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Fwd: Podcast Interview: Cultivating Membership in Taiwan and Beyond

Cultivating Membership in Taiwan and Beyond Relational Citizenship


Citizenship is traditionally viewed as a legal status to be possessed. Cultivating Membership in Taiwan and Beyond: Relational Citizenship (Lexington, 2021) proposes the concept of relational citizenship to articulate the value-laden, interactive nature of belongingness. Hsin-I Cheng examines the role of relationality which produces and is a product of localized emotions. Cheng attends to particular histories and global trajectories embedded within uneven power relations. By focusing on Taiwan, a non-Western society with a tradition to adeptly attune to local experiences and those from various global influences, relational citizenship highlights the measures used to define and encourage interactions with newcomers. This book shows the multilayered communicative processes in which relations are gradually created, challenged, merged, disrupted, repaired, and solidified. Cheng further argues that this concept is not bound to nation-state geographic boundaries as relationality bleeds through national borders. Relational citizenship has the potential to move beyond the East vs. West epistemology to examine peoples’ lived realities wherein the sense of belonging is discursively accomplished, viscerally experienced, and publicly performed.

Hsin-I Cheng is an associate professor in the Communication department at Santa Clara University. Her research and teaching interests focus on how multiple identities intersect and influence human interaction and relationships. She is the author of Culturing Interface: Identity, Communication, and Chinese Transnationalism (2008), and her work appears in Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, Language and Intercultural Communication, and Women & Language.

Li-Ping Chen is Postdoctoral Scholar and Teaching Fellow in the East Asian Studies Center at the University of Southern California. Her research interests include literary translingualism, diaspora, and nativism in Sinophone, inter-Asian, and transpacific contexts.


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