CFP: Tropics of Asian America, ALA 2008

Tropics of Asian America: Critical Studies in the Works of Karen Tei Yamashita, American Literature Association Conference, San Francisco, May 22-25, 2008
Standing panel organized by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies
Proposals due: January 14, 2008

The Circle for Asian American Literary Studies invites papers for a panel on the work of Karen Tei Yamashita, celebrated author of imaginative and humorous novels that challenge nationally-bound conceptions of Asian American fiction by exploring connections between the United States, Japan, Brazil, and Mexico. Yamashita has playfully delved into different narrative genres and mythologies, from the soap operas of Brazil to travel writing and Aztec creation stories. Her books Through the Arc of the Rain Forest (1990), Brazil-Maru (1992), Tropic of Orange (1997), and Circle K Cycles (2001) have contributed to theoretical and transnational turns in Asian American literary studies. Performance pieces and other writing like “Siamese Twins and Mongoloids” (1999) offer other opportunities for rethinking Asian Americanist criticism.

This panel seeks to engage with how Yamashita’s writing broadens the possibilities of Asian American literary studies. The panel is open to any rigorous consideration of Yamashita’s work, but preference will be given to papers addressing less-frequently discussed texts; papers that consider multiple texts in Yamashita’s oeuvre; or papers that draw sustained comparisons between Yamashita’s work and other writers’ work.

Please send proposals of 250-500 words and an abbreviated CV (2-pages) in the body of the e-mail message to plai2 (at) stthomas (dot) edu by 5 pm CDT on Monday, January 14, 2007. Address any queries to Paul Lai at the same e-mail address. Presentation time for each paper will be limited to 15 minutes.

This panel inaugurates a series of standing CAALS panels dedicated each year to exploring the work of a single Asian American author. Following the model of the author societies of the American Literature Association, these panels will foster in-depth scholarship and conversation about these individual authors.