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2023 Current Project

Transcultural Digital Intimacies

In collaboration with Dr Tingting Hu (Liverpool), we co-founded the Transcultural Digital Intimacies Research Network to examine the transcultural and transnational digital intimacies and affective experiences in digital life, including women-oriented mobile games, online dating, live-streaming, romance web dramas and audio series. Our first project explores the digital intimacies in East and Southeast Asian young women's affective attachment to fictional characters in playing otome games.



We ask that participants consider in their expression of interest the following questions. What is Queer Asia as method? How has the commingling of queerness and disciplinary projects in Asia inflected each other, and how do they enable a transgressive and transnational praxis that is critically informing the work of diversity and inclusion in the arts and humanities? Moreover, how does queerness in resistance/rupture and/or reparation inform the work of decolonising the curriculum? This Queer Asia as Method roundtable aims at exploring ‘What is queer?’, ‘What is Asia?’ and ‘What is “Queer Asia”?’. By pairing queer studies with area studies, this workshop endeavours to approach both queerness and Asianess as ‘a placeholder that might partly express a promiscuous or incoherent desire or a desire whose content continues to be under erasure’ (Arondekar and Patel 2016: 154). 


The symposium was framed as a response to the work of Rey Chow’s “Where Have All the Natives Gone” (1994) and Gayatri Spivak’s “Can the Subaltern Speak” (1988), approaching studies in East Asian popular culture as the disruptor of the matrix of colonial power, and as a reflexive voice from the Global South.


The students’ performances of The C-Word drama online and the participants’ sharing, communication and discussion in this open-forum event foster friendly dialogues to promote mutual understanding. The involvement of students from a wide range of (Asian) backgrounds also demonstrates Asia’s multiplicity, serving to deconstruct the binary of East and West, and highlighting that there is not one Asia, except in the cultural imagination of the Eurocentric knowledge hierarchy. The deeply troubling dismissal of the existence of institutional and individual racism in the recent UK government’s Sewell Report shows how there is an urgent need for the decolonisation and deimperialisation of knowledge production.

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