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.

25th Annual ALA Conference
May 22 – 25, 2014
Hyatt Regency Washington
on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue NW
Washington D.C., 20001

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 ( 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 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 by January 15, 2014.