Introduction: Realigning the margins: Asian Australian writing

Janet M Wilson, Chandani Lokuge

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle

Abstract

This special issue of the Journal of Postcolonial Writing, the result of a collaboration with the South Asian Diaspora International Research Network (SADIRN) at Monash University, Australia, engages with Asian Australian writing, a phenomenon that has been staking out a place in the Australian literary landscape since the 1950s and 1960s. It has now burgeoned into an influential area of cultural production, known for its ethnic diversity and stylistic innovativeness and demanding new forms of critical engagement involving transnational and transcultural frameworks. As Wenche Ommundsen and Huang Zhong point out in their article in this issue, the very term “Asian Australian” signals a heterogeneity that rivals that of the dominant Anglo Australian culture; just as white Australian writing displays the lineaments of its complex European heritage, so hybridised works by multicultural writers from mainland China, Vietnam, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Singapore and Malaysia can be read in terms of their specific national, ethnic, linguistic and cultural traditions. Nevertheless, this category’s primary location within the space of the host or Australian nation has determined its reception and interpretation. Marked by controversial representations of historical and present-day encounters with white Australian culture, debates on alterity, representational inequality, and consciousness of its minority status, Asian Australian writing has become a force field of critical enquiry in its own right (Ommundsen 2012, 2).
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Postcolonial Writing
Volume52
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2016

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Keywords

  • Asian Australian
  • transnational
  • marginal writing
  • magical realism
  • second generation migrant
  • multiculturalism
  • Chinese novel

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