Julie Tian Miao – State Inc. And Asian Diasporas in Knowledge Spaces
March 18 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Speaker: Julie Tian Miao, Associate Professor in Property and Economic Development, University of Melbourne; Visiting Scholar, Harvard University Asia Center
Moderator: Anthony J. Saich, Daewoo Professor of International Affairs; Director, Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia, Harvard Kennedy School
Drawing insights from three relevant yet largely separated fields of scholarship on diaspora, science policies, and (extra-)territorial development, Professor Julie Miao will conceptualize and assess how Asian tech diasporas experience knowledge space as an assemblage of ‘ethnoscape’ and ‘ideoscape’ – terms used by Appadurai, 1990 to chart the global landscapes of modernity. Focusing on Chinese, Japanese, and Korean diasporas working in biotech and related sectors in the Boston Metropolitan area, her study used ethnography and thick descriptions to examine the forming of Asian diasporas’ lived and worked experience as part of the ethnoscape and how it is shaping and shaped by the ideoscape of their homeland. Emerging evidence shows that inter-generation differences in the forming and evolving of an ethnoscape are much stronger than the inter-nationality differences; the stereotypical views about Asia and Asian people are as much self-reinforced as they are externally imposed. Most Asian tech diaspora members aim to embed themselves in the host country’s science and technology landscape, and it is the United States’ extraterritorial and national security policies that are exerting a far more significant impact on their career projections and ambitions compared to their homeland.