Dragon Tails 2011

Dragon Tails 2011: sources, language, approaches
Museum of Chinese Australian History, Melbourne
11–13 November 2011

Call for papers

Following the success of the first Dragon Tails conference in October 2009, we are pleased to announce that Dragon Tails 2011: sources, language, approaches will be held at the Museum of Chinese Australian History, Melbourne on 11–13 November 2011.

The conference will showcase emerging scholarship on Australia’s Chinese history and heritage and will consider the diverse range of available sources, as well as new approaches used to interrogate them.

Our aim is to provide a forum for discussion about the current state of the field, the challenges it faces and the ways we might move forward to improve our understanding of Australia’s Chinese pasts (c.1840s–1940s).

As part of this discussion, we would like to engage Australian researchers with current international scholarship and arrangements for international keynote/s are underway.

Who should attend

We invite proposals from historians, heritage professionals, archaeologists, curators, archivists, librarians, genealogists, educators and others working in the field who would like to share their new research directions and fresh thinking on the practice of Chinese Australian history.

As well as Australian researchers, we welcome contributions from international scholars whose work on overseas Chinese history or heritage addresses the themes of the conference and presents ideas relevant to the Australian context. We’re thinking particularly here of our New Zealand, Pacific Islander, Chinese, Southeast Asian, Canadian and US colleagues.

Conference themes

We are looking for papers, panels and workshops which explore questions relating to the following themes:

Sources: What sources can we use to uncover the Chinese Australian community’s many pasts, where are they and how can we provide greater access to them?

Language: Does it matter that most Chinese Australian history is written with limited reference to Chinese-language sources? If it does, how can we create awareness of those sources and overcome the challenges of working with them?

Approaches: How are different approaches broadening our understanding of Australia’s Chinese history and heritage? These might include transnational and global perspectives, the qiaoxiang approach, reading material culture, biography and life writing, organisational histories, memory and oral history, digital history and the use of emerging technologies.

The conference will be held over two days and have a single stream, with the aim of fostering debate and discussion on both theoretical and practical issues that arise when doing Chinese Australian history. A selection of papers from the conference will be published.

How to submit a proposal

Proposals may be made for either individual papers, complete panels or hour-long workshops. Suggested formats for full panels include three 20-minute papers, four 15-minute papers or a round table. Other innovative format proposals and multimedia presentations will be considered.

Proposals should be submitted online using the form at www.dragontails.com.au/submit-proposal by
Friday, 13 May 2011.

You will need to provide a paper/panel/workshop title and abstract (300–500 words), as well as name, home institution (if applicable), contact details and brief bio (up to 150 words) for each speaker. We will let you know by email whether your proposal has been successful.

More information is available on the conference website – www.dragontails.com.au. You can also keep up to date by following us on Twitter – www.twitter.com/dragontails2011.

We look forward to receiving your proposals. If you need to get in touch for any other reason, please send us an email to dragontailsconference@gmail.com.

Dr Sophie Couchman and Dr Kate Bagnall

Call for papers and full program