2018 CAALS Essay Prize: Call for Submissions/Nominations

The CAALS Essay Prize, established in 2013, is an annual award for the best paper on Asian American literature written by a graduate (or undergraduate) student and presented at any ALA panel or CAALS-sponsored panel.

If you are a student who presented on a 2018 CAALS panel at AAAS or at any ALA panel and would like to submit your paper for consideration, please email it to caroline.hong[at]qc.cuny.edu. If you would like to nominate a student paper, please email the student’s name and email address to caroline.hong[at]qc.cuny.edu. The deadline for submissions and nominations is September 1, 2018. Papers will be reviewed by a committee of CAALS officers and/or Advisory Board members.

CAALS Schedule at ALA 2018

The Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS) is pleased to announce our schedule for this year’s American Literature Association conference, May 24-27, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. The hotel is located at 5 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, CA. Questions may be directed to CAALS co-chairs Caroline Kyungah Hong (caroline.hong [at] qc.cuny.edu) or Mai-Linh Hong (mai-linh.hong [at] bucknell.edu).


Friday, May 25, 2018, 9:40–11:00am, Seacliff C/D
Session 8-B – The Return to Asia in Asian American Literatures
Sponsored by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS)
Chair: Na-Rae Kim, Kennesaw State University

  1. “The City and Its Refugees: The Geopolitics of Non-Places in Mohsin Hamid’s How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia and Exit West,” Yuan Ding, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  2. “Transpacific Resonances and Modalities of Relation in Leanne Dunic’s To Love the Coming End,” Michelle Siobhan O’Brien, Central Washington University
  3. “The Congressman from India Goes East,” Swati Rana, University of California, Santa Barbara
  4. “From a Distance: The Vicarious Witness in Luisa A. Igloria’s Poetry on EJKs,” Louyzza Maria Victoria Vasquez, University of the Philippines, Diliman 

Friday, May 25, 2018, 11:10am–12:30pm, Pacific I
Session 9-B – Asian American Literature and Visual Texts
Sponsored by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS)
Chair: Laura Wright, University of Connecticut

  1. “Paper Cranes in the Sky: Investigating Immigration Stories through Shaun Tan’s The Arrival,” Christiana Ares-Christian, University of Connecticut
  2. “The Textual Remediation of the Visual in Karen Tei Yamashita’s I Hotel: Toward an Ethic of Representing a Collective Asian American History,” Kai Hang Cheang, University of California, Riverside
  3. “Asian American Comics and Thinking Historically,” Caroline Kyungah Hong, Queens College, City University of New York
  4. “The Writings of Martin Wong (1946–1999),” Amy Lee, University of California, Berkeley

Friday, May 25, 2018, 3:40–5:00pm, Seacliff A
Session 12-B – Okada and Beyond
Sponsored by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS)
Chair: David Cho, Hope College

  1. “John Okada: The Life and Rediscovered Work of the Author of No-No Boy,” Frank Abe, Resisters.com
  2. “War and Words: Reading the Post-9/11 Bildungsroman,” Anantha Sudhakar, San Francisco State University
  3. “Citizenship and Belonging in Chang-Rae Lee’s A Gesture Life,” Roy Kamada, Emerson College

Friday, May 25, 2018, 5:10–6:30pm, Pacific B
Session 13-L – Business Meeting: Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS)


Saturday, May 26, 2018, 8:10–9:30am, Pacific D
Session 14-B – Refugee Counternarratives
Sponsored by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS)
Chair: Mai-Linh K. Hong, Bucknell University

  1. “Refugee Memes: Remembering Historical Trauma and Violence in the Digital Commons,” Long Bui, Vassar College
  2. “‘Your Mountain Lies Down with You’: Hmong Refugee Political Geography in Afterland,” Ma Vang, University of California, Merced
  3. “Rewriting the History of the Vietnam War and Its Aftermath in Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer,” Roberta Wolfson, California Polytechnic State University
  4. “Magical Passages through the Refugee Regime in Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West,” Mai-Linh K. Hong, Bucknell University

Saturday, May 26, 2018, 11:10am–12:30pm, Seacliff C/D
Session 16-B – Asian American Histories and Citizenship: Concepts of Legality in Literature
Sponsored by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS)
Chair: Caroline Kyungah Hong, Queens College, City University of New York

  1. “Contradictions between Citizenship and Empire in Sabina Murray’s The Caprices,” Laura Wright, University of Connecticut
  2. “‘Release him from all paper’: Two Appropriations of American Legal Documentation in Asian American Poetics,” Alex Howerton, University of South Carolina
  3. “(Un)Documenting the ‘Good’ Immigrant in Fae Myenne Ng’s Bone,” Emily Yoon Perez, University of Maryland, College Park

CFPs for CAALS Panels at 2018 American Literature Association Meeting

The next American Literature Association Meeting will be held in San Francisco, CA, May 24–27, 2018. Below are CFPs for the five panels sponsored by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS), which will also hold its annual business meeting at the conference.

