Riches and Belonging: Global Diasporas in the 20th Century Pt. II

Freitag, 7. Juni
14:15 bis 15:45 Uhr

The relationship between (the absence of) riches and belonging in global diasporas in the 20th century will be the overarching theme of the two proposed panels. The panels will try to shed new light on how flows of money, knowledge, and ideas of (self-) status affected senses of belonging, discourses of legitimacy, and notions of citizenship in different colonial, crypto-colonial, non-colonial and post-colonial contexts.

The two panels will bring together historians working with different regional foci and will take into consideration the often-problematic triadic connections between diaspora communities, host societies/states and the societies/states in their region of origin. In particular, the main aspects that the panels intend to analyze are:

1) The role of poverty and wealth as qualifying or disqualifying factors to determine inclusion in and belonging to a polity

2) The increasing attention paid to the economic potential of diasporas/migrant communities and the efforts to appropriate them in order to generate national wealth

3) The elaboration of developmental economic policies aimed at generating discourses of legitimacy and entitlement for migrant communities in a host society

In this second panel, the paper by Cyrus Schayegh will explore how late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Zionist economic policy makers in Palestine defined and defended the Zionist enterprise as a boon to both the Ottoman and British empires. By studying these intra-imperial relationships, this paper will complicate the ways in which we understand developmentalism against the backdrop of competing empires. The paper by Mark Frost will explore the lived and represented experiences of belonging to the Chinese diaspora in late-colonial Southeast Asia. Reading more closely these testimonies contributes to challenging and complicating the official ‘Singapore Story’ of rapid upward social mobility and wealth accumulation. Ultimately, Elena Valdameri’s paper will examine an important shift in the notion of belonging and citizenship in India from the early twentieth century to the post-liberalizations period. It will show that, whereas in colonial India the idea of citizenship was based on territorialized notions of sacrifice, thrift and austerity, in the following decades this discourse (and the law) was shaped by de-territorialized visions of ‘Indianness’, allowing for the inclusion of wealthy South Asian diaspora groups.