Reorienting HK’s struggle–cfp

Reorienting Hong Kong’s Struggle: Leftism, Decoloniality, and Internationalism
Edited by: Wen Liu, JN Chien, Christina YZ Chung, Ellie Tse
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Call for Submission of Book Chapters

Decolonial and leftist perspectives on Hong Kong have been important but largely sidelined or unidentified voices in the city’s recent struggles for democracy and self-determination, which have produced far-ranging international reverberations. Although discourses and practices that have emerged, such as labour union organizing and boycotting, may not explicitly operate under the banners of leftism or decoloniality in Hong Kong, examining them under these frameworks of thought can offer significant historical and transnational sight-lines with which to contextualize and interpret its impact. This book project is an attempt to delineate leftist thought and decolonial practices that have emerged in Hong Kong in the midst of its social movements, so as to identify its presence within Hong Kong and further establish Hong Kong’s contributions within a larger, global discourse on leftism and decoloniality.

By “decolonial,” we mean to situate Hong Kong’s struggles not only in the face of multiple forms of imperial domination and authoritarian repression, but also persistent social inequalities, political injustice, and economic disenfranchisement within Hong Kong society along race, class, gender, and sexual lines. Leftist and decolonial groups such as The Owl (夜貓) and Lausan Collective (流傘) have translated, published, and amplified leftist perspectives from Hong Kong and its diasporas to contribute towards transnational discourses that are attempting to chart alternative futures beyond the dictates of colonialism, the bounds of nation-state sovereignty, as well as the logics of neoliberalism and capitalism. We (the editors) see this book as a continuation and deepening of these efforts.

From the Anti-Extradition Bill Amendments Law (Anti-ELAB) protests, the COVID-19 global pandemic, and the implementation of the National Security Law (NSL), crises in Hong Kong continue to unfold and demand new ways of theorizing these struggles beyond the reductionist binaries of democracy and authoritarianism, independence and annexation, capitalism and communism, freedom and repression. The continuous police violence and the securitization of the Hong Kong state through the NSL, for instance, has necessarily placed Hong Kong’s movement in critical conversations with police abolitionists in other global locations. How can we understand the city’s present struggles by considering Hong Kong’s nascent and historical “internationalism”? In the face of the “New Cold War” rhetoric between the imperial geopolitical contests of the U.S., U.K., and China, what are the politics and strategies against the seduction of global right-wing “solidarity”?

In the context of Hong Kong, state governance is not singular but multiple—the PRC’s Beijing Authority, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, the continuous entanglement with the British regime, as well as Hongkongers’ construction of an alternative “state/non-state” entity through social movements. We seek contributions that can unpack polymorphic enactments and analyses of the state, including the movement against neoliberal capital; abolitionist politics; the contested practice of “occupation;” the rise of the “yellow economy;” and the border politics that have evoked questions around nationality as well as race and ethnicity, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the emergence and consolidation of the “Hongkonger” identity requires us to understand Hong Kong’s entanglements with whiteness during the British colonial era; Hongkongers’ reactions to Mainland Chinese “new arrivals”; historical right of abode issues pertaining to refugees and migrant workers; as well as class, ethnic, and racial stratifications that lie within,are excluded from, or obscured by the Hongkonger category. All of the above issues have been inadvertently challenged and necessarily re-imagined in the midst of Hong Kong’s mass protests.

In the context of this continual challenging and re-imagining of Hong Kong’s struggles, we invite interdisciplinary contributions that can situate the past, present, or future of Hong Kong in the frameworks of empire, imperialism, coloniality, capitalism, (non)sovereignty, and the “New Cold War,” in relation to the debates around political autonomy, statehood, labor, border, migration, surveillance, care, disaster, identity, and transnational solidarity that they have provoked. We encourage submissions that approach the following categories of keywords from a wide range of methods (such as media analysis, visual analysis, or ethnography, for example), which can not only deepen our understandings of these keywords, their categorical groupings, and/or their inter-categorical relationships in the context of Hong Kong but also re-orient these conversations through their decolonial possibilities:

  1. Empire/Imperialism/Coloniality
  2. New Cold War/New Internationalism
  3. Non-sovereignty/Statelessness
  4. Labor/Anti-Capitalism/General Strike
  5. Police State/Surveillance/Police Abolition/Haakging/
  6. Localism/Language/Left Localism/Yellow Economy
  7. Migrants/Nativism/Hongkonger
  8. Masks/Biopolitics/Security
  9. Praxis/Translations/Reflexivity
  10. Temporality/Emergency/2047/National Security Law
  11. Diaspora/Transnational Solidarity
  12. Queerness/Kinship/Gender Dynamics/Misogyny
  13. Virus/Quarantine/Pandemic/Mutual Aid

Please send your inquiries, abstract submission (250 words), and short biography (100 words) to Dr. Wen Liu,, by November 1, 2020. The decision on your contribution to the book will be sent out by November 15, 2020. Your final book chapter submission will be due by February 15, 2021. Final book chapter submissions should be between 2000-3000 words, including references.

About the Editors:
WEN LIU is Assistant Research Fellow at the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, in Taipei, Taiwan. She writes and researches on transnational queer politics, Asian/American movements, transpacific relations, and Taiwanese sovereignty. She is working on an award-winning book with the University of Illinois Press, titled: Assembling Asian America: Psychological Technologies and Queer Subjectivities.

JN CHIEN is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. His dissertation centers on Hong Kong, Vietnam, and the Philippines and examines the political-economic shifts caused by US settler militarism during the Cold War that led to mass labor and refugee migration across and within the Pacific.

CHRISTINA YUEN ZI CHUNG is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington. Her research examines the interconnections between gender and decolonisation in Hong Kong through the city’s contemporary art production, which is conceptualised as a site of submerged knowledges and decolonial possibilities in her analysis.

ELLIE TSE is a Ph.D. student in Cultural and Comparative Studies at the Department of  Asian Languages & Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research addresses the aftermath of inter-imperial encounters via visual, spatial and architectural practices across the Sinophone Pacific with a focus on Hong Kong.

Christopher Chien, Ph.D. Candidate | USC American Studies and Ethnicity

Editorial, Research | Lausan 流傘 Collective

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