Events: Kritika Kultura Lecture Series presents Celina Tzui-hui Hung

Kritika Kultura, the international refereed journal of language, literary, and cultural studies of the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila University will host a lecture by Celina Tzui-hui Hung titled “Creolizing the Sinophone Pacific.” The lecture is on Nov. 28, 2017, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., at CTC 413, Ateneo de Manila University. The lecture is open to the public.

About the lecture

As a phenomenon developing from the intersection of global migrations and colonial histories, creolization is more frequently associated with colonial subjects in the Indian Ocean and the Americas than with Chinese anywhere. In Southeast Asia since the mid-eighteenth century, however, long-term encounters in theracially stratified colonial societies between merchant migrants from China, local indigenes, and the European empires have produced several distinct creolized societies beyond the usual narrative of Chineseness. 

This talk examines articulations of creolization by the Chinese-descended Peranakan (Baba) writers and educators in the former British Straits Settlements, particularly Singapore and Malacca, at a time when elites sought to fashion new identities out of a nexus of Anglicized, Chinese and Malay affinities. Drawing examples from local magazines, stories, and translation works, it aims to generate conversations in two interconnected directions. First, it places Peranakan voices in direct dialogue with the creolization scholarship in the West in order to consider new grounds of theory and comparison. Second, in light of the emerging Sinophone studies vis-à-vis the mainland-centered discourse of Chinese culture, it offers contextualized insights into culture-making at the crossroads of ethnolinguistic and other intercommunity transactions, as a response to the rising problematics of Chineseness as a category of analysis.”

About the lecturer

洪子惠 Celina Tzui-hui Hung is Assistant Professor of Literature at New York University Shanghai. In 2011-2013, she was a visiting assistant professor and Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellow in the Humanities “Cultures in Transnational Perspective” at the University of California, Los Angeles. Hung is trained in comparative literary and cultural studies with a focus on 20th and 21st century Chinese and Sinophone worlds (PhD Comparative Literature, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 2011). Her broader research interests lie within the intersection of global migration, colonial and settler colonial encounters, interethnic and interracial imaginations, and nationalist movements. In the specific context of transpacific Chinese migration in modern times, her work has been dedicated to exploring how categories like Chinese, hanren, and huaren, alongside their ethnolinguistic and nationalist associations, find local articulations and develop politically-charged meanings at sites where these identitarian references prove unstable and necessitate constant reframing. Her first book project, Creolizing the Sinophone Pacific, investigates the conditions of transcolonial culture-making among the creolized Chinese minorities hailing from different Southeast Asian locations. Her second book project, supported by the Henry/Luce China Program of American Council of Learned Societies, studies middlebrow public imaginations of Austronesian indigenes and new immigrants from China and Southeast Asia as co-emergent, contrapuntal discourses in 21st-century settler colonial Taiwan.

About Kritika Kultura

Kritika Kultura is acknowledged by a host of Asian and Asian American Studies libraries and scholarly networks, and indexed in the MLA International Bibliography, Thomson Reuters (ISI), Scopus, EBSCO, and the Directory of Open Access Journals. For inquiries about submission guidelines and future events, visit http://journals.ateneo.edu/ojs/kk/ or email kk.soh@ateneo.edu.