Lecture 6- Sojourners or Settlers? Early Chinese Migrants to Australia: A Case Study of Tasmania

Zoom Details:

Date:  Thursday, 28 October 2021

Time: 4-5pm  AEST

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This talk is a case study of Tasmania based on an ARC research project that attempts to research into several questions concerning early Chinese migrants to Australia.

The overriding research problem is why early Chinese migrants are either assumed or argued as sojourners, in contrast to British migrant who were considered settlers. I argue in this talk that early Chinese migration to Australia might come as sojourners, but willing to be settlers, and ended up as a mixture of both. The talk ends with one theoretical postulation that early Chinese migrants to the little island Tasmania were transnationals, hybrids and ‘global citizens” more than a hundred years ago. Once migrated early Chinese migrants were less “Chinese” but could not be like “white Australians” either.

Professor Mobo Gao at the University of Adelaide published several books and over a hundred book1875685 chapters/articles. Gao’s book Mandarin Chinese: An Introduction is a standard reference for  learners of modern Chinese in English speaking countries. Two of his books Gao Village: A Portrait of Modern Life in Rural China  (1999) and Gao Village Revisited: Life of the Rural People in Contemporary China (2018) are case studies of Gao Village where he came from. Other books include the Battle of China's Past: Mao and the Cultural Revolution (2008) and Remembering Socialist China 1949 – 1976 (2015) which are reassessments of the Mao era and the Cultural Revolution. His latest book Constructing China: Clashing Views of the People’s Republic (2018) examines how and why different categories of people have different views of China.