Wrap-up: Dragon Tales 2017 Conference

23-26 November, Golden Dragon Museum, Bendigo, Victoria

Hilda Maclean

Between the 23rd and 26th of November 2017, I presented at Dragon Tails 2017: Hopes, Dreams and Realities hosted by the Golden Dragon Museum, Bendigo. This 5th Australasian Conference on Chinese Diaspora History & Heritage​ featured 31 speakers from all over Australia, New Zealand, Christmas Island and Beijing; and a further 40 or so participants.  Being a single-stream conference, every session was well attended and the need to choose from the array of high quality papers was eliminated. The keynote speaker was the vibrant Professor Madeline Y. Hsu  from the University of Texas – Austin who presented Migrant Imaginaries, Imagining the Immigrant: Hang Liwu and the (In)Eligibility of Chinese for U.S. Citizenship​. A number of related books were launched or re-introduced to conference attendees.

The pre-conference tour included visits to the Chinese cemeteries at White Hills, Bendigo General, Campbells Creek​ and Vaughan which made this particular delegate especially happy with the opportunity to collect comparative material for a planned paper on Queensland Chinese cemeteries. True to form, she also failed to notice that the temperature was in the high 30s. The conference dinner at a local Chinese restaurant provided further opportunities for networking  as did the delicious morning and afternoon teas and lunches provided by the Museum.

The strength of Dragon Tails is that it provides a platform for presenting research conducted by academics, professional and amateur historians, linguists and film makers alike to an engaged audience, judging by the number of well-directed questions.

Anyone interested in Chinese diaspora history do not have to wait for the next Dragon Tales conference in two years time.  The Chinese Heritage In North Australia Incorporated (CHINA Inc.)  7th “no fuss” Conference “Northern Links: Protecting Their Interests and Pushing Back” will be held in Townsville, on the 3rd and 4th of March 2018​. Abstracts can be submitted until 6 January 2018. http://ChinaInc.yolasite.com.

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