CFPs for CAALS Panels at 2019 American Literature Association Meeting

The next American Literature Association (ALA) annual conference will be held May 23–26, 2019, in Boston, MA. Below are calls for papers for the five panels sponsored by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS), which also holds its annual business meeting at ALA.

Please note that if your proposal is accepted and you agree to participate, 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/.


Panel 1 Title: (In)Visible: Asymmetries in Asian American Texts

Chairs: Na-Rae Kim, University of Connecticut, and Laura Wright, Berry College

Asian Americans have become increasingly visible to the public eye in various realms. Recent cinematic imaginations such as Crazy Rich Asians, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and Searching and bestselling or prizewinning literature by authors like Viet Thanh Nguyen, Marjorie Liu, and Hanya Yanagihara have all contributed to a growing national conversation around Asian Americans and representations of Asian Americans. However, while there are experiences and voices that become more visible through these forms, there are others that remain, or even become, increasingly more invisible.

We welcome inquiries into the asymmetries in Asian American in/visibility through various approaches, topics, and areas. For instance, how can we think about the invisible vis-à-vis the visible in Asian America? What are some of the productive tensions between them? Could some become more invisible because of the hyper-visible, or vice versa? Could this, perhaps, offer new insights for conceptualizing Asian American in/visibility? How do various genres play into this asymmetry? What populations are particularly susceptible to in/visibility in Asian American cultural production? What role does geography play in making some more visible than others?

Please email a proposal (max. 250 words) and a brief CV to Na-Rae Kim (na-rae.kim@uconn.edu) and Laura Wright (lawright@berry.edu) by Monday, January 14, 2019. Please be sure to mention any technological needs for your presentation.


Panel 2 Title: The Dis-contents of Asian American Literary Form

Chair: Chris Eng, Syracuse University

For the last two and a half decades, debates around the characteristics, uses, and politics of “Asian American” as a critical rubric have compelled a scholarly critique of identity, auguring what some term a postidentity turn. Asian American literary studies has been at the forefront of contemplating the fissures of identity and its dis-contents. Susan Koshy and Lisa Lowe interrogate how invocations of Asian American identity unwittingly replicate modes of power aligned with nationalist ideals that suppress difference. Therefore, rather than approach “Asian American” as a descriptor of a subjectivity to be accomplished, Kandice Chuh posits Asian Americanist critique as an analytic premised on a “subjectless discourse.” Relatedly, Viet Nguyen critiques the privileging of resistance in ethnic studies and scholarly assumptions of a homogeneous set of radical politics under “Asian American.” Moreover, scholarship on war, empire, and displacement by intellectuals such as Yến Lê Espiritu, Mimi Nguyen, and Cathy Schlund-Vials further attest to the limits and inadequacies of grounding identity as the political platform for racial justice. In short, these scholars collectively interrogate cultural-nationalist attachments to the forms of identity and the nation-state as the bases for the theoretical and political work of Asian American studies. Meanwhile, renewed attention to formalism in literary studies has turned our attention to how race resides not merely as embodied difference but is also shaped through discursive arrangements, narratological techniques, and the ordering logics of social, political, and economic distributions. These studies of the formal and the aesthetic in Asian American literary studies complicate how a prioritization of apprehending content and context in literatures concretize fixed notions of identity. Instead, scholars beckon us to take seriously how Asian Americanness becomes articulated, reworked, and transformed through updated racial and literary forms.

This panel thus invites papers that grapple broadly with these questions of Asian American literary form. Specifically, in what ways might the formal, aesthetic, and experimental properties of literature shift conventional understandings about racial difference and Asian American critique? How can literature animate innovative approaches and insights into what Colleen Lye generatively terms “racial form”? How might attending to form nuance the political and affective work of discontent that Asian American literatures enact?

Please email your proposal (max. 250 words) and a brief CV (max. 500 words) to Chris Eng at ceng02@syr.edu by Monday, January 14, 2019. Please be sure to mention any technological needs for your presentation.


