IPCR: “Women’s Migration Amid Politicaland Economic Transformation: A Comparative Study of China and Southeast Asia”

You are cordially invited the following event organized by the Joint
Research of CSEAS (IPCR), “Women’s Migration Amid Political and Economic
Transformation: A Comparative Study of China and Southeast Asia” . The
event is open to everyone.

Date: January 17, 2019 (Friday) 13:30-15:00
Venue: CSEAS (Center for Southeast Asian Studies), Kyoto University,
Inamori Foundation Memorial Building, 201 (“Tonan-tei”)

13:30-14:30 “Framing Subjectivity, Identities, Mobility & Multiple
Modernities: The Life History Narratives and Migratory Experiences of
the Hmub Women in Southeastern Guizhou” by Prof. Mei-Ling Chien
(National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan)

14:30-15:00 General discussion

Mei-ling Chien is Professor of Cultural Anthropology at National Chiao
Tung University. Her special fields include kinship, gender and the
anthropology of emotions among the Hmub (Miao/Hmong) in Southwest China.
She is the author of the book, Sentiment and Marriage among the Miao in
Eastern Guizhou (Guiyang: Guizhou University Press, 2009) and the
co-editor of the book, the Hakka: Formation and Transformation (Hsinchu:
National Chiao Tung University Press, 2010). She has published a series
of articles related to the above theoretical and areal interests for
more than 15 years. She is now staying at CSEAS of Kyoto University as a
visiting research scholar in August 2019-January 2020.

Mass migration from rural to urban areas is one of the most visible and
significant aspects of the “rise of China.” Personal experiences both
describe and help us interpret such macro phenomena. This paper is an
ethnography that draws on the author’s ongoing ethnographic fieldwork in
Hmub (Hmong/Miao) villages in the highlands of southeastern Guizhou
since 1997, in particular, field trips in 2011 and 2014. It aims to
explore identity, mobility, marginality, and multiple modernities
through personal histories and narratives that deal with the
cross-regional movement of Hmub-speaking individuals and families, and
the villages and counties they inhabit. Life history narratives not only
help us to reconstruct and interpret the lives of real people through
empirical methodology, but also relate to concepts of performance,
existence and linguistic practice. In particular, this paper focuses on
the life histories of Hmub women and their experiences of rural-urban
migration in southeastern Guizhou (Qiandongnan). Through the study of
these cases, this paper describes and discusses personal experiences and
social transformation from the 1920s to 2010s, showing how Hmub women
migrants frame their own subjectivity, identity, mobility and multiple
modernities through narrating their own life histories. The paper is
based on empirical data gathered through in-depth interviews,
participant observation and historical research.

Keywords: life history, narratives, rural-urban migration, gender,
subjectivity, identity, mobility, multiple modernities, Hmub,
Southeastern Guizhou

Wakana Sato, Niigata University of International and Information Studies