2023 2nd International Conference on Public Culture and Social Services (PCSS 2023)
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Prof. Shawn-Xiang Wang

Head of Center of Foreign Languages and Cultures, Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College (UIC) 

Part-Time Research Fellow, Research Center of History and Culture, Beijing Normal University

Research Area:Buddhist Libraries and Manuscript Culture,Anthology of World Religions,Spiritual Classics,Buddhism along the Silk Road,Monastic Buddhism,Religions of the One Belt One Road,Comparative Religions,Religious Soteriology,Cultural History of East Asian Religions,Sinology


Professor Wang Xiang (Shawn WANG) is the Head of the Center of Foreign Languages and Cultures at Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College (UIC). He specializes in teaching liberal arts courses on world religions, Sinology and Buddhology. Alongside his expertise in Buddhist studies and world classics, Professor Wang's diverse research interests also include One Belt One Road, Asian studies, comparative mysticism, digital humanities, and world spirituality.

Professor Wang has authored a monograph on Ximing Monastery and translated a book by British historian Eric Hobsbawm. Notably, Professor Wang also edited and released the first Chinese Anthology of World Religions in 2023. His scholarly contributions span various mediums, including journal articles, book chapters, papers in proceedings, book reviews, government research reports, and newspaper articles, catering to both academic professionals and the general public. Currently, Professor Wang is working on a book manuscript funded by the National Social Science Grant of China. This project delves into ancient Buddhist libraries along the Silk Road, with an expected publication date in 2025. 

Recognized for his expertise, Professor Wang has been invited to serve as an editorial board member for several peer-reviewed journals and book series, including "Old World" and "Ancient Languages and Civilizations" published by Brill Publishers, as well as the "Library of Sinology" and "Xuantang Dissertation Series" by the Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology, HKBU. 

Title of Keynote Speech: 

Compilation of the First Chinese Anthology of World Religions and Its Significance 中文第一版《世界宗教文选》的编撰及其意义


The emergence of the concept of "World Religions" in the West had an impact not only on the curriculum of religious studies but also led to the compilation of various collections on the subject in English. Recently, China’s Ministry of Education has promoted Country and Area Studies as a primary discipline, encompassing research on diverse regional religions. However, the religious studies community in China is yet to publish a volume along the line of selected works of world religions, creating a void that hinders China's efforts to strengthen international cultural exchange. Consequently, compiling the inaugural volume of the "Anthology of World Religions" in Chinese, followed by the continuous revision and publication of multi-volume anthology, should become a priority in the field of religious studies. 

To address this gap and align with the national policy of globalization and multilateralism, this presentation will provide an overview of the teaching and research on world religions and focus on its current status in China. This will be centered around the related courses offered at Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College (UIC). Additionally, the talk will introduce the first volume of the "Anthology of World Religions" in Chinese. Through this discussion, it will elucidate the necessity and significance of publishing such a volume, emphasizing its contribution to academic discourse and cross-cultural understanding.



Prof. Johnston Hong-Chung WONG

Beijing Normal University - Hong Kong Baptist University United International College

Research Area:Services for older people, social indicators and social integration, healthy villages and cities, social laws in China, disaster social work, healthcare social work, distant counseling services and digital social data and indicators


Johnston Wong, Professor in Social Work and Social Administration, started his career as a youth worker in Hong Kong. His early academic interests focused on youth and family work, branching out to psychological stress, unemployment and industrial social work.  In Hong Kong he participated in various district and central government committees related to youth policies, education, social care and hospital governance. Since 2005 he was involved in many post disasters social work interventions and become the non-executive director of the Social Workers Across Borders. 

In 2006 he joined UIC as a Faculty member and helped to design the Service Learning Scheme and Emotional Intelligence Programs as parts of Whole Person Education. Later he was appointed as the Chief of Student Affairs. He taught many courses like Social Work and Chinese Laws, Disaster and Emergency Management, Healthcare Social Work, Social Group Work and Crisis Interventions.

Recently his research interests included services for older people, social indicators and social integration, healthy villages and cities, social laws in China, disaster social work, healthcare social work, distant counseling services and digital social data and indicators. 

He has published eight books, co-edited one book, eighteen book chapters and twenty seven journal articles related to disasters intervention, student affairs in higher education and services for the older people. 

He received the International Crisis Intervention Leadership Award from ICISF and the Presidential Award from ACPA, other being recognized as one of the Outstanding Young Person back in 1990 by TOYPA.

Title of Keynote Speech: GD-HK-MO GBA Social indicators, Integration in Social Space


Assoc. Prof. Emma Duester

USC-SJTU Institute of Cultural and Creative Industry, China

Research Area: Technology and Culture, Digital Culture, Culture Sector, Digitization of Cultural Heritage, Digital Technologies, Museum and Digital Environments, Transnational Communication, Migration and Mobilities


Dr. Emma Duester is Associate Professor at ICCI. Previously, Emma was a Faculty Member in the School of Communication and Design at RMIT University (Vietnam). She held this position from 2019 until 2022. Emma is principal investigator of a funded research project entitled Digitization of Art and Culture in Vietnam, carried out from 2020 until 2023. Emma was part of a DFAT Grant project entitled Investing In Women across Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand. Emma has worked with government and national media to lobby for cultural development in Vietnam. She is the author of The Politics of Migration and Mobility in the Art World: Transnational Baltic Artistic Practices Across Europe, published by Intellect in 2021, and the author of Digitization and Culture in Vietnam, published by Routledge in 2023. Emma received a PhD in Media and Communications from Goldsmiths, University of London, in 2017, after undertaking an ESRC-funded doctoral research project on transnational artistic practices across Europe. She has expertise in both research and practice in cultural sector development and transnational communication in Europe and Vietnam. Her areas of research interest include technology and culture, digital culture, the culture sector, digitization of cultural heritage, digital technologies, museum and digital environments, transnational communication, migration and mobilities.

Title of Keynote Speech:Digital Art Work: The New Generation of Contemporary Visual Creatives and the Nature of their Digital Work  


This research explores the paradigm shift in the nature of work for the current generation of creatives in the contemporary visual art sector in China, born in the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s, for whom the digital now permeates all aspects of their work. This research documents the characteristics of digital work in the creative industries by exploring the natures of work evident amongst today’s new generation of creatives. It will also explore how they are dealing with technical acceleration and how digital technologies are impacting their artistic practices and how are they coping with everything becoming more digital, in a sector that prizes aura, aesthetics, and being present in front of artworks.