Media, Mobilities and Identity in East and Southeast Asia: Introduction

Louis Ho
Seokhun Choi


This collection for Cultural Studies Review aims to address gaps in existing mobilities scholarship from two perspectives. First, while several articles here discuss the physical movement of various groups, the overarching focus is the complex interplay of mobile technologies and information on the one hand, and rapidly evolving formations of culture and identity on the other. Geographically, our focus is outside the ‘global north’, on a region that has perhaps been more dramatically transformed by physical, cultural and informational mobility than any other: East and Southeast Asia. Rather than taking ‘Asia’ as a category of cultural identity, this collection conceptualises the geographic region as a zone of cultural and political plurality, in which a vast array of migrations, imaginings, representations and discourses are constantly bumping up against political and cultural borders, as well as various state-sponsored and state-sanctioned ideas and images, in fascinating and often highly volatile ways. Topic covered in this collection include Hong Kong working holidaymakers in Australia (Louis Ho), literary narratives of overseas adoptees who have returned to South Korea (Ethan Waddell), online debates and conflicts between Chinese migrants and local Chinese-Singaporeans (Sylvia Ang), the politics of representing urban demolition and relocation in independent Chinese documentaries (Dan Edwards), the ‘glocalisation’ of Japanese anime culture in the online space in China (Asako Saito) and the representation of migrant worker experience in South Korean cinema (Sina Kim).

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