Dr. Jane Chi Hyun Park is a senior lecturer in Gender and Cultural Studies at Sydney University.
Her work examines the cultural impact of popular media — from film, television and music to advertising and the Internet – on shifting notions of race and gender in the US and Asia Pacific.
An Asian American(ist) in Australia: The Limits and Possibilities of Cultural Proximity
This talk provides a critical account of my experiences as an Asian Americanist at Sydney University, looking at how and why my background in this field failed to translate to Australian colleagues and how this has changed my approach to concepts of race and ethnicity, culture and nationality. I reflect on these personal experiences by situating them within the context of parallel – yet also quite different – histories of Asian diasporas in Australia and the US and how they have become visible (or invisible) against shifting notions of whiteness, ‘blackness’ and ethnic otherness. I end by drawing on recent developments in popular culture, in particular the launch of Chinese Australian television sitcom, The Family Law, and compare it to its American counterpart, Fresh Off the Boat, to suggest possible research paths for comparative cultural research on Asian diasporas in white settler-colonial nations.