Sinophone Queer Homecoming as Tactics of Interventions

Speaker: E. K. Tan
Venue: Hosted via Zoom
Date & Time:
2020-11-17 | 17:00-18:30 (Shanghai)
2020-11-17 | 4:00-5:30 (New York)
2020-11-17 | 13:00-14:30 (Abu Dhabi)

In this presentation, I discuss the concept of “queer homecoming” as tactics of interventions that enables the articulation of alternative kinship structures in mainstream cultural expressions such as literature and new media to destabilize the myth of consanguinity among communities in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. By rethinking the implications of concepts such as the familiar and the familial, I examine how queer identities and queerness can unsettle the dominant discourse of heteronormative kinship and its marginalization of minority groups such as the LGBTQ communities in non-rights-based societies. I will focus on two examples, a campaign video for an LGBTQ rally in Singapore and the diary novel, A Wife’s Diary by Taiwanese lesbian writer Chen Xue, to exemplify how queer subjects navigate and negotiate a liveable space within the institution of family and the nation state. My attempt is to map out a regional topography of inter-Asian queer relationalities that reflect a set of spatial politics which seeks to reconfigure the heteronormative home and national space.

E. K. Tan is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies in the Department of English, and Asian and Asian American Studies. He received his Ph.D. in Comparative and World Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of Rethinking Chineseness: Translational Sinophone Identities in the Nanyang Literary World. His essays have also appeared in publications such as Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies. Sun Yat-Sen Journal of Humanities, Journal of Modern Chinese Literature, and Journal of Chinese Cinemas. He is currently working on two separate book projects tentatively titled Queer Homecoming in Sinophone Cultures and Mandarinization and Its Impact on Sinophone Cultural Production.

Introduction by Celina Hung, Assistant Professor of Literature, Interim Director of the Center for Global Asia, NYU Shanghai.

Discussant: Joyce Tan, Diversity Initiatives Specialist, Student Life, NYU Shanghai.

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