“New Perspectives on Theresa Hak Kyung Cha”
Chair: Timothy Yu, University of Wisconsin
American Literature Association Conference, May 27-30, 2010, San Francisco
Standing panel organized by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies
Proposals due: January 1, 2010
Since her death in 1982, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s work has moved from avant-garde obscurity to canonical status within Asian American literature. Her bookDictée is now a classroom staple and has inspired a growing body of critical literature. But critics’ focus on Dictée, and on that book’s more narrative elements, has left unexplored the full complexity of Cha’s work across genres and media, from autobiography and poetry to performance art, film, and artist’s books. This panel will seek to build on more recent work that places Dictée in the context of Cha’s wider body of art. Papers are welcomed that examine the less-frequently-discussed later sections of Dictée, which incorporate more visual and abstract materials and complicate the narratives of exile and migration that dominate the book’s earlier sections. Papers that focus on Cha’s work beyond Dictée, such as her visual and video art or her critical writings, are also encouraged. Cha’s archive of work, held by the Berkeley Art Museum and accessible through the Online Archive of California, provides a rich trove of materials that we hope papers for this panel will draw on, and we also hope that the conference’s location in San Francisco will allow us to view a sampling of Cha’s work in conjunction with the panel. Send 1-page abstract and CV by email to Timothy Yu (firstname.lastname@example.org) by January 1, 2010.