Panel 3 Title: Moving Parts: Travel and Identity in Asian American Representation

Chair: Min Lee, UC San Diego

The theme of travel is deeply imbedded in both fiction and nonfiction. Even more so in literature centered on the diasporic experience, conditions of human displacement are prominent. Dislocation—whether by geography, culture, or identity—is a trope regularly revisited in Asian American writing. States of refugeeism, exile by political dissidence, nomadism, economic migration, or tourism—these diverse forms of displacement encompass the transnational Asian American narrative.

If travel is about shifts through space and time, then the concept of identity can be seen as an equally fluid and mutable phenomenon. The idea that movement and crossing borders, imagined or real, effect change to one’s sense of self is a common theme expressed in a range of representations, from literary to nonliterary genres. Therefore, the notion that travel is transformative and the experience can shape one’s identity is central. In other words, the journey is not only through an external geographic landscape but the interior of the mind.

This panel invites proposals on a rich range of mediums and genres—filmic, pictorial, verse, or prose—that examines travel and identity as two wedded tropes. Such text-and-visual-based mediums may include graphic novels and comics, historiography, historical fiction, autobiography and memoir, to name a very few. Works of fiction and nonfiction articulating the profound ways unfamiliar, and once familiar, environments color a dynamic selfhood in Asian American storytelling are welcome. Again, the definition of storytelling here embraces a wide breadth of mediums and genres. If your interest lies in Asian American diasporic and/or transnationalism studies in general, we encourage you to participate.

Please email your proposal (max. 250 words) and a brief CV (max. 500 words) to Min Lee at m4lee@ucsd.edu by Monday, January 14, 2019. Please be sure to mention any technological needs for your presentation.


Panel 4 Title: The State of Asian America: Literary Representations of Asian American Space

Chair: Timothy K. August, Stony Brook University

The term “Asian America,” as opposed to Asian American, had a miniscule presence in scholarly or creative work until the year 2000, but has undergone a surge in Asian American Studies academic writing over the past 20 years. Despite the rootedness and place making implied by this spatial terminology, Asian America is a mobile concept that travels quite liberally in intellectual circles, crafting a rather disorienting conceptual history.

This panel will address the relationship between Asian Americans and the space they inhabit, queering how Asian America circulates in the literary imagination.  Potential submissions could address literary presentations of Asian American space, the commodification of Asian America, the transnational allure of Asian American space, and Asian America as an inter-subjective formation.

Please send a 200-300 word abstract and c.v. to Timothy K. August at timothy.august@stonybrook.edu by Monday, January 14, 2019. Please be sure to mention any technological needs for your presentation.


Panel 5: OPEN CALL for Asian American Literary Studies

Chair: Caroline Kyungah Hong, Queens College, CUNY

We invite proposals on any aspect of Asian American literature and culture. Our aim is to provide a forum for new and innovative work in Asian American literary studies.

Please email your proposal (max. 250 words) and a brief CV (max. 500 words) to Caroline Hong at caroline.hong@qc.cuny.edu by Monday, January 14, 2019. Please be sure to mention any technological needs for your presentation.

 

 

 

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 Schedule at ALA 2017

We’re excited to announce our events and activities at this year’s ALA! Please join us for these exciting panels/roundtables, as well as for the CAALS business meeting, where we’ll talk about the future of CAALS, at next year’s ALA and beyond!

Thursday, May 25, 2017, 10:30–11:50am, Essex North West, 3rd Floor
Session 2-E – Formal and Aesthetic Values in Asian American Literature
Sponsored by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS)
Chair: Jinah Kim, California State University, Northridge

  1. “‘A western outpost of the Punjab’: Cartography and History in Bhira Backhaus’s Under the Lemon Tree,” Rajender Kaur, William Paterson University
  2. “The Immigration Narrative as Both Stabilizing and De-Stabilizing Force in Contemporary Asian American Poetry,” Christine Kitano, Ithaca College
  3. “From Stupor-Zeroes to Superheroes: Deconstructing Asian American Aesthetics through Secret Identities,” Katie Quan, San Francisco State University


Friday, May 26, 2017, 12:40–2:00pm, Essex North East, 3rd Floor
Session 10-G – Transnationalism from Below in Asian/American Literature
Sponsored by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS)
Chair: Mark Chiang, University of Illinois at Chicago

