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Deposit‘Still Children of the Dragon’? A review of three Chinese Australian heritage museums in Victoria

The Museum of Chinese Australian History reopened on 29th August 2010 with newly refurbished exhibitions displaying Chinese Australian history and contemporary Chinese Australian identities. This article reviews the new exhibitions in comparison with the Gum San Heritage Centre at Ararat and the Golden Dragon Museum at Bendigo and specifically examines the way each museum represents being Chinese and being Australian. This will be shown by interrogating the historical representations, text and methods of display.

MemberAllison Bernard

Allison is a Ph.D. candidate in premodern Chinese literature at Columbia University. Her research interests include the intersections of literary and historical writing, book history and print culture, and the world of Chinese theater. Her dissertation engages the literary world of Kong Shangren’s seminal play The Peach Blossom Fan, using the play and its network of related texts to examine ideological resonances among stage, society, and writerly legacy. Before joining Columbia’s PhD program in the fall of 2012, Allison received her BA from Middlebury College (2010) and an MA from Columbia’s EALAC department (2012). She also has interests in Japanese theater, poetry, art history, and media studies.

MemberErik Hammerstrom

I teach about religion in China and East Asia, with a focus on Buddhism. In my research I specialize in the intellectual and institutional history of Chinese Buddhism during the modern period. I have studied Buddhist responses to elements of modernity, such as the discourses surrounding both religion and modern science; and I am currently writing a “biography” of Huáyán 華嚴 school of Chinese Buddhism in the early twentieth century. As an extension of my work on Chinese Buddhism, I helped establish the Database of Modern Chinese Buddhism.

DepositWriting in the rain: Erasure, trauma, and Chinese Indonesian identity in the recent work of FX Harsono

This is an examination of the recent work of Indonesian visual artist FX Harsono in relation to Chinese Indonesian identity, the erasure of history, and the challenge of communicating through trauma. It is my hope that this work will contribute to the dialogue on both the Chinese Indonesian experience and large-scale ethnic violence.