Please note that if your proposal is accepted and you agree to participate on a panel, you will need to become a member of CAALS prior to presenting, in addition to registering for the conference. For more information, please visit our website at http://caals.org/.

Continue reading “CFPs for CAALS Panels at 2018 American Literature Association Meeting”

CAALS CFP for AAAS 2018

Please consider submitting a proposal for the first CAALS-organized AAAS panel!

CFP for AAAS 2018

Panel Title: Re-imagining (the) Work in/of Literature
Chair: Mark Chiang, University of Illinois at Chicago

The resurgence of populism both in the US and abroad has been fueled by widespread skepticism regarding the capacity of free trade and economic globalization to generate meaningful employment for large numbers of workers. Such questions are not new, of course, but the current wave of political crises sweeping the globe have only intensified them. This panel seeks to return to fundamental questions about the nature of work, especially as it is represented in literature and other forms of cultural production. What kinds of activities are or are not recognized as work, or as socially productive or valuable? How is work conceptualized or rendered meaningful in cultural texts as opposed to other discourses of the economy? What roles do money and markets play in the (dis)organization of work, and how have people and communities sought to contest or advance those dynamics? We are especially interested in papers that explore the connections between literary and cultural production, and other forms of work. In particular, how do Asian American literary texts conceive or re/imagine work and its meanings in relation to, or in terms of, the work of art? What new possibilities do such imaginings open up for the organization of social life? This panel seeks to rethink how alternative or expanded conceptions of work might enable new kinds of political or cultural mobilizations in our contemporary moment of the destabilization and casualization of labor.

Please email your abstract (max. 250 words) and a brief CV (max. 500 words) to Mark Chiang at mchiang@uic.edu by Wednesday, September 27, 2017.

This panel is being organized by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS). For more information, please visit our website at http://caals.org/.

 

CAALS Schedule at ALA 2017

We’re excited to announce our events and activities at this year’s ALA! Please join us for these exciting panels/roundtables, as well as for the CAALS business meeting, where we’ll talk about the future of CAALS, at next year’s ALA and beyond!

Thursday, May 25, 2017, 10:30–11:50am, Essex North West, 3rd Floor
Session 2-E – Formal and Aesthetic Values in Asian American Literature
Sponsored by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS)
Chair: Jinah Kim, California State University, Northridge

  1. “‘A western outpost of the Punjab’: Cartography and History in Bhira Backhaus’s Under the Lemon Tree,” Rajender Kaur, William Paterson University
  2. “The Immigration Narrative as Both Stabilizing and De-Stabilizing Force in Contemporary Asian American Poetry,” Christine Kitano, Ithaca College
  3. “From Stupor-Zeroes to Superheroes: Deconstructing Asian American Aesthetics through Secret Identities,” Katie Quan, San Francisco State University


Friday, May 26, 2017, 12:40–2:00pm, Essex North East, 3rd Floor
Session 10-G – Transnationalism from Below in Asian/American Literature
Sponsored by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS)
Chair: Mark Chiang, University of Illinois at Chicago

  1. “Neoliberal Debt and Emotional Capital: Mohsin Hamid’s How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia,” Meghan Buckley, Stony Brook University
  2. “Watery Graves and the Unruly Pacific,” Jinah Kim, California State University, Northridge
  3. “History and Asymmetries of Language in Transnational Poetics,” Bonnie Wai Lee Kwong, Artist-in- Residence, Stanford University
  4. “The Transnational Family within Asian American Literature,” Sara Lee, Binghamton University


Friday, May 26, 2017, 2:10–3:30pm, Essex North East, 3rd Floor
Session 11-G – Asian American Literature and the Politics of the Popular
Sponsored by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS)
Chair: Caroline Kyungah Hong, Queens College, City University of New York

