How Chinese is it? Chinese Diaspora and Transcultural Biographies. A Discussion with Arif Dirlik - Haus der Kulturen der Welt

  • Lee, G. (Invited speaker)
  • Arif Dirlik (Invited speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPublic lecture/debate/seminar


Our topic is “How Chinese is it” ? And the idea is to apply this question to the diaspora. It pushes us to think about what Chineseness signifies. This is also a question of representation. How China and Chineseness have been represented both in China and in the West, popularly and scientifically.
As to the importance of the notion of diaspora — my understanding of Chinese diaspora is more specific and personal than Arif’s —, historical memory and marginalization, I think we can address in depth during the discussion. I should just say that for me, the Chinese diaspora also signifies a reality of lived experience of ordinary people, of men and women, who have settled around the world who have lived through the real problems of immigration, racism, and economic hardship, and whose history has gone largely untold. As for the category “transnational” applied to culture, we need perhaps to interrogate whether national cultures really exist, or whether they are merely ideological constructs.
Period5 Jun 2001
Held atHaus der Kulturen der Welt, Germany
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • China
  • diaspora
  • identity
  • Racism
  • Chineseness