Multiculturalism and Asia: an international workshop

Multiculturalism and “Asia”

International workshop

Monash Asia Institute

in conjunction with the School of Political & Social Inquiry Monash University

21-22 Nov 2013 

Monash Asia Institute together with the School of Political and Social Inquiry will host an international workshop of ‘Multiculturalism and “Asia”’ at Monash University, Caulfield campus in Melbourne on 21 and 22 November 2013.

The workshop has two key purposes. One is to broaden and reconsider the studies of multiculturalism and multicultural questions, which have been developed mostly in Western contexts by examining Asian experiences. While we have witnessed the decline or demise of multiculturalism in many Western countries in the last decade, the discussion of multiculturalism has been capturing more attention in Asian (especially East Asian) countries. It is thus significant for anyone concerned with multiculturalism to make a serious investigation into this emerging phenomenon.

By “Asian” experiences, we do not just mean those of Asian countries. We will also examine the experiences of migrants/diasporas of Asian backgrounds in Asian regions including Australia. This is related to the other purpose of the workshop, that is, to reconsider multicultural issues beyond the hitherto dominant framework of the nation-state. Transnational connections and affiliations fostered by Asian migrants/diasporas will be examined in terms of their implications for multicultural questions in the local context. We will also consider how shifting international relations of “home” and host countries affects their sense of belonging and membership in the host countries, as well as the interplay between transnational and local/city affiliations.

Confirmed speakers include: Ien Ang (University of Western Sydney), Kim Hyun Mee (Yonsei University), Hsiao-Chuan Hsia (Shih Hsin University), Yuko Kawai (Rikkyo Univeristy), Fran Martin (Melbourne University).

We have received many intriguing proposals for paper presentations on the following issues and the final program will be announced soon: 

I. Multiculturalism in Asia (with some emphasis on East Asia):

  • National/local policy and media representation/discourse of multiculturalism
  • Recognition of cultural differences, especially “Asians” and “mixed race”
  • Everyday multiculturalism and mundane negotiation with cultural diversity
  • Transnational alliance to critically engage with multicultural questions

II. Asian diasporas and de-nationalized understanding of multicultural questions

  • Rooted transnationalism & intertwined association with “here” & “there”
  • Sense of multiple belonging & membership and its implication for local multicultural questions
  • Migrants’/diasporas’ diverse access to media communication and diverse modes of national identification
  • Asian migrants/diasporas and the rise of their “home” culture
  • Asian Australians, generational shifts and Australia’s “Asian literacy”

The workshop is part of a larger research project of the Institute. It aims to be discussion-oriented and all speakers will give a concise talk of the main points for 15 minutes. Speakers are not expected to present complete papers but to raise key theoretical questions with related empirical examination.

Registration required no later than 30 October to:

Best regards,

Koich Iwabuchi & Anita Harris

(Conveners, Monash University, Australia)