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This research project emerges from the overarching question: How did Chinese creative musical practices contribute to the making of New Zealand from the mid-nineteenth century to the 1980s? Research on this topic is currently informed by a number of historical newspaper reports of Chinese performance practices, especially through music and Chinese New Year celebrations, as well as oral history as transmitted through the shared memories of members of the Chinese communities in New Zealand. Knowledge of such creative activities has often been hidden from mainstream or local community media, and even when disseminated more broadly, it has not always been interpreted with the same degree of celebration as some other types of creative practices. It is here that the project re-thinks broader minority cultural contributions to creative activities in the context of changing perspectives of nationhood in the historical period under study.

This project is supported by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange. (Henry Johnson, 11 September 2018)