Professor Schencking, John Charles 史樂文
Charles Schencking is a historian of modern Japan who has published widely on the 1923 Great Kantō Earthquake, the Japanese navy, natural hazards, Japanese-American relations, and war, state, and society. His research and teaching is heavily influenced by exploring the interplay between politics, technology, environment, and society.
Before joining the University of Hong Kong, he was an Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne, a British Academy postdoctoral fellow at Cambridge University, and a Yasuda Banking and Trust fellow. He has held distinguished visiting appointments at the University of Tokyo, Rikkyō University, the University of Kyoto, and Murdoch University.
Over the course of his career, Charles has secured generous research funding from the British Academy, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Australian Research Council, the Hong Kong Research Grants Council, and the Japan Foundation. History is the discipline that best enables Charles to better understand humanity. He strives to convey this through his teaching and research.
Charles is currently the Public Orator and Deputy Chair of the Human Research Ethics Committee at the University of Hong Kong. He has served as chairperson of the Arts Faculty Board, a member of the university Senate, the University Court, chairperson of the Department of History, and Mace Bearer for Arts Faculty congregations. As an immense beneficiary of international exchanges throughout his life, Charles also works closely with the Faculty of Arts Exchange Programme, which encourages and assists students to undertake international exchange as part of their undergraduate studies.
Charles has adopted a research-led teaching approach to his undergraduate portfolio, offering courses that reflect his research passions in the history of natural hazards, humanitarianism, Japanese-American relations, and war. He has developed two distinct teaching pathways for students. One focuses on war, technology, and society that includes: HIST2107 Total War in Asia and the Pacific; HIST2174 Hell in the Pacific; HIST2186 Death and Destruction from Above: A History of Aerial Bombing from Zeppelins to Drones; and HIST4036 World War III: A History (capstone). The other pathway centers on natural hazards, the history of science, and society. Courses include: CCCHU9004 Catastrophes, Cultures, and the Angry Earth; HIST3027 Natural Disasters in History, 1701 – 2011; HIST2162 Saving the World: A History of Global Humanitarianism; and HIST4032 The Great Kantō Earthquake and the Reconstruction of Tokyo (capstone).
His teaching seeks to empower students to develop and articulate original, evidence-based ideas and opinions about the past in clear, concise, and persuasive ways. Charles has been awarded a host of prestigious teaching awards including the HKU Faculty of Arts Teaching Excellence Award in 2010, the Australian Learning and Teaching Council’s Australian Higher Education Teacher of the Year Award, Early Career Category in 2006, and the 2006 University of Melbourne Barbara Falk Teaching Award that recognized the university’s outstanding teacher from among the Arts, Law, Education, and Music faculties.
|Awardees||Award Date||Honours / Awards / Prizes||Category|
|2005-06-01||Teacher of the Year, Arts Faculty: University of Melbourne, Arts Faculty||Teaching Accomplishment|
|2006-04-01||The Barbara Falk Teaching Award (Selected as the Teacher of the Year from the Faculties of Arts, Education, Law, and Music): The University of Melbourne||Teaching Accomplishment|
|2001-01-01||National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellow, Department of Education, United States Government: National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellow, Department of Education, United States Government||Research Achievement|
|2006-11-01||Teacher of the Year in Australian Higher Education-Early Career Category: The Carrick Institute for Learning and Teaching in Australian Higher Education (now known as Australian Teaching and Learning Council)||Teaching Accomplishment|
|2010-11-01||Outstanding Teaching Award, Faculty of Arts, The University of Hong Kong: Faculty of Arts, The University of Hong Kong||Teaching Accomplishment|
|Spoken Language(s) (EN)||Spoken Language(s) (ZH)|
|Written Language(s) (EN)||Written Language(s) (ZH)|
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