Returning Home: Chinese Reverse Migration and Identity


In her recent book Return Migration and Identity: A Global Phenomenon, A Hong Kong Case, Nan M. Sussman examines cultural identity shifts and population flows during a critical juncture in Hong Kong history: between the Sino-British Joint Declaration in 1984 and the early years of Hong Kong's new status as a special administrative region after 1997. Nearly a million residents of Hong Kong migrated to North America, Europe and Australia in the 1990s, and the interviews and analyses help illustrate individual choices and identity profiles during this period of unusual cultural flexibility and behavioral adjustment.

The global trend for Chinese immigrants to return home has unique relevance for Hong Kong. This work of cross-cultural psychology explores many personal stories of return migration. Nan Sussman captures in dozens of interviews the anxieties, anticipations, hardships and flexible world perspectives of migrants and their families as well as friends and co-workers.

Sussman will be sharing her research on Asian migration trends, and will discuss Return Migration and Identity, published by Hong Kong University Press.

Nan M. Sussman is currently an associate professor at the College of Staten Island and Graduate Center, the City University of New York. Professor Sussman received her PhD. in social and cross-cultural psychology, became a professional associate at the East-West Center in Honolulu, and completed her training at the Intercultural Communications Institute in Stanford. She has had a 30-year career in the intercultural field. Her research has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), China Daily, Shanghai Daily, and Shenzhen Daily.

Dr. Patricia P. Chu is an associate professor of English at the George Washington University. She teaches courses on contemporary Asian American literature and culture, women's autobiography, and contemporary American literature. She is interested in the ways Asian American writers claim subjectivity and citizenship through writing. Her current work concerns narratives of "return," representations of diasporic subjects' journeys to their or the ancestors' Asian homelands.

Dr. Robert J. Shepherd is an assistant professor of Anthropology, Honors and International Affairs at the George Washington University. His current research analyzes the construction and development of a UNESCO-supported World Heritage site at Mount Wutai, China, while his broader research examines the political, economic, and social foundations of the world heritage process, in particular how it impacts local communities. From 2007 to 2010, Shepherd organized and led GW summer study-abroad programs to China, jointly sponsored by the University Honors Program and Department of Anthropology.

Event Details

Tue 22 Mar 2011
2 - 4 p.m.
The Cinnabar Room, Whittemore House, 2nd Floor, 1526 New Hampshire Ave NW Washington DC
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Asia Society members: $10. Non-members: $15. Students: $5
Add to Calendar 20110322T180000 20110322T200000 UTC Asia Society: Returning Home: Chinese Reverse Migration and Identity The Cinnabar Room, Whittemore House, 2nd Floor, 1526 New Hampshire Ave NW Washington DC