History on Wednesday: Refugee Status and Activism in the Global and Digital Diaspora
Refugee Status and Activism in the Global and Digital Diaspora
Dr Anh Nguyen Austen, Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences, Australian Catholic University | 12:10pm, 13 September, 2023
Citizenship is often considered the endpoint for refugees; however, Vietnamese in Australia and the global and digital diaspora continue to refer to their humanitarian and refugee status and heritage for global access and activism. In this overview of my research and activism with the Vietnamese diaspora in Australia and their connection to the global and digital diaspora, I will discuss how Vietnamese war orphans and refugees have mobilised their historical vulnerabilities to create new community practices of citizenship and belonging.
Global and Digital citizenship has been transformed in practices of diasporic belonging after the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 when more than 2.7 million Vietnamese refugees resettled throughout the world, particularly in Australia, Canada, and United States. Technology, local citizenship, and resettlement allowed them to later organise as a global and digital diaspora on Facebook. Select oral histories including analysis of Facebook and the works of some local organisations such as VietSpeak and Viet Nam Family Search reveal how humanitarian and refugee status informed their local and global practices of civic engagement, especially for Vietnamese child refugees and war orphans who resettled in Australia.
About the speaker:
Dr. Anh Nguyen Austen is a cultural historian and research fellow in the Centre for Refugees at the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences of Australian Catholic University, and an Honorary Associate with Museums Victoria.
Her research engagement includes working with VietSpeak, community-based language advocacy group; Free to Feed, a food and storytelling social enterprise for refugees and asylum seekers; and Kid’s Own Publishing, an arts organisation for kids and community book making; and Viet Nam Family Search that assists war orphans reconnect with their birth heritage. Her current research includes exploration of refugee entrepreneurship and art practices, teaching game design and migration history, and publications about food and migration and climate change. She recently published Vietnamese Migrants in Australia and the Global Digital Diaspora: Histories of Childhood, Forced Migration, and Belonging (Routledge 2022).
School of Humanities Common Room – A22, Level 8, A18 Brennan MacCullum Building. Spaces are limited for in-person tickets, so please register as soon as possible if you would like to reserve a spot.
Zoom info to be sent ahead of the event.