Call for Papers 

The Diaspora Experience: Politics, Ethics, and Aesthetics of Emigrants from the Chinese Borderland 

Call for Papers- CLOSED


The Diaspora Experience: Politics, Ethics, and Aesthetics of Emigrants from the Chinese Borderland 

10–11 October 2024 

University of California, Davis 


UC Davis East Asian Studies, Global Hong Kong Studies @ the University of California, and America-China Talk at UC Davis invite scholars and PhD students to submit original research papers for the above interdisciplinary conference. We welcome proposals from a diversity of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches.   

In this age of globalization, diaspora studies offer critical insights into the massive dispersal of peoples from their homelands as a political, cultural, and moral force in the modern world. Challenging the methodological nationalism permeating social theories and area studies, research on diasporas has grown by leaps and bounds in the past decades. The diasporas originating from China’s borderlands, however, have received little systematic and comparative attention, even though the Chinese diaspora has long been an object of inquiry for historians, literary scholars, and social scientists.  

This interdisciplinary conference spotlights the diasporas from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet, and Xinjiang, and explores how these communities might be shaped by their political, ethnic, and religious marginalization and conflicts in relation to the Chinese Mainland. We examine modalities of political engagement, cultural and artistic practices, and ethical and ideological formations of the dispersed peoples. Hence, politics, aesthetics, and ethics as the main themes. Topics of interest for paper proposals include, but are not limited to, the following: 

Politics of the diasporas 

  • cross-border political mobilization and advocacy networks 
  • encounters with transnational repression  
  • intergroup conflict and solidarity  
  • belonging and emigrant citizenship  
  • issues of race, gender, class, religion, and sexuality within and among diasporas 
  • long-distance nationalism  


Aesthetics of the diasporas 

  • art forms and practices, sensibilities, and theorization of art producers 
  • meaning-making through literature and visual and digital cultures 
  • collection and curation of arts and memories 
  • personal and collective identities 


Ethics of the diasporas 

  • political theory of exiles, statelessness, and nationalism 
  • moral considerations of the diasporic condition 
  • ethics, rights, and responsibilities of exiles 
  • transnational solidarity 
  • cosmopolitanism and communitarianism 
  • majority and minority rights among exiles 

Submission Guidelines 

Submit an abstract of 300 to 500 words that explains the research and its significance and a short CV by 15 September 2023 to Eddy U (  

Confirmations of acceptance of presentation of full papers will be sent by 15 October 2023. 

We encourage contributions from early career scholars and PhD students. We aim to publish a selection of the papers from the conference as a Special Issue in a peer-reviewed journal. 

We reimburse travel cost to presenters coming from within the US. Depending on funding, we may fully reimburse the travel cost of presenters coming from outside the US. We provide two nights of hotel accommodation.  

Media Resources

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