Locating Asian Racialisation and the Asian Subject in a Settler Colony

Scholars have long highlighted the ways in which Asian diasporic subjects like Asian Australians are treated as ‘perpetual foreigners’ – that despite their long history within Australia, they continue to be treated “as an alien in one’s own land".

This can be seen from the ways in which “where are you really from” is often directed to Asian subjects, illustrating both the ways in which Australia continues to be imagined as a white nation, and further, that Asian-ness continues to be seen as mutually exclusive to Australian-ness. In resistance to the racialisation of Asians as perpetually foreign, anti-racist efforts have emphasised that Asian subjects are locals to Australia.

In this talk, Jessie Liu builds on works from anticolonial Asian diasporic studies to evaluate this strategy, and the conceptualisation of the Asian subject that underpins it. She argues that current antiracist efforts often theorise the Asian subject as a solely racial subject in a multicultural nation. In this talk, Liu argues for a need to consider the Asian subject as simultaneously a settler subject in a settler colony. Additionally, she argues for the need to theorise and understand Asian racialisation as part of settler colonial processes and show what racial scholarship would gain through a deeper engagement and understanding of settler colonialism.

About the speaker:
Jessie Liu is a PhD candidate in the School of Sociology at the Australian National University.

Please note the captions on this presentation are automatically generated and not accurate. You can turn the subtitles on and off by clicking the CC button.

First published on 6 September 2023.

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