Announcing the inaugural CAALS Essay Prize

CAALS ESSAY PRIZE
Due Date: May 9, 2014

Starting this year, CAALS will be launching an annual book prize for the best paper on Asian American literary studies written by a graduate student/doctoral candidate (or, should the occasion arise, an undergraduate student) and presented at any ALA panel. Papers must be submitted electronically by May 9, 2014. Papers will be read and evaluated by a committee drawn from the CAALS leadership and membership. The winner will be notified before the ALA and will be the guest of honor at the annual CAALS dinner at the conference. Submissions and inquiries should be sent to caalsweb@gmail.com.

CFP for ALA 2014!

CALLS FOR PAPERS for the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies panels at ALA 2014 in Washington, D.C.! Please consult the ALA conference website for more information on the conference fees, site, and other logistics. Also, note that the required CAALS membership for participation in CAALS panels is separate from the ALA conference fee.
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25th Annual ALA Conference
May 22 – 25, 2014
Hyatt Regency Washington
on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue NW
Washington D.C., 20001
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1) Critical Perspectives on Ruth Ozeki
Chair: Sue J. Kim, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Due Date: January 10, 2014

The work of mixed-race Japanese American Ruth Ozeki has been praised as consistently and uniquely smart, formally inventive, funny, compassionate, and beautiful. Ozeki’s three novels include My Year of Meats (1998); All Over Creation (2002), winner of the 2004 American Book Award from Before Columbus Foundation; and A Tale For the Time Being (2013), long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. She has also authored a number of shorter fiction pieces, and her films include Body of Correspondence (1994), winner of the New Visions Awards at the San Francisco Film Festival, and the neo-documentary Halving the Bones. While each of her texts are quite different, a number of central concerns thread through them: mixed race(s), the body and embodiment, food and the environment (in the context of corporate agribusiness), Zen Buddhism, memory and time, unexpected transnational circuits, and the myriad challenges to “living more consciously” (the title of a workshop Ozeki has conducted).

This panel seeks to highlight new critical work on Ozeki’s oeuvre; proposals on any of Ozeki’s fiction and/or films are welcome.

Send 300-word abstract and two-page CV by email to Sue J. Kim (sue_kim@uml.edu) by January 10, 2014.

2) Human Rights and Asian American Literary Studies
Chair: Lynn Itagaki, The Ohio State University
Due Date: January 15, 2014

Historically, Asian immigrants came to the United States seeking economic opportunity, political security, as well as social stability, whether they were seafarers, California gold rush miners, paper sons, picture brides, post-1965 migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, or even transnational elites. This panel solicits paper proposals to broadly consider the following questions: How does a human rights framework produce new interpretations of Asian American literature? How does the consideration of Asian Americans and Asian diasporic communities broaden concepts of global human rights?
Alongside the theoretical interests in biopolitics, precarity and vulnerability, the question of human rights has developed into an increasingly popular framework through which to analyze injustice and inequality. As the forces of global capitalism and neoliberalism have increasingly eroded the rights and protections accorded to individuals by nation-states, human rights have become more anxiously promoted to protect populations within and across international borders. Asian diasporic histories are intertwined with human suffering and crimes against humanity caused by the forced migration and displacement of peoples, Cold War imperialism, genocide, totalitarian regimes and civil wars. This panel invites considerations of a wide range of Asian American texts such as fiction, poetry, film, journalism, memoir, or activist writing, and encourages intersections with critical ethnic studies, feminist studies, queer studies, disability studies, and environmental studies.
Please email a 350-500 word abstract of your paper to Lynn Itagaki at itagaki.5@osu.edu by January 15, 2014. Be sure to mention any technological needs for your presentation on your abstract.

3) Asian American Literary Pedagogy Roundtable
Chair: Heidi Kim, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Due Date: January 15, 2014

CAALS seeks participants for a roundtable focused on new challenges/methodologies in Asian American literary pedagogy. All topics/approaches within this general topic are welcome. Please send a brief abstract and CV to heidikim@email.unc.edu by January 15, 2014.

