Registration for Dragon Tails 2019 is now open.

Theme: Translation and Transformation
Location: Hunter Building, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Date: Wed 20 – Sat 23 November 2019
  Wednesday will be pre-conference tours and events
Convenors: Grace Gassin, Karen Schamberger

See Draft programme for conference details.

Following on from the success of the Dragon Tails conferences at Ballarat (2009), Melbourne (2011), Wollongong (2013), Cairns (2015) and Bendigo (2017) we will be holding, in Wellington, the sixth Dragon Tails, an Australasian conference on Chinese diaspora history and heritage.

This conference will be hosted by Wai-te-ata Press at the Victoria University of Wellington.


This year’s conference theme highlights the processes of translation and transformation that have been central to the histories of Chinese diaspora around the world. By transformation we mean the shifts in ideas, meanings and practice over time and the ways they have impacted Chinese diasporic communities. By translation we mean the ways people and organisations have interpreted, in a historical sense, significant events, meanings and ideas related to the Chinese diaspora for other audiences.

Keynote speakers will be Manying Ip and Kate Bagnall.

Professor Emeritus Manying Ip from the University of Auckland will speak on “Negotiating an Identity beyond Race: the Chinese in New Zealand and Australia”. She will explore the parallel and, at times, interconnecting histories of the Chinese on both sides of the Tasman Sea. She is the author of several books on the Chinese in New Zealand, including Being Maori-Chinese: Mixed Identities (AUP, 2008), and the editor of Unfolding History, Evolving Identity: The Chinese in New Zealand (AUP, 2003). 

Dr Kate Bagnall from the University of Tasmania will speak on “Naturalised Chinese in the Australasian Colonies: Rights, Race and Mobility”. She will explore the connected histories of Chinese naturalisation in the British settler colonies of Australia and New Zealand, using the naturalisation files of Chinese New Zealanders in the second half of the nineteenth century as a case study. Kate's research focuses on histories of women, children and the family, and legal histories of migration and citizenship. Kate is @baibi on Twitter and you can find her research blog at

Dragon Tails 2019: Translation and Transformation is supported by a local organising committee, comprising:
• Lynette Shum, Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand
• Liz Ngan, Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust
• Kerry Ann Lee, College of Creative Arts, Massey University
• Ya-Wen Ho, Wai-te-ata Press, Victoria University of Wellington
• Sydney Shep, Wai-te-ata Press, Victoria University of Wellington
• Jason Young, New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington
• Grace Gassin, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

The Dragon Tails conferences promote research into the histories and heritage of Chinese people, their descendants and their associates, in Australasia (Australia and New Zealand). The conferences also encourage awareness of the connections of Chinese in Australasia with the histories of Chinese people, their descendants and their associates in other countries.

Dragon Tails conferences encourage an approach to history which combines the skills and interests of academic, community, local, family, professional, independent and amateur historians, archaeologists and heritage workers, as well as other professionals, academics and writers with an express interest in this field of research.

Dragon Tails conferences are auspiced by the Dragon Tails Association Inc.

Missed out on the previous Dragon Tails conferences?

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