Joint Book Launch – Citizens in Motion: Emigration, Immigration, and Re-migration Across China’s Borders & Marrying for a Future: Transnational Sri Lankan Tamil Marriages in the Shadow of War
Date: Tuesday, 7th May 2019
Venue: The Pod, NLB
Organizers: Singapore Research Nexus and FASS Migration Cluster, FASS Research Division
6:00-6:30pm – Registration/Refreshments/Book Sale
6:30-6:35pm – Welcome Remarks, Prof Lionel Wee, FASS Vice-Dean (Research)
6:35-7.00pm – Presentation on Citizens in Motion: Emigration, Immigration, and Re-migration Across China’s Borders, Assoc Prof Elaine Lynn-Ee Ho, FASS Assistant Dean (Research)
7.00-7.25pm – Presentation on Marrying for a Future: Transnational Sri Lankan Tamil Marriages in the Shadow of War, Asst Prof Sidharthan Maunaguru, FASS South Asian Studies and Sociology
7.25-7.45pm – Discussant Remarks, Assoc Prof Anju Mary Paul, Yale-NUS Social Sciences
7.45-8.15pm – Q and A/Discussion, Moderated by Assoc Prof Kelvin Low, FASS Migration Cluster Steering Committee
8.15-8.30pm – Book Sale with Autograph Signing
About the Books
More than 35 million Chinese people live outside China, but this population is far from homogenous, and its multifaceted national affiliations require careful theorization. This book unravels the multiple, shifting paths of global migration in Chinese society today, challenging a unilinear view of migration by presenting emigration, immigration, and re-migration trajectories that are occurring continually and simultaneously. Drawing on interviews and ethnographic observations conducted in China, Canada, Singapore, and the China–Myanmar border, Elaine Lynn-Ee Ho takes the geographical space of China as the starting point from which to consider complex patterns of migration that shape nation-building and citizenship, both in origin and destination countries. She uniquely brings together various migration experiences and national contexts under the same analytical framework to create a rich portrait of the diversity of contemporary Chinese migration processes. By examining the convergence of multiple migration pathways across one geographical region over time, Ho offers alternative approaches to studying migration, migrant experience, and citizenship, thus setting the stage for future scholarship.
The civil war between the Sri Lankan state and Tamil militants, which ended in 2009, lasted more than three decades and led to mass migration, mainly to India, Canada, England, and continental Europe. In Marrying for a Future, Sidharthan Maunaguru argues that the social institution of marriage has emerged as a critical means of building alliances between dispersed segments of Tamil communities, allowing scattered groups to reunite across national borders. Maunaguru explores how these fragmented communities were rekindled by connections fostered by key participants in and elements of the marriage process, such as wedding photographers, marriage brokers, legal documents, and transit places.
Marrying for a Future contributes to transnational and diaspora marriage studies by looking at the temporary spaces through which migrants and refugees travel in addition to their home and host countries. It provides a new conceptual framework for studies on kinship and marriage and addresses a community that has been separated across borders as a result of war.
About the Authors
Elaine Lynn-Ee Ho is Associate Professor at the Department of Geography and Senior Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute (ARI), National University of Singapore. She is also currently Assistant Dean (FASS Research Division) and chairs the faculty-level FASS Migration Cluster. Her research addresses how citizenship is changing as a result of multi-directional migration flows in the Asia-Pacific. She is author of Citizens in Motion: Emigration, Immigration and Re-migration Across China’s Borders (2019, Stanford University Press). The monograph conceptualises the spatial complexity and temporal co-evalness of migration, and further advances theorisation of co-ethnic and inter-ethnic relations. She has published widely on diaspora engagement and is now extending her research to two new domains: (1) transnational ageing and care in the Asia-Pacific, and (2) internal displacement at the China-Myanmar border, focusing on border im/mobilities, diaspora action and transnational aid. Elaine is Editor of Social and Cultural Geography; Section Editor of the 2nd edition of the International Encyclopedia of Human Geography; and serves on the editorial boards of Citizenship Studies; Emotions, Society and Space; and Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography.
After his undergraduate studies in Sociology in Sri Lanka, Sidharthan Maunaguru joined Johns Hopkins University to pursue his postgraduate studies in cultural anthropology. He conducted two years of fieldwork on Sri Lankan transnational Tamil marriages and was awarded a PhD by Johns Hopkins University. He previously taught at University of Peradeniya and Johns Hopkins University. Dr Maunaguru was awarded a Newton Fellowship by British Academia and Royal Society which was held at University of Edinburgh before joining NUS in July 2013. His work is placed within the South Asian regions and beyond; it often includes multi-site fieldwork and intersects with anthropology, history, and philosophy.