Congratulations to 2018 CAALS Essay Prize Winners!

Please join us in congratulating the winners of the 2018 CAALS Essay Prize:

Kai Hang Cheang, Ph.D. candidate at University of California, Riverside, “The Textual Remediation of the Visual in Karen Tei Yamashita’s I Hotel: Toward an Ethic of Representing a Collective Asian American History”

and  

Yuan Ding, Ph.D. candidate at University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, “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.”

The Essay Prize is awarded each year for the best paper presented by a graduate student at any CAALS-sponsored conference panel or any Asian American literature panel at the American Literature Association conference. This year, we had many wonderful nominations, leading to our decision to honor two essays. Both offer important, compelling contributions to the study of Asian American literature. 

We extend sincere thanks to our other nominees and nominators. It was our privilege to read such strong papers. 

Congratulations!

CAALS CFPs for AAAS 2019

Please consider submitting a paper proposal for one of our two CAALS-organized panels for AAAS 2019 (April 25–27, 2019, in Madison, WI)!


Panel Title: Racial Ambiguity and Racial Passing: Reading the Ungovernable Body in Mixed-Race Asian American Literature

Chair: Roberta Wolfson, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

In her book Partly Colored: Asian Americans and Racial Anomaly in the Segregated South (2010), Leslie Bow claims that Asian Americans are positioned between the two poles of black-and-white US race relations in a racially ambiguous liminal space called “the national in-between” (18). Asian Americans of mixed-race heritage are doubly positioned within this in-between space, as they are rendered racially ambiguous both in larger national conversations about racial categorization and in debates about racial identity within Asian American communities. Mixed-race Asian American subjects, then, particularly those who are able to pass as White or non-Asian, can be understood as existing within a space of ungovernability characterized by their ability to expose race as a social construction and to destabilize race as a legitimate factor in the state’s allocation of public resources and social privileges.

This panel invites papers about literature, art, and film by Asian American writers and artists that explore racial ambiguity and/or racial passing within the mixed-race Asian American experience. Can racial passing be understood as a fugitive act or as a form of seeking sanctuary? How does the mixed-race Asian American body challenge the state’s biopolitical and necropolitical attempts to categorize and control racial bodies? In what ways might the ungovernability of the mixed-race Asian American body fuel antiracist work or activism? What is the responsibility, if any, of mixed-race Asian American subjects to engage with or problematize the state’s demands for the registration, vetting, and surveillance of specific racial bodies?

Please email your abstract (max. 250 words) and a brief CV (max. 500 words) to Roberta Wolfson at wolfson@calpoly.edu by Wednesday, September 19, 2018.


Panel Title: Fugitivity in the Asian American Literary Imaginary

Chair: Kai Hang Cheang, University of California, Riverside

As Sau-ling Wong points out in “The Politics of Mobility,” physical movements in the US signify very differently to people of color and their white counterparts. While the mobility of the white settlers in the American frontier provided them with homesteading and entrepreneurial opportunities, for the brown and black populations who were enslaved and/or displaced from their homes by settler colonialism, mobility was mostly invested in fugitivity. This panel seeks to think about Asian American mobility—a topic that is often discussed within the socio-economic framework of upward mobility—through the lens of fugitivity, a concept that Fred Moten theorizes in the context of black studies as a “desire for the outside, for a playing or being outside, an outlaw edge proper to the now always already improper voice or instrument.” The longing for fugitivity is prevalent in Asian American literature too. For instance, Susan Choi’s 2003 novel American Woman presents an account of an Asian American female outlaw on the run with the character of Jenny Shimada navigating her roadmaps for survival while hiding out in the Rockies and the plains. Thinking with such fugitive figures as Jenny, and the topoi of fugitivity writ large, this panel welcome papers that further articulate the contours of (diasporic) Asian American fugitivity: what is its course, directionality, history, and geography? How is it expressed in fiction, poetry, drama, and other literary mediums? And what do these various definitions of fugitivity imply in their respective contexts?

Please email your abstract (max. 250 words) and a brief CV (max. 500 words) to Kai Hang Cheang at kai.cheang@email.ucr.edu by Wednesday, September 19, 2018.

 

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/.