Theorising Transcultural Connectedness in an Era of Global Uncertainty

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperOther chapter contributionpeer-review


In a global era of uncertainty, encounters between East and West are now more ambiguous than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened a sense of exceptionalism with constraints on the mobility of people and trade, and however, digital connections have exponentially enhanced global transcultural communications. The chapter begins by contesting the Eurocentric legacy of regarding other cultures in its own image and appropriating other cultures through its social science and methodologies, and then it addresses how orientalism is challenged by deprovincialising Europe and debunking the assertion that Europe provides the only and true path to modernity. The chapter then critiques the hypothesis of a ‘clash of civilisations’ by demonstrating how we all live in a transcultural moment where all aspects of the social and historic being between East and West are interconnected. The interconnectedness is established in a series of case studies of encounters between Australia and China via differing kinds of discourse: trade, media, urbanisation, philosophy, education, ecology and cultural practice. These case studies confirm the argument that the exceptional circumstances created by the pandemic have facilitated intense transcultural knowledge production and consumption and intellectual collaboration, albeit more by communication than physical encounters. The chapter argues that cultural encounters of the past weigh heavily on the present, as Australia regards itself as an outpost of European heritage and China has five thousand years of its own civilisation, and that transcultural engagements are paramount in enriching mutual respect between the two nations and peoples, and beyond.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTranscultural Connections
Subtitle of host publicationAustralia and China
EditorsGreg McCarthy, Youzhong Sun, Xianlin Song
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9789811650284
ISBN (Print)9789811650277
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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