Race, Mobility and Imperial Networks: Charting the Transnational Asia-Pacific World, 1800-2015

Melbourne, 9-11 November, 2015


‘Race, Mobility and Imperial Networks’ will be a multi-disciplinary conference co-hosted by RMIT University and La Trobe University. In the wake of the transnational turn, we have begun to appreciate the global networks that produced and continue to produce imperial spaces. The world of the Pacific Rim, encompassing the Pacific Islands, Australia, New Zealand and British Columbia; the Americas and Asia was partly defined by mobility, ocean-crossings and forced migration. It is also a space that has been configured by European, American and Asian imperial powers with attending notions of racial or ethnic taxonomies. Abstracts are invited for papers or panels that explore the histories, laws and cultures of mobility, identity and variegated colonial and postcolonial spaces. We hope these will enhance understandings of how space and mobility have been mutually constitutive, as well as the ways mobility and stillness have played a role in the accommodation and resistance of imperial pressures. While concepts of race have hardened into fixed categories in the last two centuries, peoples’ mobility has also propelled them through numerous impositions of racial identity. How did cross-cultural and co-ethnic connections and networks, made by mobile subjects, reconfigure ideas of race? More recently, have new inroads in media and communication changed the ways in which race is constructed and experienced? Individual papers and panels may include but are not restricted to the following themes:

• Interactive histories of race, place and mobility;

• Historical and contemporary makings of the transnational Pacific and Asian Worlds;

• The role of media and communication in connecting and shaping diasporas;

• Indigenous and subaltern peoples’ mobility and formations of space;

• Interrogating ideas of ‘de-racialisation’ in a ‘post-racial’ world.

Keynote Speakers:

Prof Tony Ballantyne, University of Otago

Prof Keith Camacho, University of California Los Angeles

Prof Lynette Russell, Monash University

A/Prof Amanda Wise, Macquarie University


A/Prof Tracey Banivanua Mar, La Trobe University

Dr Catherine Gomes, RMIT University

With postgraduate convenor

Dr Nadia Rhook, La Trobe University

Conference Secretariat

Joshua Wong, RMIT University,

Nikita Vanderbyl, La Trobe University.