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Title: Re-imagining '(British)-Chineseness' : the politics and poetics of art and migration in diaspora space
Author: Yeh, Diana
ISNI:       0000 0004 2701 3418
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis interrogates dominant conceptions of `(British)-Chineseness' by illuminating the intersecting artistic and migrant journeys of four artists - Shih-I and Dymia Hsiung, Li Yuan Chia and Anthony Key - through Britain at different periods from the 1930s to the present day. It has three main objectives. Firstly, it aims to redress the serious lack of scholarship on the histories of the Chinese in general and their cultural and artistic legacies in particular. Secondly, it critiques, reconceptualises and traces the genealogies of existing essentialising and a historical discourses of `(British)- Chineseness' dominant in academia and society at large. Thirdly, by bringing together the study of art and migration, it redresses the polarisation of the `(British)-Chinese' subject as either `artist' or `im/migrant'. In doing so, it seeks to contribute to wider debates on the dynamics of art, culture, identity, difference, community, home and belonging in multi-ethnic societies. Employing an interdisciplinary, multi-sited research methodology, the project forges a critical ethnographic path through the fields of the social sciences and the arts and humanities. Emerging from fieldwork that took place between 2004 and 2007 in six key localities in four countries - London, Cumbria (Britain); Beijing, Cha Dong (China); Taipei (Taiwan) and Washington (US), it combines participant observation, ethnographic, life history and biographical interviews; textual and visual analyses of literary and artistic works; and archival research in public libraries and private collections. Both existing disciplinary boundaries between the arts/humanities and social sciences as well as conventional conflations of race, ethnicity, nationality, culture and community have limited understandings of the dynamics of artistic practices and multi-ethnic living. These limitations are embodied in the polarised figures of the `artist' and im/migrant'. By illuminating how these artist-im/migrants experience, negotiate, impact upon and contribute to the social and cultural dynamics of multiple localities in Britain, this project seeks to further understanding of the workings of and challenges facing multi-ethnic societies across the globe today. In doing so, it creates an interface between existing disciplinary divides, thereby developing a new methodological approach to the study of art, culture and migration.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available