Publication Details

Ommundsen, W. "Exoticism or visceral cosmopolitanism: difference and desire in Chinese Australian women's writing." Journal of Intercultural Studies 40 .5 (2019): 595-607.


In Visceral Cosmopolitanism, Mica Nava posits a positive and, by her own admission, utopian alternative to postcolonial readings of the sexualisation of difference: a cosmopolitanism located with the antiracist 'micro-narratives and encounters of the emotional, gendered and domestic everyday' (2007: 14). Olivia Khoo, in The Chinese Exotic, defines a new, diasporic Chineseness which 'conceives of women and femininity, not as the oppressed, but as forming part of the new visibility of Asia' (2007: 12). My reading of recent fiction by Chinese Australian women writers proposes to test these theories against more established models for understanding East/West intimate encounters such as exoticism, Orientalism and Occidentalism, speculating that they may offer a more nuanced understanding of both the complexity and the normalisation of difference in the affective cultures of the twenty-first century.

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