Making Chinese Australia: Urban Elites, Newspapers and the Formation of Chinese-Australian Identity, 1892–1912
monographposted on 19.08.2020, 00:35 by Mei-fen Kuo
The Chinese press was the largest foreign-language press in Sydney in the late nineteenth century, and the only foreign-language press to publish continuously from the 1890s into the 1920s. Yet the story of Chinese-language newspapers during this period of emerging Australian and Chinese nationalism has, until now, been left untold. Beginning with a review of an especially bitter conflict that split the Sydney Chinese community, in 1892, and ending two decades later with the establishment of the earliest political alliance between Chinese-Australian elites in Sydney and Melbourne, set up to support the building of the Republic of China, Making Chinese Australia demonstrates how the interpretations and narratives of journalists and editors of Chinese-Australian newspapers played a powerful role in shaping the social identities and historical awareness of Chinese Australians. In the process of relating this important narrative, Mei-fen Kuo employs new historical and philosophical frameworks to initiate a dialogue between Chinese-Australian history and international and diasporic Chinese studies.