  1. “Neoliberal Debt and Emotional Capital: Mohsin Hamid’s How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia,” Meghan Buckley, Stony Brook University
  2. “Watery Graves and the Unruly Pacific,” Jinah Kim, California State University, Northridge
  3. “History and Asymmetries of Language in Transnational Poetics,” Bonnie Wai Lee Kwong, Artist-in- Residence, Stanford University
  4. “The Transnational Family within Asian American Literature,” Sara Lee, Binghamton University


Friday, May 26, 2017, 2:10–3:30pm, Essex North East, 3rd Floor
Session 11-G – Asian American Literature and the Politics of the Popular
Sponsored by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS)
Chair: Caroline Kyungah Hong, Queens College, City University of New York

  1. “(Un)Masking the Asian American Superhero,” Lan Dong, University of Illinois at Springfield
  2. “Against Political Invisibility: Rereading Chang-rae Lee’s Native Speaker,” Angela Yuanyuan Feng, Brown University
  3. “Is the Rectum a Superhero? Greg Pak’s Hulk and Asian American Masochism,” Takeo Rivera, University of California, Berkeley
  4. “Don’t Forget to ‘Like’ and Subscribe! YouTube’s Partner Program and Asian American Content Creators in the Digital Economy,” Leland Tabares, Pennsylvania State University, University Park


Friday, May 26, 2017, 3:40–5:00pm, Essex Center, 3rd Floor
Session 12-O – Business Meeting: Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS)


Saturday, May 27, 2017,
5:10–6:30pm, Essex North Center, 3rd Floor
Session 20-F – Roundtable on Asian American Literary Studies in the Trump Era
Sponsored by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS)
Chair: Christine Kitano, Ithaca College

  1. “Asian American Studies and Transformations of Academic Capital in the Current Global Conjuncture,” Mark Chiang, University of Illinois at Chicago
  2. “#Resist #NotNormal: Teaching Intersectionality and Critical Thinking Skills through Asian American Literature,” Jennifer Ho, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  3. “Laugh/Sob: Asian American Comedy in the Age of Trump,” Caroline Kyungah Hong, Queens College, City University of New York
  4. “Graduate Labor in the Age of Trump: Perspectives on Pedagogy and Course Planning from a Graduate Student Instructor,” Leland Tabares, Pennsylvania State University, University Park

CAALS schedule for ALA 2016

Please join us in San Francisco for the following CAALS panel and business meeting. The meeting is an opportunity to meet fellow scholars in a collegial environment and discuss possible panels for next year, and to get involved in CAALS leadership!

Thursday, May 26, 2016, 1:30–2:50pm
Session 4-A – Asian American Literary Studies: 34 Years of Critical History (Pacific I) Organized by Circle for Asian American Literary Studies
Chair: Lynn Mie Itagaki, The Ohio State University

  1. “Asian American Studies: Representations of Educated Women Changing the Canon,” Krupal Amin, The Ohio State University
  2. “Mapping Trauma in the Asian Diasporic Imagination,” Jinah Kim, California State University, Northridge
  3. “Literature, History, and the Cold War in Paul Yoon’s Snow Hunters,” Jeehyun Lim, Denison University
  4. “Biography I Have None: José Garcia Villa and the Anachronism of Early Asian American Literature,” Swati Rana, University of California, Santa Barbara

Thursday, May 26, 2016, 4:30–5:50pm
Session 6-A – Critical Perspectives on Karen Tei Yamashita (Seacliff C/D) Organized by Circle for Asian American Literary Studies
Chair: Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis, University of Maryland

  1. “I Hotel: A Narrative Form for Imagining Panethnic Coalition,” Long Le-Khac, Washington University in St. Louis
  2. “Memory and Choreography in Karen Tei Yamashita’s ‘Dance’ in I Hotel,” Sean Labrador y Manzano, independent scholar
  3. “Historicizing Critique: Karen Tei Yamashita’s Tropic of Orange and the Changing Field of Production under Globalization,” Rei Magosaki, Chapman University
  4. “The Contingencies of Comparative Racialization: Karen Tei Yamashita’s I Hotel and the Racial Pyramid,” Lynn Mie Itagaki, The Ohio State University

Thursday, May 26, 2016, 6:00–6:50pm
Featured Reading by Karen Tei Yamashita (Seacliff C/D)

