Please consider submitting a proposal for the first CAALS-organized AAAS panel!

CFP for AAAS 2018

Panel Title: Re-imagining (the) Work in/of Literature
Chair: Mark Chiang, University of Illinois at Chicago

The resurgence of populism both in the US and abroad has been fueled by widespread skepticism regarding the capacity of free trade and economic globalization to generate meaningful employment for large numbers of workers. Such questions are not new, of course, but the current wave of political crises sweeping the globe have only intensified them. This panel seeks to return to fundamental questions about the nature of work, especially as it is represented in literature and other forms of cultural production. What kinds of activities are or are not recognized as work, or as socially productive or valuable? How is work conceptualized or rendered meaningful in cultural texts as opposed to other discourses of the economy? What roles do money and markets play in the (dis)organization of work, and how have people and communities sought to contest or advance those dynamics? We are especially interested in papers that explore the connections between literary and cultural production, and other forms of work. In particular, how do Asian American literary texts conceive or re/imagine work and its meanings in relation to, or in terms of, the work of art? What new possibilities do such imaginings open up for the organization of social life? This panel seeks to rethink how alternative or expanded conceptions of work might enable new kinds of political or cultural mobilizations in our contemporary moment of the destabilization and casualization of labor.

Please email your abstract (max. 250 words) and a brief CV (max. 500 words) to Mark Chiang at by Wednesday, September 27, 2017.

This panel is being organized by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS). For more information, please visit our website at