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Papers from 'Migration, Logistics and Unequal Citizens in Contemporary Global Context'

Taylor & Francis Online: Collection on Migration, Logistics and Unequal Citizens in Contemporary Global Context

The papers of this special issue come from a series of workshops on ‘Migration, Logistics and Unequal Citizens in Contemporary Global Context’, convened as part of a CHCI-Mellon Global Humanities Institute (GHI) in Taiwan, Malaysia, and Vietnam across 2021-2022. The GHI are multi-year projects devoted to a research theme, method, practice, or problem in the humanities that would benefit directly from a sustained international and collaborative approach with multiple disciplinary perspectives.

The rapid rise of international migrants in the twenty-first century has changed the meanings of identity and belonging for many people today. According to the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the total number of international migrants amounted to 272 million in 2019, up from 173 million in 2000. Compared to 70 million international migrants in 1960, the figure has increased by 200 million. These international migrants live and work in different cities, as second or third-generation immigrants or as temporary contracted laborers, forced laborers, trafficked persons, voting banks, or asylum seekers. Whether assimilated, integrated, or as temporary guest workers, they face daily social exclusion and questions of ambiguous identity and integration: Do they belong to the place? Are they acknowledged as legitimate members of the communities? Are they being utilized for political purposes or as pure labour? Have they obtained equal citizenship, or is their citizenship status suspected or denied only because of a host regime's whim?

The contributors to this special issue deal with the question of identities erased, forged, invalidated, or regained in various politico-economic conditions. Md Reza Habib analyzes how the introduction of Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh creates conflict and unequal access to social resources both for the locals and the refugees. Ho Thanh Tam & Dinh Phuong Linh explain how the five waves of Kinh migration to the Central Highlands in the twentieth century have altered the region's population and landscape. Le Thi Mai presents the precarious condition of the migrant workers in Ho Chi Minh City's industrial parks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Andrea Del Bono shows us how Chinese migration to Proto (Italy) has transformed and constructed the ‘Creative District’ in the city. Stella Jang explains how migrant wives in South Korea suffer limited opportunities to influence or respond to the expectations of the Korean state and in-law families. Chris Campanioni offers cases showing how migrants and displaced persons use self-forgery and dissimilation in the service of mobility. Cecelia Cmielewski highlights how artists create a space of belonging through negotiation, conviviality, and interculturality.

Edited by:

  • Professor Joyce C. H. Liu (National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Taiwan)
  • Associate Professor John Hutnyk(Ton Duc Thang University, Vietnam.)
  • Associate Professor. Sudarat Musikawong (Mahidol University, Thailand)
  • Ko-Lun Chen (National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Taiwan)


  1. "Reserve army of Ho Chi Minh City: migrant workers in the Ho Chi Minh City's industrial parks and processing export zones under the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic" *Author: Thi Mai Le (GHI Faculty) Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, Ton Duc Thang University (TDTU), Vietnam
  2. "How minor immigrants became the dominants: the case of the Kinh people migrating to the Central Highlands, Vietnam in the twentieth century" *Author: Ho Thanh Tam (GHI participant) & Dinh Phuong Linh, Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Vietnam, Vietnam
  3. "Multiculturalism in South Korea: putting migrant wives in their place" *Author: Stella Jang (GHI Participant), Independent Scholar, Canberra, Australia
  4. "More than ‘creative’: analyzing place branding strategies and Chinese migration in the City of Prato, Italy" *Author: Andrea Del Bono (GHI Participant), IRIS – Istituto di Ricerche e Interventi Sociali, Prato, Italy
  5. "Documenting disappearance: self-forgery and dissimulation as a means of mobility" Chris Campanioni (GHI Participant), The Graduate Center/CUNY, New York, NY, USA
  6. Intercultural creative expression in two Australian performance works – Counting and Cracking and Mother Tongue, Cecelia Cmielewski (GHI Participant), Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University, Rydalmere, Australia