China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
Since its conceptualization a decade ago as a means of studying Sinitic language cultures marked by difference around the world, the Sinophone has generated an impressive range of scholarly output. While the Sinophone has acted as a powerful theoretical mechanism to encourage scholars to rethink well-worn terms such as “China” and “Chineseness,” the field has up to this point been marked by a curious lacuna: a relative absence of work done regarding the powerful transnational socialist movements that marked the 20th century histories of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and elsewhere. This is all the more ironic given that 20th century socialisms were dedicated to working through the very same differences- of ethnicity, language, and gender- that Sinophone studies has remained committed to exploring, while grounding such negotiations in a critique of capitalist political-economy.
To articulate the historical contours of Sinopohone Socialisms, the papers in this panel examine, respectively, therevolutionary career of Taiwanese Marxist Xie Xuehong (McConaghy), the journal The Chinese Students Weekly that circulated leftist ideas in Cold War Hong Kong (Li), Chinese performance arts as a vehicle for socialist mobilization in 1960s Singapore (Zhang), and the perceptions and receptions of socialism in the Tibetan regions of Sichuan after 1949 (Chen). This multi-regional, inter-disciplinary panel hence places the Sinophone, a method that de-centers hegemonic markers of identity, into dialogue with socialism understood broadly as a material politics of subaltern empowerment.