Friday, May 27, 2016, 9:40–11:00am
Session 8-A – Histories of Becoming in Asian American Literary Studies (Pacific I) Organized by Circle for Asian American Literary Studies
Chair: Sean Labrador y Manzano, independent scholar

  1. “Constructions of the Lyric ‘I’ in the Poetry of the Japanese American Internment,” Christine Kitano, Ithaca College
  2. “Chinese American Literature in the Twenty-First Century: Writing China in Yiyun Li’s Gold Boy, Emerald Girl,” Walter S. H. Lim, National University of Singapore
  3. “Reading Transnationalism in Asian American Literature: Contradictions of Modernity in the Work of Carlos Bulosan,” Mark Chiang, University of Illinois at Chicago

Friday, May 27, 2016, 11:10am–12:30pm

Session 9-A – #Asians4BlackLives: Protest and Solidarity in Asian American Literature (Pacific F)

Organized by Circle for Asian American Literary Studies

Organizers and Co-Chairs: Sharon Tang-Quan, independent scholar; and Caroline Kyungah Hong, Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY)

  1. “The Angst of Triangulation: Blackness & Asian American Agony in the Theater of Philip Kan Gotanda,” Takeo Rivera, University of California, Berkeley
  2. “Protesting for Survival: Queerness/ Interracial Romance/ Hunting in Nina Revoyr’s Wingshooters,” Stephen Hong Sohn, University of California, Riverside
  3. “Black and Asian Solidarity in The Philippine-America War,” Chris Santiago, University of St. Thomas
  4. “Nandito Ako, I am here: A love song to America,” Bonnie Wailee Kwong, Artist in Residence, Stanford University

Friday, May 27, 2016, 2:10–3:30pm

Session 11-P – Business Meeting: Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (Bay Level: Marina Room)

Friday, May 27, 2016, 3:40–5:00pm
Session 12-K – Yellowface: Performing and Occupying the Mind, Body, and Space in Asian American Literature (Bay Level: Seacliff A) Organized by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies Chair: Sean Labrador y Manzano, independent scholar

  1. “Yellowface: Performing and Occupying the Mind, Body, and Space in Asian American literature,” Geneva Chao, LBCC
  2. “In/Through the Line: Avant-Garde Intersections of Marginalization and the Lyric,” Mg Roberts, Kelsey Street Press
  3. “Considering Race and Appropriation in Poetics Today,” Margaret Rhee, University of Oregon

 

 

CFPs for ALA 2016!

This year’s ALA meeting will be held in San Francisco. Please see their webpage for general conference information.

Below are the CFPs for the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies. This post will be updated as needed. Please remember that if your paper is accepted, you will need to register as a member of CAALS in order to present. This applies to all panels and roundtables. For any questions about CFPs, please contact individual organizers. Note that different deadlines apply to each CFP.

CFP: #Asians4BlackLives: Protest and Solidarity in Asian American Literature

Chair: Sharon Tang-Quan, Westmont College

Police brutality against people of color has been making daily headlines. In 2012, the Black Lives Matter movement began after George Zimmerman was acquitted for the murder of Trayvon Martin. Using the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, the movement has protested the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Eric Harris, Walter Scott, Sandra Bland, Samuel DuBose, and Freddie Gray, and continues to campaign against police brutality and anti-black racism.

Asian American allies have joined this fight. In a November 2014 Time article, “Why Ferguson Should Matter to Asian-Americans,” Jack Linshi discussed the power of Afro-Asian solidarity and pointed to the deaths of Kuanchang Kao (1997), Cau Bich Tran (2003), and Fong Lee (2006) at the hands of police, in which there were no criminal charges and no public campaigns on behalf of the victims. During this past Lunar New Year parade in San Francisco, #Asians4BlackLives handed out red envelopes with the following message: “As Asian Americans, we enjoy many rights that were fought for and won by Black liberation movements. Today, we too have the power to stand on the side of justice. We can create harmony by building strong relationships between Black and Asian communities and standing together for Black Lives. Which side are you on?”

