The personal is political: Revisiting "english" and "homeland" by reading Shirley Geok-Lin Lim's Hong Kong poetry

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1 Citation (Scopus)


In the 1970s, when Carol Hanisch proposes that "the personal is political, "she emphasizes how all personal issues - including challenges, choices, and behaviors - carry their political imports. Therefore, while we examine individual experiences, we can expect to understand the historical and political contexts of the public, and seek for solutions to problems if there is any. In the studies of Oversea Chinese, we observe how Shirley Geok-lin Lim, a Chinese Malaysian who has become naturalized in the United States, represents an untypical diasporic prototype as she is often traveling from one place to another and in an "in-between"position, different from traditional paradigms of settlement or diaspora. This essay focuses the analysis on the usage of English and the concept about homeland to read poetry written by Shirley Lim in Hong Kong, so as to investigate how her personal experience could bespeak the political and cultural identifications for people in Hong Kong.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-181
Number of pages15
JournalTranslocal Chinese: East Asian Perspectives
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • English
  • Homeland
  • Hong Kong
  • Shirley Geok-lin Lim
  • The personal is political

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development


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