Affirming Cosmopolitanism? Chineseness and the Chinese Museum of Queensland

Tseen Khoo

in China Abroad

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9789622099456
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206687 | DOI:
Affirming Cosmopolitanism? Chineseness and the Chinese Museum of Queensland

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In this context of renewed, often parochial, assertions of Australian identity, examining racialized heritage sites allows the interrogation of the limits of the contemporary appreciation of “cosmopolitanism” and “diversity.” To this end, this chapter focuses on the phenomenon of internal tourism and the ways in which Australian Chinatowns present themselves to internal and external tourists, as well as their local communities. Taking into account Michael Keith's argument for a focus on the dynamics of the city, the chapter discusses the establishment of the Chinese Museum of Queensland alongside the geocultural context of Chinatown in Fortitude Valley. After presenting an overview of Australia's historical (dis)engagement with Chinese migration, the chapter outlines the socio-political setting of Brisbane and Fortitude Valley and the idea of “Chinatowns,” before concentrating on the development of the museum and the motivations of its initial steering committee as a case-study in affirming Chineseness.

Keywords: cosmopolitanism; internal tourism; Australia; Michael Keith; Chinese Museum of Queensland; Chinatown; Fortitude Valley; migration; Chineseness

Chapter.  6022 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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