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The Right Kind of Other: Multicultural Imperialism and Flexible Citizenship in Women’s Olympic Beach Volleyball

Fri, Nov 11, 12:30 to 1:45pm, Palais des Congrès, 520A (LCD)

Abstract

How did an ethnically Chinese woman from Canada come to represent the African continent at the Olympics? This paper examines the multinational migratory athlete Elodie Li Yuk Lo: one of the first women from Mauritius to compete in beach volleyball at the 2012 Games. Elodie’s journey to the Olympics reveals privileging of Western multicultural rhetorics that obfuscate geopolitical inequalities while re-inscribing dominant racial and cultural narratives (Moallem et al. 1999). Her story also uncovers how she accessed and benefited from global Asian settler networks to succeed as a racially marked athlete in a sexualized sport with Euro-American heteronormative aesthetic standards.

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