  1. “(Un)Masking the Asian American Superhero,” Lan Dong, University of Illinois at Springfield
  2. “Against Political Invisibility: Rereading Chang-rae Lee’s Native Speaker,” Angela Yuanyuan Feng, Brown University
  3. “Is the Rectum a Superhero? Greg Pak’s Hulk and Asian American Masochism,” Takeo Rivera, University of California, Berkeley
  4. “Don’t Forget to ‘Like’ and Subscribe! YouTube’s Partner Program and Asian American Content Creators in the Digital Economy,” Leland Tabares, Pennsylvania State University, University Park


Friday, May 26, 2017, 3:40–5:00pm, Essex Center, 3rd Floor
Session 12-O – Business Meeting: Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS)


Saturday, May 27, 2017,
5:10–6:30pm, Essex North Center, 3rd Floor
Session 20-F – Roundtable on Asian American Literary Studies in the Trump Era
Sponsored by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS)
Chair: Christine Kitano, Ithaca College

  1. “Asian American Studies and Transformations of Academic Capital in the Current Global Conjuncture,” Mark Chiang, University of Illinois at Chicago
  2. “#Resist #NotNormal: Teaching Intersectionality and Critical Thinking Skills through Asian American Literature,” Jennifer Ho, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  3. “Laugh/Sob: Asian American Comedy in the Age of Trump,” Caroline Kyungah Hong, Queens College, City University of New York
  4. “Graduate Labor in the Age of Trump: Perspectives on Pedagogy and Course Planning from a Graduate Student Instructor,” Leland Tabares, Pennsylvania State University, University Park

CAALS CFPs for ALA 2017

This year’s American Literature Association conference is back in Boston. Below are the four 2017 CFPs for the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS). Please keep in mind that if your proposal is accepted, you will need to become a member of CAALS in order to present, in addition to joining ALA and registering for the conference.


1. CFP: Formal and Aesthetic Values in Asian American Literature

Sponsored by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies
Chair: Christine Kitano, Ithaca College

In the introduction to Literary Gestures: The Aesthetic in Asian American Writing, Sue-Im Lee writes, “The prevailing strength of late twentieth century Asian American literary discourse, then, lies in arguing the constructed nature of human organizations—the complex ways in which power operates in the formation of particularly racialized subjects called ‘Asian American.’” She points to how the study of Asian American (and other minority) literature initially used race as a lens of analysis, then moved beyond race to “other social categorizations and institutions such as gender, class, sexuality, nation, capital, labor, and globalism.” While she sees the importance of such cultural and materialist examinations of literature, she claims there has not been enough balance in the way we treat such texts. While cultural and materialist examinations have been primary, considering texts as literary objects has been less of a priority.

However, at this time, it seems we can afford to prioritize readings of Asian American texts as works of literature, as objects of art. Lee writes, “Asian American literary criticism at large has been slow to extend the analysis of the examination of Asian American literary works as aesthetic objects—objects that are constructed by and through deliberate choices in form, genres, traditions, and conventions.” In other words, the features that fall under the study of aesthetics—formal and genre conventions, literary devices, figurative language—are as equally “constructed” as more material concerns (race, gender, class, etc.). A study of aesthetics, then, will necessarily be critical as well.

This panel invites papers that delve into the study of form and aesthetics in Asian American literature. How do we read Asian American literature through an aesthetic and/or formal lens? What should we pay attention to? Where do we find value? Studies of individual authors are welcome, as are more global studies of trends in Asian American literary aesthetics. Creative works with an accompanying critical analysis are also welcome.

Please e-mail a 250-300 word abstract to Christine Kitano at ckitano@ithaca.edu by January 25, 2017. Be sure to mention any technological needs for your presentation. Please note that if your proposal is accepted and you agree to participate on the panel, you will need to become a member of CAALS prior to presenting, in addition to joining ALA and registering for the conference. For more information, please visit our website at http://caals.org/.


2. CFP: Transnationalism from Below in Asian/American Literature 

Sponsored by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS)
Chair: Mark Chiang, University of Illinois at Chicago

Questions of globalization or transnationalism have been central to discussions in Asian American literary and cultural studies for several decades yet they remain in a nascent stage. Transnationalism in literature is often identified with the external representational or referential dimensions of a text, i.e., in terms of the social or global relations, institutions, or political entities that are depicted or indexed in a text.

