CALL FOR PAPERS: American Literature Association–May 24-27, 2012

1.) Panel: “Afro-Asian Intersections in the Americas”
Joint session between the African American Literature & Culture Society and the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies

We are seeking papers examining intersections, influences, and intimacies between African American culture and Asian American culture in any and all genres within American literature—with “American” being understood broadly to include not only the United States but North America and the Caribbean.

Topics and texts to be considered for this special session may include:

*WEB DuBois’s Dark Princess
*Patricia Powell’s The Pagoda
*Kerry Young’s novel Pao
*the Black Panther Party’s use of Maoist philosophy
*Yuri Kochiyama’s activist work and relationship with Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz
*the rise of Asian American dance crews
*Jim Jarmusch’s film Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
*Chinese in Mississippi
*works engaging with Leslie Bow’s theories in Partly Colored: Asian Americans and Racial Anomaly in the Segregated South
*the figure of the Chinese in Walter White’s Flight
*Anna Deveare Smith’s Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992
*Wu-Tang Clan
*Afro-Samurai (animated series)
*Korean and African American communities in Los Angeles and New York City
*the legacy of black Amerasian children
*Tiger Woods

Please send 300-word abstracts to James Peterson (jbp211@lehigh.edu) and Jennifer Ho (jho@email.unc.edu) by Saturday, January 7, 2012. Be sure to mention any technological needs for your presentation on your abstract. Also, please note that if your abstract is selected and you agree to present on this panel, you will need to become a member of CAALS before presenting. For more information, please visit our website at http://caals.org/.

2.) Panel: “Intersections between Asian American and Latino/a Literature and History”
Joint session between the Latino and Latina Literature and Culture Society and
the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies

For this panel, we are seeking papers that examine intersections between Asian American and Latino/a literature, history, theory, and media/popular culture. Possible topics for exploration include histories of racially targeted rhetoric about immigration, from the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and its aftermath to recent debates about “illegal” immigration from Latin America. What resonances can we find between Asian American and Latino/a literary texts dealing with issues of immigration, migration, or exile? Papers could also address literary works that confront the rhetoric of national security, from the Japanese American incarceration during World War II to current or historic politics along the Mexico-U.S. border. We welcome papers that discuss literature from Asian and Latin American sites of U.S. imperialism, including the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. Particular sites of literary intersection may include Karen Tei Yamashita’s Tropic of Orange, Cristina García’s Monkey Hunting, and Brian Ascalon Roley’s American Son, among others. Sites of theoretical intersection may include Mae M. Ngai’s Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America. We also invite papers that discuss your experiences teaching courses that address resonances between Asian American and Latino/a literature and history.

Please send 1-page abstracts to Susan Thananopavarn (sthan@email.unc.edu) and Eliza.RodriguezyGibson@lmu.edu) by Saturday, January 7, 2012. Be sure to mention any technological needs for your presentation on your abstract. Also, please note that if your abstract is selected and you agree to present on this panel, you will need to become a member of CAALS before presenting. For more information, please visit our website at http://caals.org/.

3.) Panel: “Marching Eastward: Asian American Writers and Whitman’s Legacy”
Co-sponsored by the Walt Whitman Society and the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies

Walt Whitman’s tremendous influence in American literature, especially poetry, has traversed some of the racial and geographical boundaries he mused about in his poems about ethnic and racial minorities around the world. This panel focuses on the Asian American literary responses to Whitman’s work. Genre and time period are open.

Brief abstract and CV to heidikim@email.unc.edu by January 7, 2012. Be sure to mention any technological needs for your presentation on your abstract. Also, please note that if your abstract is selected and you agree to present on this panel, you will need to become a member of CAALS before presenting. For more information, please visit our website at http://caals.org/.