This panel is focused on protest and social justice in Asian American literature, and we seek papers that examine Asian American literature as sites of resistance and cross-racial solidarity. How have Asian American writers used traditional and new modes of protest? In what ways do we see the traces of historical activism and social movements, and how have digital technologies helped to reinvigorate these causes? How are Asian Americans writing in solidarity with allies in order to speak out against racism, while acknowledging the anti-blackness in our communities? To what extent are communities of color being formed, and in what ways have communities of color been divided?

Please email a proposal (250 words maximum) and a brief CV to Sharon Tang-Quan (stangquan@westmont.edu) by January 15, 2016. Please mention any technological needs for your presentation. Please note that if your proposal is accepted and you agree to participate in the roundtable, you will need to become a member of CAALS prior to presenting, in addition to joining ALA and registering for the conference. For more information, please visit our website at http://caals.org/.

 

CFP: Yellowface: Performing and Occupying the Mind, Body, and Space in Asian American literature

ALA May 26-29, 2016, San Francisco
(http://alaconf.org)

“…My life’s spent / running an inept tour for my own sad swindle of a vacation / until every goddamned thing’s reduced to botched captions / and dabs of misinformation in fractured, / not-quite-right English: …” excerpted from “The Bees, the Flowers, Jesus, Ancient Tigers, Poseidon, Adam and Eve” by Yi-Fen Chou

In the Contributor’s Notes and Comments in The Best American Poetry 2015 guest edited by Sherman Alexie, Michael Derrick Hudson unmasks his nom de plume, stirring outrage, and becomes the reviled face of appropriation. In his admission:

“after a poem of mine has been rejected a multitude of times under my real name, I put Yi-Fen’s name on it and send it out again. As a strategy for ‘placing’ poems this has been quite successful for me. The poem in question, ‘The Bees, the Flowers, Jesus, Ancient Tigers, Poseidon, Adam and Eve,’ was rejected under my real name forth (40) times before I sent it out as Yi-Fen Chou (I keep detailed submission records). As Yi-Fen the poem was rejected nine (9) times before Prairie Schooner took it. If indeed this is one of the best American poems of 2015, it took quite a bit of effort to get it into print, but I’m nothing if not persistent. “

He serves poetry editors a blunt instrument opening inquiry how poems are selected—the poem or the assumed ethnic heritage of author.

If turning Chinese was the key to his success, then it puts in to question how editors treat literary submissions written by authors with Asian-sounding names. Does the scarcity of Asian writers in anthologies such as the highly visible BAP validate a kind of divisive affirmative action?

More problematic is the privilege by which Hudson so easily masks himself in Yellowface for self-promotion. One can read the confession as thumbing his nose at both editors not just in BAP 2015, in Prairie Schooner, but to all journals that assumed they were choosing an Asian writer to diversify their volume. Whereas BAP elicits cynicism, especially in the discussion of what poetry was selected as best of a given year, the 2015 volume elevates to a level of disgust. Immediate calls to boycott the volume, to not purchase it, ignored the fact, this volume is the most multicultural, to ‘ethnic bias.”

The “sad swindle” or subversion is not Hudson’s own. Implicated in this botched anthology are David Lehman, series editor, and Sherman Alexie, guest editor. With much time to reconsider Hudson’s invitation in to the anthology, they still proceeded to keep him in print. The reaction from the Asian American community was quick, unrelenting, and unforgiving. The defense can be read here:
http://blog.bestamericanpoetry.com/…/like-most-every-poet-i…

Whether or not you are impressed by Alexie’s guidelines when selecting the best poems of 2015, when choosing the offender, Alexie was “amenable to the poem because [he] thought the author was Chinese American.”

Despite their intentions, the reception has been negative. Alexie and Lehman have the responsibility to prevent ethnic fraud. But should be poetry so safe guarded against writers wishing to take a personae?

When the real Yi-Fen Chou surfaced, Hudson’s appropriation turned to identity theft.

Even before the release of BAP 2015, the gaffe of the Poetry Foundation producing a list of Asian American writers stirred emotions. The list paired writers with their assumed country of origin as if to negate they can never claim the United States as origin. The following link is a sanitized version of that list, now more expansive, and omitting the countries of origin expected of them to claim, own, and demonstrate cultural affiliation: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/article/247362
Was this a case of Yellowface, too?

