Asian Australian voices

Stuff happens | Photo by Kim Tairi Released under CC licence:
Ninja | Photo by Kim Tairi
Released under CC licence:

Just recently, the lovely Katherine Firth (@katrinafee on Twitter) asked what I’d suggest if she wanted to read more from Asian voices in Australia on various sociopolitical issues.

Specifically, she outlined the genres of text she was interested in as “Sociology/ reportage / special editions journals / activist polemic”.

I started crafting a few tweets in my head, and thought of several links and articles straight away, then realised that it was probably much more useful – and user-friendly – if I just blogged it!

At first, when I thought about what Katherine had asked for, I felt overwhelmed. I couldn’t think of what might be the best places to get started or which articles to read. I’d been immersed in Asian Australian Studies perspectives on everything for so long, I had to take a deliberate step back to see how a (savvy, highly intelligent, research-oriented) newcomer might most usefully find a way into the diverse and multi-voiced material that’s out there.

So, here’s a work-in-progress list, much like the Australian women writers of diverse heritage list that I began in 2012 (which is really out of date – go and add new suggestions for listing and I’ll do it!).

This is by no means a comprehensive list – it’s a starting place. It’s only the material that is coming to my mind right now.

The listing is inflected with my biases and reading habits. I am not, for example, a huge reader of blogs overall – but I’ll read some blogs religiously.


  • Peril, an Asian Australian arts + culture magazine. Now 10 years old, Peril is a goldmine of Asian Australian cultural and political commentary. There’s a very strong creative arts and writing thread through this publication, and many fabulous collaborations with other Asian Australian-focused groups (e.g. special issues in 2012 with the Asian Australian Film Forum Network). The current edition (#24 – “Asians to watch out for”) is an absolute cracker – you must read Eleanor Jackson’s editorial on its launch.
  • Mascara Literary Review is, as it states, focused on literary forms. It’s a publication that features the work of contemporary migrant, Asian Australian and Indigenous writers in particular.

SPECIAL JOURNAL ISSUES (academic) that focused on Asian Australian culture, politics, community:

  • Amerasia 36.2 (2010)
  • Journal of Australian Studies 65 (2000) | 32.4 (2008)
  • Journal of Intercultural Studies 27.1-2 (2006) | 35.3 (2014)


  • A section of Peril‘s website is dedicated to the AADC blog (Asian Australian Democracy Caucus). This blog provides political commentary and analysis. If you’re interested in thoughtful, insightful writing on Australian politics as seen through a racialised lens, that isn’t about grabbing a headline, check it out.
  • Southern Crossings is a quality group blog featuring a range of South Asian Australian voices and perspectives on culture and politics.
  • Jen Tsen Kwok blogs consistently on Asian Australian politics and society at Borderless Democracy.
  • Ruth De Souza has great blogs on “Health research, Cultural Safety. Migrant Maternity”.
  • Mabel Kwong is a regular and very popular blogger who writes through a deliberate Asian Australian lens.


Please comment with refs to additional writers and specific, spot-on articles or posts! I know I’ve missed a whole heap…

6 thoughts on “Asian Australian voices

  1. Thanks for the shuotout and link, Tseen. I am flattered and humbled that you included me in the list. Over the last year I feel that I am running out of topics to write and to put it loosely, my writing or blogging has become a bit “flat”, that I can be more engaging. Off the top of my head, I can’t seem to think of anything to add to the list, lol 😀 Love this list of Asian Australian material that you put together and I am going to check it out to see what’s been happening in the Asian Oz community 🙂

    1. I’ve always admired your consistent and wide-ranging writing, Mabel. I tend to go between wanting to write All the Things to feeling like I have nothing to say (or that everyone’s already said it, and said it better…!).

      Hope you have fun checking out some of the links – there’s so much fantastic stuff to read. It often leads me (and maybe, hopefully, you?) to want to participate in the conversation around certain topics, or getting worked up about some aspect that hasn’t been represented yet. All good fodder for further writing. 🙂

  2. Pingback: the past beats inside me like a second linkspam

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s