4.) Panel: “Asian American Literature and Political Engagement”
Sponsored by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies

In recognition of the 130th anniversary of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, the 70th anniversary of the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII, the 60th anniversary of the McCarran-Walter Act, the 30th anniversary of the murder of Vincent Chin, the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots, and the decade of political shifts since 9/11, the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies seeks papers that engage with the relationship between Asian American literature and political engagement. How have Asian American writers used literature as a means to express a political statement? Have particular political movements, currents or climates impacted the kind of work that Asian American writers produce? How have Asian American writers defined the notion of the political? Topics and texts may touch upon any of the above historical milestones or any others that have impacted Asian American cultural production.

Please send a 300-word abstract to Catherine Fung (cfung@bentley.edu) by Saturday, January 7, 2012. Be sure to mention any technological needs for your presentation on your abstract. Also, please note that if your abstract is selected and you agree to present on this panel, you will need to become a member of CAALS before presenting. For more information, please visit our website at http://caals.org/.

5.) Roundtable: “Regions, Institutions, and Subject Positions: Teaching Asian American Literature to Multiple Audiences”
Sponsored by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies

We are seeking participants for a roundtable discussion at the Annual Conference of the American Literature Association in San Francisco from May 24-27, 2012. The roundtable will address teaching Asian American literature to multiple audiences. Asian American literature is taught to a diverse audience that includes Asian Americans of different ethnicities; white students; students of color; international students; students of varying class, gender, and sexual identities and abilities; and faculty colleagues, including those with little knowledge of Asian American literature. In addition, Asian American literature is taught in institutions inside and outside of the US, different regions, public and private universities, community colleges, and institutions with different religious affiliations. We also hope participants can reflect on their own subject positions and how these may affect their teaching of and reception by varied audiences in specific contexts. Given the relative lack of published materials on teaching Asian American literature, we hope this roundtable provides support for those who teach Asian American literature and illuminates both practical and theoretical concerns. The roundtable will be 120 minutes in total, with 8 minutes of remarks by five participants followed by 40 minutes of discussion.

If you are interested in participating in this roundtable, please email a brief description of how your remarks would address the topic of teaching Asian American literature to multiple audiences to Nina Ha at ninaha@creighton.edu and Jane Hseu at jhseu@dom.edu. Be sure to mention any technological needs for your presentation on your abstract. Also, please note that if your abstract is selected and you agree to present on this panel, you will need to become a member of CAALS before presenting. For more information, please visit our website at http://caals.org/.

6.) Panel: “Asian American Theatre: ‘Hitherto Unheard and Unsung World’”
Sponsored by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies

From Frank Chin’s Chickencoop Chinaman to David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly, from Wakako Yamauchi’s 12-1-A to Philip Kan Gotanda’s Yankee Dawg You Die, Asian Americans have continually used the stage as a site of remembrance and revolution. As Karen Shimakawa comments, Asian American theatrical works “attempt to engage with that uncanny strangeness [of national abjection] through a variety of strategies, all of which produce Asian Americanness as a negotiation between the poles of abject visibility/stereotype/foreigner and invisibility/assimilation (to whiteness).” With the East-West Players on the West Coast and the Pan-Asian Repertory Theatre on the East Coast, we indeed see how communities have formed in resistance to the systematic exclusion of Asian American from public representation, and they have thereby created a means of preserving and propagating an art form that speaks from a space of abjection. Still, what is it that theatre can do for the Asian American community that other literary genres cannot do? What specific strategies are used in theatre to engage with issues of identity and social displacement?

The Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS) invites papers that address issues related to Asian American theatre. Possible topics relating to Asian American theatre might include (but are not limited to): racial performance, representation, and/or passing, poetics and critical theories of the stage, nationalism/transnationalism/globalization/diaspora, typecasting/yellowface, body politics, national memory and/or imagination.

Please send a 1-page abstract and CV by email to Trevor Lee at tjlee101@gmail.com by January 10, 2012. Be sure to mention any technological needs for your presentation on your abstract. Also, please note that if your abstract is selected and you agree to present on this panel, you will need to become a member of CAALS before presenting. For more information, please visit our website at http://caals.org/.