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Inside the Overseas Chinese Museum of China

Can the Chinese Diaspora Speak?

This article will be released in full online August 16, 2021.

The Chinese diaspora is compelled either to prostrate to an edifying project of assimilation to U.S. liberal democracy, or be branded as illiberal “Red Guards” unfit for serious political discourse. This discursive context has long mobilized overseas Chinese to affirm the universalism of Western liberalism in opposition to a Chinese despotism defined either by dynastic backwardness or communist depravity. Can overseas Chinese speak for themselves in the face of the West’s “hegemonic right to knowledge?” Or will all such speech that challenges U.S. presuppositions of liberal selfhood and Chinese despotism simply be tuned out as illiberal noise? | more…

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