Asian in/authenticity led to the Facebook circulation of Cathy Linh Che’s google doc
https://docs.google.com/…/1u364q7ctO8MM90mvJHXxxGeCYX…/edit… insists on a self-reporting and registration of known Asian writers in America.

Further reading is found here:
http://lithub.com/actual-asian-poets/

ImageImagehttp://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/09/when-a-poem-by-a-white-male-author-smells-less-sweet/404134/

http://www.thestranger.com/…/on-sherman-alexies-choice-to-u…

The roundtable will not dwell completely on Hudson’s appropriation because Yellowface in American literature is not new. Yellowface persists in publisher and readership expectation to the extent real Asians exaggerate, highlight, and emphasize Asian-ness for the sake of publication.

The roundtable seeks to address:
Performing the Asian-in affect, homage, and/or parody.
Authenticity/Inauthenticity
Yellowface as a form of Colonization, Occupation, Privilege.
Forms of Registry
-Asian American registration as started and evolved in the Poetry Foundation.
-Hyphenation
-Self-Identification of Asian origin in in author bios.
-Editorial identification of Asian origin in author bios.
-Classification (being Vietnamese)
Legacy
-Authors who have performed/appropriate the Asian
Offense vs. Pride.
Yellowface as subgenre of Asian literature.
Yellowface as subgenre of American literature.
Yellowface as writer technique.
Yellowface as a form of characterization. Do nonAsian writers perform Yellowface when placing Asian characters in their stories? Think Carson McCullers, John Steinbeck, Mona Simpson, William T. Vollman, Vendela Vida–as an example of novelists. There are poets as well.

Yellowface as a form of appropriation, not just of bodies, but of literary forms or translation credit.
Yellowface as a form of erasure, annihilation, fever, fantasy.
Yellowface as a kind of travel literature.
Yellowface as roots.
Yellowface as a critical tool, or impulsive dismissal.
Yellowface as Misrecognition. Misidentification.
Yellowface as Effacement, defacement. Facility. Rape. Identity theft. Hijacking.
Yellowface Exorcism, possession, remediation, sanction,
Yellowface as Persistence, encouragement, anxiety, ambivalence, white frailty.
The roundtable invites scholars actively writing and performing literature to bring in to discussion and context approaches by which to address Yellowface for in the classroom as in teaching how to recognize or evaluate when writers perform Yellowface, in the editorial process, in performance whether for an audience or to a hiring committee as in affecting an appeal to ethnic advantage or uniqueness, and in evaluating Asian-ness as in authentic enough to speak on behalf of lived or community experience.
Submit 250 to 500-word abstracts and a CV, by January 15, 2016, to Sean Labrador y Manzano at seanlabradorymanzano@gmail.com.

 

CFP: Strained Utterance: Mixed Race Asian Avant Garde

ALA May 26-29, 2016, San Francisco
(http://alaconf.org)

When Ron Loewinsohn writes,

I’ve put out the cigarette, the smoke / I’ve taken into my lungs & out / again: The ways I’ve seen you, & hold / them now, those ways, sliding / like a ship into the sea. This / is what I’m afraid of, that sea, / that home that doesn’t interest me. // One morning, after everyone had passed out, / Basil & I sat up talking about / the bombs, his London, my Manila, some flat / on Buchanan Street, the sun outside / for both of us. I passed him the bottle. // It’s in those moments between / the passing of the jug that I think / of this, this place, what / is this, here, & what have I to do with it? / If not for you, what, in hell, / do I have to do?
(excerpted from “It Is to Be Bathed in Light” The World of the Lie (1963)

he reveals a sense of place, a point of origin, not identified in much of his poetry. Prose produced in retirement shares life in the Philippines before World War 2 and transit to the United States. How he is unnoticed by the Philippine American literary community is astonishing though not surprising as he rarely if not at all announced his ethnicity to his students while a professor in the English Department as UC Berkeley.