ALA 2013 Photos

CAALS had well-attended panels, a roundtable, and an author reading at ALA 2013 (Boston). Below are some photos from the highly successful Geographies of Asian America double panel. Thanks to everyone for participating!

Geographies of Asian America I. Left to right: Chris Eng, Lynne Horiuchi, Jeehyun Lim (chair), Lynn Itagaki. Not pictured: Belinda Kong.
Left to right: Chris Eng, Lynne Horiuchi, Jeehyun Lim (chair), Lynn Itagaki. Not pictured: Belinda Kong.
Geographies of Asian America II. Left to right: Susan Thananopavarn, Alaina Kaus, Rajender Kaur, Trevor Lee. Not pictured: Ruth Lahti.
Geographies of Asian America II. Left to right: Susan Thananopavarn, Alaina Kaus, Rajender Kaur, Trevor Lee (chair). Not pictured: Ruth Lahti.

 

Panels for ALA 2013, Boston

From the draft program.

Friday, May 24, 2013, 12:40–2:00
Session 10-E Humanities Under Attack: Roundtable on Teaching Asian American Literature (St George D 3rd Floor)
Organized by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies

Chair: Lynn Itagaki, The Ohio State University
1. Betsy Huang, Clark University
2. Jinah Kim, Northwestern University
3. Ju Yon Kim, Harvard University
4. Min Song, Boston College
5. Jean Wu, Tufts University
6. Weihua Zhang, Savannah College of Art and Design

Friday, May 24, 2013, 2:10–3:30
Session 11-O Business Meeting: Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (Baltic 7th Floor)

Friday, May 24, 2013, 5:10-6:30 pm
Session 13-I Author Reading (Adams 7th Floor)
Organized by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies

Chair: Heidi Kim, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
1. Prageeta Sharma
2. Rahna Reiko Rizzuto

Saturday, May 25, 2013, 8:00-9:20 am
Session 14-I Geographies of Asian America I: Imperialist Production of Asian/American Space at Home and Abroad (Adams 7th Floor)
Organized by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies

Chair: Jeehyun Lim, Denison University
1. “The Mapping of Everyday Life in Japanese American ‘Relocation Centers’: Mine Okubo’s Map of the City of Topaz,” Lynne Horiuchi, University of California, Berkeley
2. “Asian Americanist Camps: Mapping the Trans/national Spaces of US Empire in Chay Yew’s ‘A Beautiful Country,’” Chris A. Eng, City University of New York
3. “The Rights of Suffering, The Wrongs of Remembrance for the Forgotten War in Toni Morrison’s Home and Chang-rae Lee’s The Surrendered,” Lynn M. Itagaki, The Ohio State University
4. “’American Asia’ in Ha Jin’s Nanjing Requiem: Asian American Literary Politics as Comparative Empire Studies,” Belinda Kong, Bowdoin College

Saturday, May 25, 2013, 9:30-10:50am
Session 15-M Geographies of Asian America II: The Local and the Global in Asian American Literature (Adams 7th Floor)
Organized by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies

Chair: Trevor Lee, City University of New York
1. “Mapping the Forgotten Geography of Early South Asian America,” Rajender Kaur, William Paterson University
2. “How Ghostly Renderings Shatter: Challenging Southern Histories of Asian America in Monique Truong’s Bitter in the Mouth,” Alaina Kaus, University of Connecticut
3. “Text, Context, and Hypercontext: Globalized Spaces in Karen Tei Yamashita’s Tropic of Orange,” Susan Thananopavarn, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
4. “Chang-rae Lee’s The Surrendered and the Geographies of ‘Inter-Imperiality,’” Ruth A. H. Lahti, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Saturday, May 25, 2013, 2:00-3:20 pm
Session 18-F Contextualizing Complicity: Political and Social Disparities in Asian American Literature (Adams 7th Floor)
Organized by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies

Chair: Heidi Kim, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
1. “Reading ‘Dreams from My Father’ as a Text of Transnational ‘Middleman’ Power,” Mijeong Park, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh
2. “Between Settlers and Sovereignty: The Asian Laborer in Native Hawaiian Protest Literature,” Trevor Lee, City University of New York
3. “Intern(ment)alized Imperialisms: Asian Americans in the US Military,” Robert Oscar Lopez, California State University, Northridge

CALL FOR PAPERS: American Literature Association–May 23-26, 2013

CALLS FOR PAPERS for the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies panels at ALA 2013 in Boston! Please consult the ALA website for more information on the conference fees, site, and other logistics. Please note that the required CAALS membership for participation in CAALS panels is separate from the ALA conference fee.

