From the 1940s to 1970s, a wave of ethnic Chinese living outside China “returned” to an ancestral homeland they had never seen to help build a nation to which they felt they belonged. Initially hailed by the Chinese government as patriots, returned overseas Chinese later fell prey to hostility and persecution. Many young Chinese women from Chinese girls’ schools in British Malaya and Singapore joined this return migration movement with enthusiasm. For those who translated ethno-national pride into political activism, their schooling had blended cultural tradition with socio-political modernity, providing them with knowledge and networks for cross-border mobility. Yet these women often found themselves penalized by the very same education and idealism that had prompted their desire to serve. In this talk, Karen Teoh draws from her book, Schooling Diaspora (Oxford, 2018), to explore the political and cultural meanings of “going home.”
Dr Karen Teoh
Dr Karen Teoh is a historian focusing on Chinese migration and diaspora across China and Southeast Asia from the 18th to 20th centuries. She has held positions at Stonehill College (Associate Professor of History), Bowdoin College, and Northeastern University. Her most recent publication is Schooling Diaspora: Women, Education, and the Overseas Chinese in British Malaya and Singapore, 1850s-1960s (Oxford, 2018). She received her PhD from Harvard University and her BA from Yale University.
Dr Chan Cheow Thia
Department of Chinese Studies
National University of Singapore
Pre-registration at https://sccc-lectureseries-3dec2022.peatix.com.
Advisory: Attendee limit per session: 600
Dec 03, 2022 - Dec 03, 2022
Start Time: 2pm
End Time: 3.30pm
Duration: 1.5 hours
SCCC Multi-Purpose Hall, Level 7
Conducted in English
Free (pre-registration required)