Boundaries, Burdens and Belongings of Chineseness outside China (11 September 2008, Sheraton Towers, Singapore)
In an increasingly integrated yet diverse world, the simplicities of national identity are being questioned much as those of racial identity were by a previous generation. Multinational states are becoming as fashionable as multi-passport individuals. Identity politics have not subsided in this shifting world, but have taken on an increasingly international character, as if the only important labels are globally recognised ones. As witness the Encyclopedia of the Chinese Overseas (1998), and the International Society for the Study of Chinese Overseas (1992), ‘Chineseness’ has also become a global category, detached from its historic associations with empire, territory or language.
Yet the return of political China to a place among great powers, and its claims over Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, suggests also an opposite trend, where pride in a successful ‘homeland’ again conflicts with local and global identities. The potential collision of these two trends with each other and with local contexts makes this topic timely. In Southeast Asia in particular, each country is in a different stage of transition, as its ‘Chinese’ communities become at once more locally integrated, more assertive about their rights, and more interested in China.
Outside of China, being “Chinese” in a pre-nationalist world essentially meant being multicultural and multilingual as a formula for successful business. Where ties with ancestral lands were maintained they were intensely local. Twentieth century nationalism imposed a radically new identification, first to an imagined “race”, and later to a carefully constructed Mandarin speaking community whose model so far has come only from the “core”. Yet this core has never been as attractive culturally to those outside China as Taiwan and Hong Kong, with their carefully and increasingly articulated defense of both older and newer norms.
- Chineseness Rescued from the Nation, or Civilization and its Discontents
- Contested Southeast Asian Identities and Subjectivities
- Ethnicity in the Local Politics of Place: Cultural Illusions of Greater China
- Chineseness as Cosmopolitanism in a Globalised World?
SPEAKERS AND TITLES
Chinese History Paradigms
East Asian Institute
National University of Singapore
Chinese More Or Less
The Misbehaving Jeks:
The Evolving Regime of Thainess and Sino-Thai Challenges
Faculty of Political Science, Thammasat University
Escaping the Burdens of Chineseness
Department of History & Asia Research Institute
National University of Singapore
Being Essentially Chinese: What Is It to Us?
Department of Anthropology
The University of Sydney, Australia
Performing Chineseness in Multicultural Singapore:
A Discussion on Selected Literary Writings and Cultural Texts
Quah Sy Ren
Nanyang Technological University
Being Chinese under Official Multiracialism
Chua Beng Huat
Asia Research Institute & Department of Sociology
National University of Singapore, Singapore
NUS Staff / Student: S$50
• The fee is inclusive of the conference kit, abstract booklet, lunch & refreshments.
• Applicants should send in their bank drafts or cheques made payable to the "National University of Singapore", together with a completed registration form to the conference secretariat by 31 August 2008.
• *Students are required to attach a copy of their current student card or any other form of student identification.
Prof Anthony Reid firstname.lastname@example.org
Cluster Leader, Southeast Asia-China Interactions Cluster, ARI
Prof Chua Beng Huat email@example.com
Cluster Leader, Cultural Studies in Asia, ARI
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