1) Geographies of Asian America

The Circle for Asian American Literary Studies invites submissions for two panels that reflect on the development and state of Asian American literature through the “geographies” of Asian America with an eye to regional differences and the transnational turn.

While the West Coast and Hawaii have long occupied a central place in Asian American literature due to their closeness to the Asia Pacific and the high concentration of Asian Americans in these regions, new sensibilities of Asian American places can also be seen in post-1965 Asian American literature. Gish Jen, Chang-rae Lee, and Jhumpa Lahiri, for example, embed the variegated lives of Asian Americans in urban centers and suburban neighborhoods on the East Coast in their work. Scholarship such as Leslie Bow’s recent book, Partly Colored: Asian Americans and Racial Anomaly in the Segregated South, uncovers the story of the previously overlooked Asian American South.

Recent emphasis on transnationalism and diaspora in Asian American Studies also prompts us to think of the geographies of Asian America beyond the territorial boundaries of the nation-state. For example, Chang-rae Lee’s A Gesture Life is set in a suburban neighborhood in upstate New York; yet half the novel shows the wartime Pacific in flashbacks. More recent fiction that contain narratives of American-born Asians returning to the country of origin, such as Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake or Aimee Phan’s The Reeducation of Cherry Truong, likewise ask us to reexamine our assumptions of space and place as it pertains to Asian America.

How does Asian American literature create Asian American geographies in the U.S. and abroad? We invite papers on any aspect of the question. Email abstracts of 200-250 words to jeehyun.lim@gmail.com by January 15. 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) Humanities Under Attack: Teaching Asian American Literature

We are seeking participants for a roundtable discussion at the Annual Conference of the American Literature Association in Boston from May 23-26, 2013. The roundtable will address teaching Asian American literature in the current environment in which humanities are under attack. The state of Florida has proposed charging students more tuition for humanities majors, classifying them as “non-strategic,” non-productive disciplines. Programs and departments that focus on women, gender, sexuality, and racial groups are the first to experience funding cuts, budgeting freezes, no new hiring, or rejection for their creation; the global financial crisis dramatically reduced already historically low state funding for education and private endowments. How do we teach Asian American literature and studies in a way that matters? How do we make what we do and teach visible to skeptical administrators, university regents, voters, and funding sources? What kind of goals and learning outcomes do we have for our students in Asian American literature classes and how do we revise them in this anti-humanities educational environment? We welcome participants to think theoretically and historically as well as more specifically on their own experiences and conditions at their institutions. The roundtable will feature 7 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 150-200 word description of how your remarks would address the topic of teaching Asian American literature to Lynn Itagaki at itagaki.5@osu.edu by January 15. 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/.

Panels for ALA 2012, San Francisco

(From the draft program.)

Thursday, May 24, 2012, 9:00 – 10:20 am
Session 1-A Afro-Asian Connections I: 20th C. Intersections among African-American and Asian Americans
Organized by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies and the African American Literature and Culture Society

Chair: Jennifer Ho, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
1. “Annexation in the Pacific and Asian Conspiracy in Central America in James Weldon Johnson’s Libretti for “Toloso” and “El Presidente, or the Yellow Peril,” John Gruesser, Kean University
2. “Jim and Jap Crow in 1940s Chicago,” Matthew Briones, University of Chicago
3. “A Tale of Two Obits: Reading the Cold War through the Obituaries of W.E.B. DuBois and Chairman Mao Tsetung,” Vera Leigh Fennell, Lehigh University
4. “‘We Didn’t Speak No English, and He Didn’t Speak No Chinese’: Community, Cultural Exchange, and the Afro-Asian South in Cynthia Shearer’s The Celestial Jukebox,” Frank Cha, College of William and Mary

