Center for Asian American Studies
Center for Asian American Studies

Conference: "Trans-Pacific China and the Cold War," April 18-19, 2013

Fri, April 19, 2013 | AT&T Center, 1900 University Ave., UT Campus

9:30 AM - 5:15 PM

This conference brings together an international, interdisciplinary grouping of scholars from Hong Kong, Taiwan, England, the US, and Canada to consider new research highlighting cultural and social productions emerging from diasporic Chinese amist the political fissures of the Cold War.  We plan to publish an anthology of our reframing of this era through an academic press.

This conference explores the Cold War politicization of overseas Chinese communities extending from Hong Kong to Taiwan, the U.S., and Southeast Asia through cultural, refugee, and exchange programs intended to divide them into either the communist or "free" world in terms of allegiance but also mobility.  As with other parts of the globe, these communities expanded with influxes of many refugees leaving newly Communist areas.  For example, by 1952 over 40 percent of Hong Kong's population consisted of escapees from the Communist revolution of 1949.

These communities became important sites of cultural Cold War production in the global contest for the "hearts and minds" of Chinese people throughout the Pacific region. Refugee relief outreach, educational programs, and cultural products such as cinema, popular literature, and print journalism with political aims emerged from both the PRC and Taiwan as well as US-supported organizations based in Hong Kong and Chinese communities in American and Southeast Asian cities.  Through such programs and activities, both Communist and "free" world powers courted the support of overseas Chinese by representing the superiority and superior inclusiveness of their respective political and economic ideologies--hence the themes of intimacy but also of alienation--as many ethnic Chinese found themselves unable to conform or adjust. 

Both sides tried to demonstrate political, social, and cultural commensurabilities to populations of refugees who oftentimes were traumatized by their loss of home, families, and friends and took a while in order to re-establish, if at all, a new sense of rootedness and belonging.  Bringing together literary, cultural studies, and historical scholars from the US, Canada, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, this conference tracks the reconfiguration of Chinese diaspora across the Cold War's bifurcated politicization of mobility, cultural flows, and the politics of options for resettlement that produced new formations of ethnic and national identity, community, and transnational activity so characteristic of the twenty-first century world.  

Convened by Madeline Y. Hsu (UT Austin), Poshek Fu (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Hon-ming Yip (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Special thanks to our co-sponsors for their generosity:

College of Liberal Arts
Center for Asian American Studies
Department of Asian Studies
Taiwan Studies Program
Center for East Asian Studies
Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation
Taiwan Academy


Friday, April 19th

The Politics of Cultural Production
9:30 a.m. - 11:30 p.m.
Chair and commentator: Yvonne Chang
(UT Austin)

Poshek Fu (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign): "Cold War Politics and Hong Kong Mandarin Cinema."

Poshek Fu is Professor of History, EALC, and Cinema Studies. His research focuses on the intersection between social and cultural history and Chinese and Hong Kong cinemas. His current book project combines cinema studies and business history to examine the little-studied political economy of pan-Chinese commercial cinemas from 1900 to 2000. An edited volume, China Forever: The Diasporic Cinema of Shaw Brothers is forthcoming from University of Illinois Press and Hong Kong University Press. His other books include Between Shanghai and Hong Kong: The Politics of Chinese Cinemas (Stanford 2003), its Chinese translation will by published by Peking University Press, The Cinema of Hong Kong: History, Arts, Identity (Cambridge, 2000. co-edited with David Desser), and Passivity, Resistance,and Collaboration: Intellectual Choices in Occupied Shanghai (Stanford 1993).

Ping-hui Liao (University of California at San Diego): “Eileen Chang and Chen Ying-chen: Two Contrasting Cases in Cold War Literature”

Ping-hui Liao is Chuan-liu Chair Professor in Taiwan Studies at Department of Literature, the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). Prior to taking the chair professor position at UCSD, he was a Distinguished Professor at National Tsinghua University and also Director General of the National Science Council Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. He graduated from Tunghai University in 1976. He received his Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego in 1987.  Liao works primarily in the fields of comparative literature, postcolonial theory, and cultural studies. He has written many books in Taiwanese, including At the Crossroad of Taiwan and World Literature, published in 2006, and Ways of Eating: Savoring Postmodernity, published in 2004. He has also edited Taiwan Under Japanese Colonial Rule, 1895-1945: History, Culture, Memory with Wang Der-wei. Published by Columbia University Press in 2006, the volume was one of the first English studies of colonial Taiwan.

