU on Yau Ka-Fai's death

Released by HKU and sent thru campus mail September 9, 2008:

Message from the Department of Comparative Literature, School of
It is with great sadness that we inform colleagues of the death of Dr
YAU Ka-fai, a Post-Doctoral Fellow and Honorary Assistant Professor
in the Department of Comparative Literature. Dr. Yau was also an
alumnus of the University of Hong Kong (BA and MPhil), and he wrote
a dissertation entitled Of Graphology : Notions of Space & Time in
Contemporary Cultures, under the direction of Professor Ackbar
Abbas. After earning his doctorate at Stanford University, Dr. Yau
returned to Comparative Literature to pursue research on literature,
cinema and culture. He published widely in the areas of Chinese
literature and film, and his work can be found in Comparative
Literature, Cultural Studies, Positions, Tamkang Review, Textual
Practice, Wide Angle, and Modern Chinese Literature and Culture.

The family has arranged the funeral service to be held on Monday, 15
September 2008 at 12:00 noon in Hall A, Diamond Hill Crematorium for
colleagues and friends to pay their last respects.

Obituary from Professor Jeremy Tambling, Honorary Professor,
Department of Comparative Literature
Dr Yau Ka-fai, whose untimely death has just been announced, was
one of the brightest and sharpest of Comparative Literature students
in the mid-1990s. I will always remember his enthusiasm and probing
questions and willingness to learn in a course I taught on the body in
western culture. He went on to take an MPhil with Professor Ackbar
Abbas, examining Chinese and Western texts alike within the context
of the theory derived from cultural studies, and went on then to take
a PhD at Stanford, where one of his teachers was Haun Saussy. His
equal interest in 'The Story of the Stone' and Swift and Balzac and
Chinese and specifically Hong Kong film (which he approached through
the theories of Gilles Deleuze) will always be remembered, and it is
pleasing to know that he published his work, in journals such as
Textual Practice, long before he finished his PhD. In the autumn of
2005, he came to take up a post-doctoral fellowship in Comparative
Literature. My last memories of him are his giving me a poster of
Wong Kar-wai's film, 'Happy Together', and sending me an article he
had published on crowds. Had he lived, he would surely have had an
interesting career, and contributed much to the study of literature --
Chinese, American, and European.

Hong Kong cinema scholar dies

Academia has lost a Hong Kong cinema scholar. A post-doc fellow in the comparative literature department at the University of Hong Kong, Stanford Ph.D Yau Ka-Fai, 34, was found dead in an apparent fall from a building in Shaukeiwan, Hong Kong September 5. News reports have been sketchy but colleagues and students at HKU have been mourning his passing.

See an early account:

News article from Oriental Daily News (in Chinese):

HKU bio: http://www.hku.hk/complit/staff/staff.htm

Ka-Fai YAU 邱加輝

Abstract of 2001 CIRA conference paper:

See also his paper on HK Cinema in Positions: http://positions.dukejournals.org/cgi/content/citation/9/3/535