Photo of Xiaobei Chen

Xiaobei Chen

Professor, Associate Chair

Phone:613-520-2600 x 3990
Email:xiaobei.chen@carleton.ca
Office:D793 Loeb Building

Areas of Interest

Theorizing of citizenship, governance, identity, and cultural politics in Canadian and Chinese national and transnational contexts, the child and the construction of modernity, diaspora studies, governmentality, feminist theory, post-colonialism, pragmatism.

About

Xiaobei Chen was born in Guiyang in the southwestern part of China. She received her B.A. from Guizhou University, M.Phil. from the University of Hong Kong, and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. She was awarded a Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Alberta (2001-2003). She has carried out policy, archival, and ethnographic research in China and Canada. She is the author of Tending the Gardens of Citizenship: Child Saving in Toronto, 1880s-1920s (University of Toronto Press, 2005), co-author of History of the Li Minority in Hainan Province, China: The Case of Collective Production Practice (2008), and co-editor of Social Work for Women in the Chinese Context (2007).

Her current SSHRC-funded project studies familial, custodial and pedagogical relations between Chinese children and white Canadians in two sets of transnational processes: 1) contemporary adoptions of Chinese children to Canada; and 2) Canadian Christian mission work in China (1880s – 1950s). The project was nominated by the SSHRC Interdisciplinary Committee for the Aurora Prize in 2005. Her present writing focuses on the trajectory of problematizations of cultural differences, conceptions about the Chinese Other, the hegemonic ideas about the criteria and modes of belonging and non-belonging in racial and cultural terms, and practices of subject-making that simultaneously constitute normative subjectivities in the Chinese children and white adults.

Since joining Carleton in 2005, she has taught contemporary sociological theory and transnational feminist politics at the undergraduate level, and critical studies of race and ethnicity at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

She has consulted to community groups and governments on research projects about multiculturalism, immigration and settlement, racism, and equity.

Works in Progress

Chen, Xiaobei. “Cultural Citizenship in Intimate Transnational Encounter: Comparing Christian Missionary Philanthropy (1880s-1950s) and Transnational Adoption (1990s – present), Canada and China.”

Chen, Xiaobei. “The Child’s Right to a Cultural Identity and the Governance of Intercountry Adoption.”

Chen, Xiaobei and Eugenie Lam. “Children in the Politics of Constructing a Chinese Heritage Identity.”
Recent Publications

Books

Chen Xiaobei. Tending the Gardens of Citizenship: Child Saving in Toronto, 1880s-1920s. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005, 197pp.

Liu, Meng, Xiaobei Chen, and Sheila Neysmith. Eds. Social Work for Women in the Chinese Context. Beijing: the Chinese Labour and Social Security Press, 2007. (in Chinese with English abstracts).

Chen, Lihao, Chen Lan and Xiaobei Chen, History of the Li Minority in Hainan Province, China: The Case of Collective Production Practice. Haikou: Nanhai Publishing House, 2008, 198pp. (in Chinese)

Journal articles and book chapters:

Chen, Xiaobei. “The Child-Citizen and the Biopolitics of Recasting Citizenship,” in Recasting the Social in Citizenship, edited by Engin Isin. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008.

Chen, Xiaobei. “Sexual Harassment: the New Name’s Implications for an Old Problem.” In Social Work for Women in the Chinese Context, edited by Liu Meng, Xiaobei Chen and Sheila Neysmith.

Beijing: the Chinese Labour and Social Security Press, 2007 (in Chinese with English abstract).

Liu Meng, Xiaobei Chen, Sheila Neysmith. “Women, Restructuring and Feminist Social Work.” In Social Work for Women in the Chinese Context, edited by Liu Meng, Xiaobei Chen and Sheila Neysmith. Beijing: the Chinese Labour and Social Security Press, 2007 (in Chinese with English abstract).

Chen, Xiaobei. “Black Atlantic, Chinese Pacific: Some Thoughts on Heritage Celebration and Cultural Politics in the Case of Intercountry Adoptions from China to Canada.” Asia-Pacific News 18, no. 2(2005): pp.2-3, Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives, University of Victoria.

Chen, Xiaobei. “Constituting ‘Dangerous Parents’ through the Spectre of Child Death: A Critique of Child Protection Restructuring in Ontario.” In Making Normal: Social Regulation in Canada, edited by Deborah Brock, pp.209-234. Scarborough, Ontario: Thomson Nelson, 2003.

Chen, Xiaobei. “The Birth of the Child-Victim Citizen.” In Re-Inventing Canada: Politics of the 21st Century, edited by Janine Brodie and Linda Trimble, pp.189-202. Pearson Education Canada, 2003.

Chen, Xiaobei. ” ‘Cultivating Children as You Would Valuable Plants:’ the Gardening Governmentality of Child Saving, Toronto, Canada, 1880s-1920s.” The Journal of Historical Sociology 16, no.4 (2003): pp.460-486.

Neysmith, Sheila and Xiaobei Chen. “Understanding How Globalization and Restructuring Affect Women’s Lives: Implications for Comparative Policy Analysis.” International Journal of Social Welfare 11 (2002): pp.243-53.

Chen, Xiaobei. “Is It All Neo-Liberal? – Some Reflections on Child Protection Policy and Neo-Conservatism in Ontario.” Canadian Review of Social Policy, No. 45 & 46 (2000): pp.237-46.