University of Virginia, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Aihwa Ong (UC Berkeley), "The China Flight: Territorializing Rights in Global Platforms

March 28, 2019

Bio: As a foreign-born anthropologist, Aihwa Ong has always approached research from vantage points outside or athwart the United States. This angle of inquiry unsettles and troubles stabilized viewpoints and units of analysis in the social sciences.  From her early work on Muslim factory women in Malaysia, to the experiences of migrant Chinese and Cambodian refugees in California; from the selective deployment of neoliberal norms to the rise of biotech projects in Asia, Ong explores how the interaction between global forms and situated politics and cultures shape emerging globalized contexts. 


Ong's inter-disciplinary approach and her ideas -- "flexible citizenship," "graduated sovereignty," "global assemblages," among others _ are featured in debates on globalization and modernity. She has lectured internationally and been invited to the World Economic Forum. Her awards include grants from the MacArthur Foundation and the National Science Foundation, and some book prizes.


"The China Flight: Territorializing Rights in Global Platforms"

Thursday, March 28, 5:15-6:45pm, Nau 101

Reception to follow

     A tidal wave of people and capital out of China highlights contrary claims on liberalism. Whereas liberal citizenship underpins the rights of citizen- subjects, economic liberalism instigates territorialized rights for elite migrants.  Indeed, accelerated flows intensify the symbiosis between mobile foreign elites and global zones governed by liberal regulatory regimes.  Western cities compete to capture and organize flows of capital and talents from emerging economies by acting as global enclaves of protected wealth, rights, and privilege.  Such de facto city-states seek less to be national containers of citizenship than to be international platforms for territorializing mobile actors, assets, and activities in a world of global liquidity.

Homer Statue
Nau Hall 101
5:15 pm - 6:45 pm