ICS Seminar Series

Event Name
ICS Seminar Series
15 March 2018
11:30 am - 01:00 pm
Parramatta Campus

Address (Room): EZ.G.23, Conference Room 1 (Female Orphan School), Parramatta campus (South)

(Un-)Becoming Chinese Creative The proliferation of creative industries and the uneven prosperity they generate around the globe has fuelled the global mobility of creative labour. The emerging job opportunities have attracted many international creative workers to Beijing. However, their supposedly high ‘creative know-how’ does not protect them from a precarious state of life and work in Beijing, evident in a high-tempo life/workstyle with little protection from the local society. Chinese institutional perspectives on migration, as well as precarity discourage these transnationals from identifying ‘Chineseness’ or becoming ‘Chinese’. Yet their continuing and active presence in Chinese creative industries has enriched the configuration of ‘Chinese creative labour’ and helped unbundle it from the nation-state of China and the racial han Chineseness. In the process of (un)-becoming Chinese creatives, a cosmopolitan subjectivity has been cultivated amongst these transnational creative professionals. This is transforming ‘Chinese creative labour’ into a fluid assemblage that allows the co-existence of heterogeneity and the continuous unfolding of difference embodied by various subjects. Global Identity Politics The resurgence of nativist nationalism directed at the nation’s Others is largely based on who is seen as what. This paper problematizes the identity politics of our globalized world as national boundaries blur and ethno-cultural identities are re-reified. By focusing on the Overseas Chinese, this study looks into the identity formation processes of individuals under a new geopolitical order. This multi-sited fieldwork demonstrates how individuals navigate the tension between the historical struggle to claim belongingness and the “heritage claims” of an ascending global power. Drawing on the poststructuralist notions of identity of Hall (1990) and Ang (2001), I unsettle the concepts of nation and heritage theoretically, empirically, and methodologically in order to tamper with the dominant tropes of Chineseness in Vancouver and Sydney today. This study also shows that while state and non-state rhetoric and representations play out loud in public discourse, it is on-the-ground people-to-people interactions that shape how identities are claimed, performed and practiced.

Speakers: Jian Lin and Karen Sy de Jesus

Web page: http://westernsydney.edu.au/ics/events

Name: Simone Casey


School / Department: ICS