The novel phenomenon of the Chinese in Serbia, a community that Professor Rucker-Chang once termed “transitory” and a “vastly different Other” (Rucker-Chang, 2012), has endured in both urban and rural settings in Serbia for over 20 years (Korać, 2013). With China’s “rise” (Bergsten et al. 2008), the transnational associations with “China” and “Chinese” continue to change and reflect an outward manifestation of the reach of Chinese power. Nevertheless, in Serbia, the Chinese remain outsiders and primarily defined by the categories of migrant, merchant, and student—therefore transitory. To explore the position of the Chinese in Serbia, Professor Rucker-Chang engages with the Asian American Studies concept of “perpetual foreigner.” Situating the term in Serbia reveals important insights into regional racial formations as they relate to the position of the Chinese community. In turn, this concept also provides insights into the situatedness of other groups such as those who are called “Black” as opposed to those who remain unmarked, ostensibly the “Serbs.”
Sunnie Rucker-Chang is Associate Professor of Slavic and East European Studies at the University of Cincinnati where she is also on the leadership team of the Institute for Research in Sensing and Program Director of UC STARTALK Workforce Media Development and Year-Long Russian Immersion Programs.
Please register for this lecture at https://go.illinois.edu/rucker-chang-lecture
This event is part of the Humanities Research Institute research cluster “Russia and the Global Color Line“.