Dreams of Flight – in conversation with Fran Martin | WEBINAR

July 28 2022

In Dreams of Flight (Duke University Press, 2022) Fran Martin, Associate Professor and Reader in Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne, explores how young women from China negotiate competing pressures while studying in Australian universities. Unmarried middle-class students from the single-child generations are encouraged to develop themselves as professionals through international education, and mould themselves into independent, cosmopolitan, career-oriented individuals. But they also face strong neo-traditionalist pressures from the state, society and their families that push them to marry and have a family before the age of 30. 

A/Professor Martin’s extensive ethnographic and interviews-based research with students and their parents reveal their motivations for studying in Australia, and their experiences while here in everyday life in our cities, media use, work, romance, religion, and evolving feelings about their homeland. She uncovers the power of international education to transform a student's sense of self and their cultural identity. Dreams of Flight reveals how global education mobility is fundamentally transforming a whole generation of Chinese women. 

In a webinar hosted by the Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS:ACRI), A/Professor Martin joined UTS:ACRI Adjunct Professor Louise Edwards in conversation to discuss how this cohort of young women will impact the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) global futures and Australia’s relations with the PRC. This discussion was followed by audience Q&A. 

Dreams of Flight is available for purchase in paperback and e-book versions.

Time: 12.30pm - 1.30pm AEST


transcript of the discussion is available.


Further reading

Fran Martin, 'Chinese international students’ wellbeing in Australia: The road to recovery', The University of Melbourne, June 9 2020.


About the speakers

Fran Martin

Associate Professor Fran Martin is Reader in Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne, author of Backward Glances: Contemporary Chinese Cultures and the Female Homoerotic Imaginary, and co-author of Telemodernities: Television and Transforming Lives in Asia, both also published by Duke University Press.

Louise Edwards

Louise Edwards is an Adjunct Professor at the Australia-China Relations Institute, University of Technology Sydney.

She is also Emeritus Professor of Chinese History at UNSW’s School of Humanities and Languages and Honorary Professor at the University of Hong Kong’s School of Modern Languages and Cultures. An elected Fellow of 3 learned academies—Academy of Humanities in Australia, the Australian Academy of Social Sciences and the Hong Kong Academy of Humanities—Professor Edwards served as President of the Asian Studies Association of Australia (2016-2017) and is Editor in Chief of the Association’s ‘Women in Asia’ book series.

Professor Edwards publishes on women and gender in China from a cultural and historical perspective. Her most recent sole-authored books include Citizens of Beauty: Drawing Democratic Dreams in Republican China (Seattle: Washington University Press, 2020), Women, Politics and Democracy: Women’s Suffrage in China (Stanford University Press, 2008) and Women Warriors and Wartime Spies of China (Cambridge University Press, 2016).


Event Information
July 28 2022
12:30 PM
Webinar (online-only)