The panel on Mixed-Race Asian Avant Garde poets seeks to explore how being mixed-race shapes (or unshape, or not shape) content, structure, poetic technique, language, readability, unreadability, instruction, identity, power relations, forms of knowledge, expected grievance, careers, publishing histories, privacy, or notoriety, and more. We seek how being mixed-race bridges experimental poetics with studies in the Asian experience in American. Is there more or less agency, subjectivity, privilege, deracination, stereotyping, othering, pressure to assimilate, or inaccessibility to collective ethnic histories? How are the poetries a reflection of America’s wars or labor histories through which such mixing takes place on the periphery? Do writers cite parents as soldiers or war brides? How does mixed-race challenge the appreciation or categorization of Asian American. Does the Avant-Garde defuse Identity Politics, becomes a refuge from overt and recycled idioms of “otherness.”

The panel looks forward to any proposals that address the presence, marginalization, and invisibility of Mixed-Raced Asian Americans in the Avant-Garde. Do these poets perform a token function diversifying a predominant white field? Do they mollify the need to discuss race in American poetry?

Some writers to consider include Kasey Mohammed, Ai, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Ronaldo V. Wilson, David Lau, Geneva Chao, Sesshu Foster, Brian Kim Stefans, Ron Loewinsohn, Jai Arun Ravine, Kenny Tanemura, Brynn Saito, Wei Ming Dariotis, Pimone Triplett, Kimiko Hahn, John Yau, Heinz Insu Fenkl, MG Roberts, Jennifer Hayashida, Sadakichi Hartmann, and the list goes on….
Submit 250 to 500-word abstracts, AV requirements, and a CV, by January 15, 2016, to Sean Labrador y Manzano at seanlabradorymanzano@gmail.com.

 

CFP: Critical Perspectives on Karen Tei Yamashita
Sponsored by The Circle for Asian American Literary Studies
Chair: Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis, University of Maryland
Due Date: January 25, 2016

In the playground of cultural history, Karen Tei Yamashita is at once the big slide and the children who follow no rules. Her oeuvre moves us irreverently across every imaginable border, horizontal and vertical—Kandice Chuh has characterized Yamashita’s work as “palimpsestic” and “ecological” in its attention to layers, genealogies, and transnational currents. With the publication of the 2010 National Book Award finalist *I Hotel*, which gives us the polyphonic tumult of the 60s and 70s and the rise of the Asian American Movement, critical attention to Yamashita’s work is on the rise.

This panel seeks to highlight new scholarship on Yamashita’s oeuvre; proposals on any of her novels, or on her 2014 fiction/performance collection *Anime Wong* or her 2001 short story/essay collection *Circle K Cycles*, are welcome.

Please email a 250-300 word abstract of your paper to Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis at lawrence.minh.davis@gmail.com by January 25, 2016. Be sure to mention any technological needs for your presentation on your abstract.

 

CFP: Asian American Literary Studies: 34 Years of Critical History
Sponsored by The Circle for Asian American Literary Studies

Chair: Lynn Mie Itagaki, The Ohio State University
Due Date: January 15, 2016

We are seeking paper proposals for a panel, “Asian American Literary Studies: 34 Years of Critical History,” sponsored by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS) at the Annual Conference of the American Literature Association in San Francisco, CA on May 26-29, 2016. Celebrating Elaine H. Kim’s landmark publication Asian American Literature: An Introduction to the Writings and Their Social Context (1982), this panel proposes to analyze the field of Asian American literary studies that has developed to include and acknowledge a diverse group of literatures under this category. The critical/theoretical development of the field covered both political movements as well as the changing demographics stemming from mass migrations. This panel solicits paper proposals to broadly consider the following questions: How has the trajectory of Asian American critical literary history developed over time? How do Asian Americans and Asian diasporic communities reflect the trajectory of the field? What kinds of dialogues take place between the Asian American literary canon and the broader American literary canon?

The recognition of specific gender, class, and racial differences within the Asian American literary field in a broader sense has spurred heated arguments about identification. We have seen how the “authentic” has worked its way into fiction as well as how that very fiction reflected tensions in the literary community in regards to citizenship and recognition. Specifically, we see tensions in the ways Asian American bodies occupy a liminal space of both belonging and integration as they simultaneously experience rejection and tolerance. Asian diasporic histories grow increasingly complicated and layered; major historical events have continually shaped our conception of the literature and what it even means to have a recognized body of literature. 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 250-300 word abstract of your paper to Lynn Itagaki at itagaki.5@osu.edu by January 25, 2016. Be sure to mention any technological needs for your presentation on your abstract.

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.