Andy Chih-ming Wang (Academia Sinica): "Cold War Humanism in Taiwan: On Yan Yuanshu and His Critical Practices"

Andy Wang is now assistant research fellow at the Institute of European and American Studies, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. His research interests include Asian American literature, transnational cultural studies, and the institutional history of foreign literature studies in China.  His researches in English are published in American Quarterly, Amerasia Journal, Cultural Studies, and Chinese America: History and Perspectives. He recently edited a special issue on “Asian American Studies in Asia” for Inter-Asia Cultural Studies.  His book entitled Transpacific Articulations: Study Abroad and the Remaking of Asian America is forthcoming from the University of Hawai‘i Press.

Propaganda and Discourse:
1:00 - 3:00p.m.
Chair and commentator: Katherine Arens
(UT Austin)

Chi-kwan Mark (University of London): "Propaganda in the Everyday Cold War: Hong Kong, the Leftist Press, and the 1952 and 1967 Riots"

Chi-kwan Mark (D.Phil., Oxford) is Lecturer in International History at Royal Holloway College, University of London. His research interests focus on British-American-Chinese relations during the Cold War and Hong Kong’s colonial and international history. He is the author of Hong Kong and the Cold War: Anglo-American Relations 1949-1957 (Oxford University Press, 2004) and China and the World since 1945: An International History (Routledge, 2012).

Shuang Shen (Pennsylvania State University): "The Cold War Production of Intra-Asia Connections"

Shuang Shen is Assistant Professor in the Comparative Literature Department and Asian Studies Program at Penn State University. She is the author of Cosmopolitan Publics: Anglophone Print Culture in Semicolonial Shanghai (2009) and various articles in MLQ, PMLA, Genre, and MCLC. Her current interests revolve around postwar Asian intra-urban networks.

Wang Xiaojue (University of Pennsylvania):  "Culture, Nationhood, and Literary Authority: How Modern Chinese Literature Was Invented During the Cold War"

Xiaojue Wang is Assistant Professor of modern Chinese literature in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania, member of the Graduate Group in German Languages and Literatures and the Cinema Studies Program. Her main area of research is modern and contemporary Chinese literature and film and comparative literature, particularly Cold War German and Chinese cultures. Her book, entitled Modernity with a Cold War Face: Reimagining the Nation in Chinese Literature across the 1949 Divide, is forthcoming from Harvard University Asia Center.

Negotiating Nonalignment during the Cold War: Hong Kong
3:15 - 5:15 p.m.
Chair and commentator: Mark Lawrence
(UT Austin)

Peter Hamilton (UT Austin):  “Pop Gingle’s Cold War”

Peter E. Hamilton is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at the University of Texas at Austin. He is writing his dissertation under the direction of Madeline Y. Hsu exploring the globalization of American influence after World War II through the lens of expatriate business, culture, and society in Hong Kong. A former Yale-China Fellow at CUHK, he is currently on research fellowship in Hong Kong.

Simon Shen (Chinese University of Hong Kong): "1967 Riot and the Cold War"
Simon Shen received his Ph.D. in Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, UK. He is currently Research Assistant Professor in the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His major research interests include International Relations and Greater China. His works have been published in a number of books and academic journals such as the Journal of Chinese Political Science, Asian Perspective, Politics and the Journal of East Asian History.

Hon-Ming Yip (Chinese University of Hong Kong): "Colony and the Marginalization of Democracy: Hong Kong and the Chinese Democratic Movement in the Late 1940s"

Hon-ming Yip is Chair and Professor of the History Department, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Co-Director of the Gender Research Centre, Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, CUHK. She has published in the fields of modern and contemporary Chinese socioeconomic history, local history of north and south China, women’s/gender history, global history and the overseas Chinese networks, Hong Kong-mainland China relations and the world, and so forth. The courses she has taught include China Today, Revolution and Modernization in 20th-Century China, Gender and History, etc.

Bookmark and Share