CFP: [Cultural-Historical] "In the Shadows of Empires"

full name / name of organization: 
andy wang
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“In the Shadows of Empires”:
The 2nd International Conference on Asian American and Asian British

Date: November 28-29, 2008
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Organizer: Institute of European and American Studies, Academia Sinica

The word “Asian” has different meanings in the United States and Britain.
Whereas in British English “Asian” refers to people from South Asian
countries, particularly from India, Pakistan, and Bangladeshâ€"and people
from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen as “other Asians”â€"in American
English it refers predominantly to people from East Asia, namely Japan,
Korea, China, despite the admission of Southeast Asians, South Asians, and
West Asians to the pan-Asian family in recent years. “Asia,” Spivak
recently claimed, should be imagined as “one continent in its plurality,”
rather than the designation of a regional identity based on racial
consciousness and self-empowerment. Indeed, Asian as an ethnic identity is
remarkably plural and unstable, because Asia as a continental imagination
is tied to the cartographical imaginations of both the European and
American empires. “Asian” thus bears the history of imperialism as it
attempts to carve out a critical space within the multicultural setting of
Britain and the U.S.

How differently are “Asian” and “Asia” as imagined in Asian American and
Asian British literatures and how do these multiple, discrepant, and at
times contradictory articulations enable us to confront, engage, and
produce in the shadows of empires? How is it possible to conceive of
“Asia” and “Asian” as one in plurality and as a position without identity,
without falling into the exhausted tropes of solidarity and coalition? How
do Asia and Asian workâ€"together and in disjunctureâ€"as signifiers, tropes,
politics and perhaps as methods for working through the problematic of
“culture and imperialism” that Said left us? How do we, as intellectuals,
comparativists, and critical scholars, write and rewrite Asians and Asias
in the shadows of empiresâ€"not only British and American but also Japanese
and Chineseâ€"in an era of re-regionalization and neo-imperial formation?

The Institute of European and American Studies at Academia Sinica, Taiwan,
invites papers from scholars in literary and cultural studies to face,
contemplate and theorize on the shadows of empires in Asian American and
Asian British literatures in critical and comparative lenses. The
conference understands imperialism as a haunting presence in both Asian
American and Asian British literatures manifesting itself in such issues as
comfort women, the Hiroshima bombing, Hawaii sovereignty movement, the
Okinawa Diaspora, U.S.-Filipino entanglements, the partitions of India and
Pakistan, South Asian immigration and cultural production in Britain and
Canada, the ongoing war on “terror” in many parts of Asia, and even in such
sports as cricket, football, boxing, and baseball. Imperialism functions
as what Jameson calls the “history of the present” that shapes and
conditions the consciousness and cultural production of Asian American and
Asian British subjects. To claim and write about Asia and Asian is to
confront the shadows of empires that tail our precarious present. We
welcome papers that explore, but are not limited to, the following themes:

 immigration and diasporas,
 the Asia-Pacific wars and memories,
 nationalism and globalization,
 affect and community,
 inter and intra-Asian connections,
 Afro-Asian and Latino-Asian encounters
 performance and identity
 transnationality and citizenship
 multiracial subject and transnational adoption
 pedagogy and critiques of disciplinary formation

Please send your paper abstract (not exceeding 300 words) and brief CV (one
paragraph identifying your name, institutional affiliation, areas of
interests, and contact info, and a list of your representative
publications) to Andy Wang ( by April 30, 2008.
Decisions on acceptance will be announced by May 31, 2008. There is no
registration fee, and a small budget, pending approval, will be provided to
subsidize the cost of accommodation for paper presenters. All conference
attendees, however, are advised to secure travel funding from their own
institutions. If you have any question, please feel free to contact us.

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Received on Tue Mar 18 2008 - 00:43:30 EST