Thursday, May 24, 2012, 12:00 – 1:20 pm
Session 3-D Asian American Literature and Political Engagement
Organized by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies

Chair: Catherine Fung, Bentley University
1. “The Asian American 1960s,” Colleen Lye, University of California, Berkeley
2. “The Politics of Reading and Interpreting Asian American Literature,” Jennifer Ho, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
3. “Ideology of the American Dream in Gish Jen’s World and Town,” Matthew Ong, University of Notre Dame
4. “Politicizing the Speculative Turn: Larissa Lai’s Salt Fish Girl and the Queer Sex Worker,” Christopher Patterson, University of Washington

Thursday, May 24, 2012, 3:00 – 4:20 pm
Session 5-A Afro-Asian Connections II: Korean-African American Mixing and Melding
Organized by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies and the African American Literature and Culture Society

Chair: James Braxton Peterson, Lehigh University
1. “Langston Hughes’ Minoritarian Analogy in Afro-Korean Literary Networks,” Jang Wook Huh, Columbia University
2. “Competing Claims for Racial Justice in Anna Deveare Smith’s Twilight Los Angeles, 1992,” Heidi Bollinger, James Madison University
3. “From Soul to Seoul: Kimchee Chronicles, Transracial Adoption and the Culinary Quest for Identity,” Jinny Huh, University of Vermont

Friday, May 25, 2012, 11:10 am – 12:30 pm
Session 9-A Critical Intersections of Asian American and Latina/o Literature and History
Organized by The Circle for Asian American Literary Studies and the Latina/o Literature and Culture Society

Chair: Susan Thananopavarn, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
1. “Esperanza Rising and A Step from Heaven: An Interethnic, Intertextual Investigation of the Intersections of Chicana and Korean American Immigrant Narratives in Fiction for Young Readers,” Sandra Cox, Shawnee State University
2. “An Unknown Historiography of Chinese Coolies in Peru: Reading Ruthanne Lum McCunn’s God of Luck as a Transnational Slave Narrative,” Su Mee Lee. Dong-A University, Korea
3. “The Magic Other and Cross-Racial Alliances: The Multiracial Belonging of the Post-Civil Rights Nation,” Lynn Mie Itagaki, The Ohio State University, Columbus
4. “Reimagining Asian and Latino America,” Camilla Fojas, DePaul University

Friday, May 25, 2012, 12:40 –2:00 pm
Session 10-N Business Meeting: Circle for Asian American Literary Studies

Saturday, May 26, 2012, 12:40 – 2:00 pm
Session 18-A Roundtable: Regions, Institutions, and Subject Positions: Teaching Asian American Literature to Multiple Audiences
Organized by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies

Moderator: Jane Hseu, Dominican University
1. Nina Ha, Creighton University
2. John Streamas, Washington State University
3. Wen Jin, Columbia University
4. Noelle Brada-Williams, San Jose State University
5. Cheryl Narumi Naruse, University of Hawai’i at Manoa
6. erin Khuê Ninh, University of California, Santa Barbara

Saturday, May 26, 2012, 2:10 – 3:30 pm
Session 19-B Special Session: Featured Conversation with Ryan Takemiya, founder of RAMA, a pan-Asian performance group in San Francisco
Organized by The Circle for Asian American Literary Studies

Moderator: Trevor Lee, City University of New York – The Graduate Center

Saturday, May 26, 2012, 3:40 – 5:00 pm
Session 20-G Featured Readings by Asian American Creative Writers: Philip Kan Gotanda, Nicky Schildkraut, and Lysley Tenorio
Organized by The Circle for Asian American Literary Studies

Moderator: Heidi Kim, UNC Chapel Hill
1. Philip Kan Gotanda
2. Nicky Schildkraut
3. Lysley Tenorio