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A Labour of Labour: Work and Other Ugly Feelings in the Queer Cantonese Diaspora

Yee, Florence (2020) A Labour of Labour: Work and Other Ugly Feelings in the Queer Cantonese Diaspora. Masters thesis, OCAD University.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Yee, Florence
Abstract:

From the nineteenth century onwards, the conditions of economic and political survival for Cantonese migrants were tied to their labour. Their citizenship was conditional upon assimilationist respectability politics of patriotism, “hard work,” and normative white middle-class femininity, masculinity and sexuality. Hence, queerness and failure (or queerness as failure) in the Cantonese diaspora inherently threaten hegemonic power structures. My arts-informed research project uses textile installation to question the stoicism of assimilationist imperatives, by holding space for personal & intergenerational failure and cultural loss. As an expansion upon (and critique of) liberal multiculturalism, it seeks to deromanticize Cantonese diasporic experiences and destabilize linear narratives of the self through an autotheoretical approach. By negotiating a refusal of legibility and acknowledging what Sianne Ngai calls ugly feelings, it problematizes labour as the longing for—and futility of—work within Cantonese diaspora, impacted by tradition, family, and queerness.

Date: 1 May 2020
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design
Date Deposited: 07 May 2020 03:16
Last Modified: 07 May 2020 03:16
URI: http://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/2945

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