Eurasian Persuasions: Mixed Race, Performativity and Cosmopolitanism

Eurasian Persuasions: Mixed Race, Performativity and Cosmopolitanism

Journal of Intercultural Studies
Volume 28, Issue 1 (February 2007)
pages 41-54
DOI: 10.1080/07256860601082921

Julie Matthews, Associate Professor
School of Education
University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Eurasians are ‘in’. We are the poster children of globalisation. In Asia, and increasingly in the West, mixed-race Eurasian models charm us with their cosmopolitan chic. Terms previously used to demarcate impure outsiders such as Eurasian mixed-race, hybridity, mestiza, hapa, haafu, Euro-Asian and Anglo-Asian have recently been given an affirmative spin. This essay argues that the appeal, allure and persuasions of Eurasian/mixed-race are as much an effect of its commodified production as a cosmopolitan figure with automatic racial, cultural and national border crossing attributes, as its capacity and potential to claim for itself a location and space of visibility. Framed as a performative, the visual aesthetics and cosmopolitan attributes of Eurasian/mixed-race are explored in relation to postcolonial practices of racialisation and sexualisation under globalisation. Factors evoked in the constitution of Eurasian/mixed race delimit rather than preclude its promise of an expansive transnational/transcultural cosmopolitan future.

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