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Against Diaspora: The Sinophone As Places Of Cultural Production

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Chapter Summary

This chapter offers a broad, programmatic view of the parameters of Sinophone studies, situated at the intersection of postcolonial studies, ethnic studies, transnational studies, and area studies, as the study of Sinitic language cultures and communities on the margins of China and Chineseness. It does not focus explicitly on literature, but lays out the broad contours of Sinophone studies through an analysis and critique of what the author consider to be the misconceived category of &t;the Chinese diaspora&t;. The Chinese diaspora, understood as the dispersion of ethnic Chinese people around the globe, functions as a universalizing category founded on a unified ethnicity, culture, language, and place of origin or homeland. The Sinophone is a place-based, everyday practice and experience, and thus it is a historical formation that constantly undergoes transformation to reflect local needs and conditions.

Keywords: Chinese culture; Sinitic language; Sinophone studies

10.1163/ej.9789004187658.i-234.9
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