Beyond these apparent manifestations of transnationalism, though, where else might we detect its signs, reflections, or effects in the literary work? What, in other words, are the specifically literary dimensions of transnationalism in Asian/American literature? What does transnationalism look like from below? What are its hidden aspects? These might include questions of form, genre, audience, poetics, language, etc. And how does the recognition of these hidden dimensions of the transnational text impact our understanding of the politics of culture and communities around the globe, whether they are Asian American, or Asian diasporic, or others? How can these analyses contribute to the ongoing work of building connections between Asian American studies and Asian studies, or to a field of global Asian cultural production?

This panel invites papers that explore what transnationalism means in Asian American literature, or what it looks like, and it asks what might be learned or changed through the revelation of these obscure and occluded contours of the transnational in Asian/American literature.

Please email a proposal (max. 250 words) and a brief CV to Mark Chiang (mchiang@uic.edu) by January 25, 2017. Be sure to mention any technological needs for your presentation. Please note that if your proposal is accepted and you agree to participate on the panel, you will need to become a member of CAALS prior to presenting, in addition to joining ALA and registering for the conference. For more information, please visit our website at http://caals.org/.


3. CFP: Asian American Literature and the Politics of the Popular

Sponsored by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS)
Chair: Caroline Kyungah Hong, Queens College, City University of New York

At a time when US politics and popular culture appears more entwined than ever, this panel focuses on the intersections between Asian American literature and the popular. The popular, in this case, is meant broadly and encompasses a wide range of forms and genres, sites and processes that are rife with struggles and contradictions. How do we situate Asian American literature within, against, or on the margins of popular culture or the mainstream? What can we learn from studying a wide range of popular Asian American writing, e.g., in genre fiction like fantasy, science fiction, detective fiction, or romance, and in forms like comics or blogs? How do pop-cultural figures and texts function in Asian American literary texts? What are the relationships between Asian American literature and popular or populist politics?

Please email a proposal (max. 250 words) and a brief CV to Caroline Hong (caroline.hong@qc.cuny.edu) by January 25, 2017. Be sure to mention any technological needs for your presentation. Please note that if your proposal is accepted and you agree to participate in the roundtable, you will need to become a member of CAALS prior to presenting, in addition to joining ALA and registering for the conference. For more information, please visit our website at http://caals.org/.


4. CFP: Roundtable on Asian American Literary Studies in the Trump Era

Sponsored by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS)
Chair: Jinah Kim, California State University, Northridge

This roundtable will focus on the challenges of reading, writing, researching, and teaching Asian American literature after Donald Trump’s election to the U.S. Presidency—work that appears to be more urgent and consequential than ever. Trump’s campaign was notable for the ways it tapped the well of deep-seated U.S. anti-Chinese hysteria and for reviving the specter of WWII-era Japanese American internment for Muslims, portending both contentious transpacific geopolitics as well as the centrality of Asian American culture, history, and dissent against this new political regime.

What roles can and should Asian American literary studies play in the Trump era, in the face of increasing threats to democracy and academic freedom? How does the institutionalization of Asian American studies within the context of the neoliberal university constrain possibilities for dissent and critique? More broadly, what possibilities and strategies does Asian American literature offer with its recovered histories and alternative futures? For example, given the U.S. legacies of war and colonialism in Asia, authors such as Chang-rae Lee, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Jessica Hagedorn describe U.S. white supremacy unfolding simultaneously with authoritarian regimes in South Korea, the Philippines, and Vietnam, offering glimpses into what a U.S. authoritarian future may look like as well as ways to imagine surviving and resisting such a future.

This roundtable is envisioned as an open forum for students, scholars, teachers, and writers of Asian American literature to discuss concerns and ideas post-election. Presentations might reflect on post-election experiences, analyze specific Asian American literary texts as sites of political resistance or of complicity, and/or offer innovative scholarly and pedagogical practices. Each participant will prepare 8–10 minutes of remarks, to be followed by at least 30 minutes of open discussion. We welcome works-in-progress and creative or nontraditional academic presentations.

Please email a proposal (max. 250 words) and a brief CV to Jinah Kim (jinahnorthwestern@gmail.com) by January 25, 2017. Be sure to mention any technological needs for your presentation. Please note that if your proposal is accepted and you agree to participate in the roundtable, you will need to become a member of CAALS prior to presenting, in addition to joining ALA and registering for the conference. For more information, please visit our website at http://caals.org/.