Cultures, Indentity, Representation
Publication Year: 2004
Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU
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This collection of essays arose out of a conference on "Asian Diasporas and Cultures" held at the National University of Singapore from 5 to 7 September 2001. The conference would not have been possible without the funding and administrative support of the Department of English Language and Literature and the Centre for Advanced Studies of the National University of Singapore. ...
Introduction: The Culture of Asian Diasporas: Integrating/Interrogating (Im)migration, Habitus, Textuality
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The claim that Asian diasporas are cultural phenomena would in all likelihood meet little or no objection – except, of course, for the problem of what precisely is meant by "culture"? In what ways can an understanding of cultural influences, transformations, and representations affect the study of those major transnational human movements that are the foci of diaspora studies? ...
Chapter 1: The Uncertain Configurations of a Politics of Location: The Intersection of Postcolonial, Feminist, and Nationalist Discourses in Understanding Chinese Diasporic Communities
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Global shifts in the movement of peoples have led to the destruction of old nations and the formation of new ones. It is maintained in this chapter that emerging diasporic movements and communities have the potential for "surfacing" a range of new cultural and ethnic identities. ...
Chapter 2: Diaspora and Violence: Cultural/Spatial Production, Abjection, and Exchange
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Episode 1: On 5 August 2001 in Glasgow, 22-year-old Firsat Yildiz, a Turkish Kurd asylum seeker, was stabbed to death by attackers who (according to a companion of the victim) "hurled racist insults ... in Scottish accents" (Lee 2001b: 15). The incident took place in the Sighthill housing estate, where the government had housed 3,500 asylum seekers in ten run-down high-rise blocks, ...
Chapter 3: Theorizing Diasporas: Three Types of Consciousness
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This chapter draws upon the current literature on diasporas, in order to advance the field by highlighting the diversity of that community, and by moving beyond conventional models of diaspora that see them as either culturally dislocated or ideologically "fixed" — that is, methods that are culturally essentialist. ...
Chapter 4: Cultural Citizenship in Diaspora: A Study of Chinese Australia
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The two volumes of Eric Rolls's history of the Chinese in Australia are entitled Sojourners and Citizens (Rolls 1992 and 1996). The first volume concludes in 1888, the year the Anti-Chinese League forced an almost total ban on Chinese immigration and four ships carrying Chinese immigrants were refused entry to Sydney. "The day of the sojourners was almost over," writes Rolls, ...
Chapter 5: Mimics without Menace: Interrogating Hybridity in Bharati Mukherjee's Fiction
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Bharati Mukherjee's attempt to become an American writer plays a significant part in securing her place in the American literary canon (Mukherjee 1992: xv). Writing about this acculturation process, Mukherjee says: "I have learned that in this era of massive diasporic movements, honorable survival requires resilience, curiosity, and compassion, a letting go of rigid ideals about the purity of inherited culture" (1997: 30). ...
Chapter 6: The Shadow of Diasporic (Auto) Biography: The Traveling-Self in Michael Ondaatje's Running in the Family
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In postcolonial and postmodern discourses, diaspora comes to signal the liberating aspects of interrelationships and a resistance to the monologic thought and oppression that colonialism represents (Childs and Williams 1997: 210). Works by Homi Bhabha and Vijay Mishra, for instance, celebrate this social formation of displacement. ...
Chapter 7: Translating Indian Culture from Diaspora
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National archives are the sites in which communal identities are defined and discourses of resistance negotiated. This definition highlights the possibility of considering alternative viewpoints, external foci that modify the meaning of the archive itself. However, one should not forget what Ahmad (1999) writes apropos of the institutional archive, considered ...
Chapter 8: Claiming Diaspora in Shirley Geok-lin Lim's Joss & Gold
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At a recent conference in Singapore, an Australian scholar challenged my approach to Shirley Geok-lin Lim's novel Joss & Gold on the basis that my Asian-American framework might be inappropriate for a "diasporic" author such as Lim. Reading Lim as diasporic rather than American is, in many respects, a more "natural" position. ...
Chapter 9: Writing the Chinese and Southeast Asian Diasporas in Russell Leong's Phoenix Eyes
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The age of globalization, that familiar if not somewhat overdetermined appellative used to describe the conditions of late twentieth and early twenty-first century (post)modernity, appears to have caused a degree of anxiety for some writers and critics involved in the ideological production of Asian American literature. ...
Chapter 10: Diasporic Communities and Identity Politics: Containing the Political
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What marks the diasporic experience as diasporic? What shapes diasporic communities in ways unique to them? Perhaps the answer can be found in the violence of community formation, the traumas that led to migration and the terrors of carving out a space in a new country and culture, the inevitable rending wrought by forced evacuations from and insertions ...
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Page Count: 214
Publication Year: 2004