Monday, November 16, 2009

Books on Chinese Overseas

Dan Feng and Ting Hway's wedding solemnisation yesterday (15 November 2009) at the Chinese Heritage Centre, Nayang Technological University, is the inspiration behind this post. Congratulations and warm wishes to them!

Whilst at the reception, I had the opportunity to pop into the current exhibition at the Centre: Chinese More Or Less: An exhibition on Overseas Chinese Identity. Conceptualised by the Centre’s former director, Ms Lynn Pan, who is herself the author of the book Sons of the Yellow Emperor and editor of The Encyclopedia of the Chinese Overseas, the theme of “Chineseness” and Chinese Identity is explored and translated into visually interesting exhibits.

So, on the theme of overseas chinese, here are some recent books we recommend:
  • Beyond Chinatown: New Chinese Migration and the Global Expansion of China edited by Mette Thuno. The papers in this volume were originally presented at the Fifth Conference of the International Society for the Study of the Overseas Chinese, held in Copenhagen, May 2004. A group of scholars from multiple disciplines convened to present new theories and empirical data about Chinese migration as well as to discuss the significance of the contemporary situation of Chinese migration compared with the historical, and in the light of China's rise today as an economic and political power.
  • Sun Yat Sen in Penang by Khoo Salma Nasution. Archival photographs and records enhance this account of the legacy and contacts in Penang of Dr Sun Yat Sen (1866-1925). When Dr Sun was banned from Japan he focused his efforts on gaining support from the Overseas Chinese for the revolutionary movement. His headquarters became 120 Armenian Street, Penang; now conserved. The Sun family lived in Penang 1910-1912 and his impact and legacy in Penang is shown in many of the educational and other buildings illustrated. With sketch map, bibliography, chronology and index.
  • The Chinese Diaspora: Space, Mobility and Identity by Laurence J.C. Ma and Carolyn Cartier. In this first book to explore the Chinese diaspora from geographical perspectives, leading scholars in the field consider the profound importance of meanings of place and the spatial processes of mobility and settlement for the Chinese overseas. They trace the Chinese diaspora everywhere it has become a significant force, from Southeast Asia to Oceania, North America, Latin America, and Europe. Providing an important historical perspective, the contributors analySe the sharp differences between sojourning Chinese prior to the 1960s and the transnational Chinese of the current era, especially in terms of spatial distribution, mobility, economic status, occupational structure, and identity formation.
  • Chinese Overseas: Migration, Research and Documentation edited by Tan Chee-Beng; C. Storey and J. Zimmerman. These 16 separately referenced papers are from the 2003 International Conference of Institutes and Libraries for Chinese Overseas Studies in which librarians, archivists, and scholars explored the often-untilled fields of resources which could reveal new knowledge of Chinese Overseas' history and ways of life. The insightful introductory paper by Wang Gungwu overviews the diverse and often personal ways by which Chinese migrations can be illuminated and understood. Subsequent papers range over the world scene and are grouped as: Research and Documentation; Sources and Documentation; and Libraries, Archives and Exhibitions. Indexed.
  • Understanding the Ethnic Chinese in Southeast Asia by Leo Suryadinata, Leo. About 80 per cent of the ethnic Chinese outside China (also known as the "Chinese overseas") live in Southeast Asia. This book examines that community in the context of both national and international dimensions. It first discusses the ethnic Chinese and China, addressing the issues of migration, nationality, business success and ethnic conflict; second, Chinese cultural adaptation and various identities; and third, case studies of the Chinese in Indonesia, external actors, the state, and ethnic Chinese politics. Professor Suryadinata has written extensively on the subject of the Chinese overseas. The essays in this book were written between 1987 and 2005, and have previously been published in other books and journals.
  • Journal of Chinese Overseas edited by Ng Chin-Keong and Tan Chee-Beng et al. This cross-disciplinary journal publishes research articles, reports, and book reviews on Chinese overseas throughout the world, and the communities from which they trace their origins. Moving across regions and disciplines, the Journal examines Chineseness in its many diverse settings. With a Board of Editors drawn from fields as diverse as history, anthropology, sociology, geography, cultural studies, and political science, the Journal contributes to transnational studies, as well as the study of Chinese communities in specific national settings.

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