YCAR announces Global Hong Kong Essay and Creative Project Award recipient  

Hong Kong skyline

Ernest Leung, a master’s student of the Joint Graduate Program in communication and culture at York University and Toronto Metropolitan University, is the inaugural recipient of the Global Hong Kong Essay and Creative Project Award.  

Leung received the award for his paper, “Humour and Political Resistance: Dayo Wong’s Stand-Up Comedy in Hong Kong,” which will be published by the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR) in “New Voices on Global Hong Kong,” a special occasional paper or creative project series at YCAR. 

The Bernard H.K. Luk Memorial Lecture in Hong Kong Studies committee adjudicated the award, noting Leung’s paper registered the importance of humour as a tool for speaking up against power. By focusing on stand-up comedian Dayo Wong, he engages readers with the power of humour and public performance, the question of voice and censorship, and the criticality of laughing and laughter in confronting politics of the post-2014 Hong Kong. 

Yuk-Lin Renita Wong, associate professor at the School of Social Work and Chair of the committee, noted Leung’s topic captures a unique aspect of Hong Kong culture – politics, humor/comedy and language – that has not been explored in existing literature to date. 

Leung’s research interests include comedy and humour studies, political economy of media, and cultural studies. A recipient of the Canada Graduate Scholarship, he is working on his MA thesis that examines the use of humour in stand-up comedy to address anti-Asian racism in North America during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is an associate of YCAR and the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies. He holds an honours bachelor of arts in English from the University of Toronto. In his role as a research assistant at various academic institutions (including University of Toronto, Toronto Metropolitan University and York University), he has received various opportunities to engage in scholarly activities and apply knowledge from his studies.