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Type: Theses
Title: Representations of belonging in Asian Australian writing
Author: Ramlan, Wan Nur Madiha binti
Issue Date: 2016
School/Discipline: School of Humanities
Abstract: Australia has a long and ambivalent history with Asia. With an increasing visibility of the social and political presence of ‘Asia’ in Australia, the growing importance of the Asian region to Australia’s economy, and a transnational mobility of people and cultures across the globe, it becomes more relevant than ever to re-examine how a concept of Asian Australian identity and belonging might be understood in contemporary Australia. This thesis pursues this central question through the examination of a selection of recent Australian literary texts by writers of East and Southeast Asian-descent. In particular, the thesis maps shifting representations of Asian-Australian identity in these texts through increasingly expansive spatial categories – from the individual body, to the domestic home, to the ethnic ‘ghetto’, to the suburb, and finally to the global world – as their protagonists engage with normative ideas of ethnicity, gender, class and sexuality within Australian society. In different ways, the nine literary works considered in this thesis address the process of marking out a space of belonging in a contemporary culture that still places constant pressure on non-Anglo-Australian notions of identity. Ultimately, each of these works rejects any singular or definitive concept of ‘Asian’ experience or identity in Australia, in favour of a more complex and flexible understanding that identity and belonging are concepts that are always subject to border-crossing. Above all, these works not only challenge conventional understandings of what it means to be ‘Asian’ in contemporary Australia, but also challenge conventional understandings of what it means to be ‘Australian’.
Advisor: Nettelbeck, Amanda E.
Butterss, Philip
Schwerdt, Dianne Ona
Hosking, Susan Elizabeth
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Humanities, 2016.
Keywords: Australia
Asia
Asian Australian
space
place
identity
belonging
fiction
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/legals
DOI: 10.4225/55/583e4fa4a88a4
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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