I am delighted that we are able to work with NTU to bring together a group of diverse and eminent speakers for our International Conference this year. The fact that this event is held online has enabled speakers from around the world, including Brazil, to participate. This will certainly add breadth and depth to our discussions. Having it as an online conference has enabled us to overcome space constraints and made this event more accessible to a wider audience locally and internationally.
This year’s Conference is centred on the themes of boundaries and bonds. These are crucial aspects of the Chinese diaspora, covering the Chinese migrants’ journeys of leaving their homeland and their lives thereafter. In re-examining and re-conceptualising the boundaries and bonds experienced by them, we hope to explore the constructions of diasporic identity from many spatial contexts, including physical and virtual ones.
Nonetheless, regardless of where such experiences take place, we hope to better understand and define the many different experiences of the Chinese diaspora, whether as new migrants, or second or third-generation of Chinese immigrants who have settled down in their new homes. We especially hope to encourage research that investigates the distinctiveness of these Chinese communities that have put down roots round the world, particularly in Singapore, and the culture that binds them together.
It is my pleasure to introduce the scholars who will be giving keynote speeches later. They are:
As part of our Centre’s vision to deepen understanding of our local Chinese culture, we have provided annual grants to support research and publication in this area. I am glad to share that the next round of grants is now open for application from 1st October till 31st December. We welcome proposals that will enhance research into Chinese Singaporean identity, arts and culture, and disseminate such outcomes to a wider audience.
In closing, I would like to thank Nanyang Technological University’s School of Social Sciences and Chinese Heritage Centre for co-organising the conference with us, and especially the Chinese Heritage Centre for partnering SCCC in organising a series of thought-provoking talks throughout the year.
I hope you will enjoy the Conference and the many vibrant discussions ahead.