Transnational Imaginary in Contemporary Ethnic American Literatures (NeMLA 2018)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
contact email: 

Françoise Lionnet and Shumei Shi define transnational “as a space of exchange and participation wherever processes of hybridization occur and where it is still possible for cultures to be produced and performed without necessary mediation by center” (Minor Transnationalism 5). Yogita Goyal sees transnationalism “as a replacement for the outdated category of multicultural literature, and as an acknowledgement of the interconnectedness of the United States with the rest of the world through circuits of capital and culture” (Cambridge Companion to Transnational American Literature 7). While these definitions present contemporary ethnic US literature as a cross-cultural dialogue of diverse cultural practices and epistemologies, some important questions remain: Is transnationalism uniform across ethnic literatures of the US? Or is transnationalism essentially fluid and context-specific? Most importantly, does the transnationalism indicate the conflation of diverse establishments of cultural knowledge? 

In view of recent trends and theoretical paradigms, this panel will explore contemporary ethnic literatures’ transnational visions and scholars’ transnational interventions in national readings of ethnic literatures. Papers are sought that examine literary productions across the centers of cultural knowledge in the US, including but not limited to Latino, Native American, African American, Asian and Pacific American works. Possible topics include racism, colonialism, imperialism, cultural/social citizenship and neoliberal subjecthood, women of color and transnational feminisms as well as the issues of immigration, diaspora, and border crossings. 

John C. Hawley asks if “ethnic literatures are, in fact, transnational rather than simply ghettoized “subalterns” of American letters… who is to say what the “nation” may have become, if one cannot see those prophets on its dissolving borders?” (Minor Transnationalism 293). Bearing Hawley’s question in mind, this session aims to cater to the scholarly conversation on ethnic literatures’ reimaginings of the US as a transnational space as well as local landscapes as part of a global world.

This panel invites papers that examine contemporary (post 1965) literary productions across the centers of cultural knowledge in the US, including but not limited to Latino, Native American, African American, Asian and Pacific American works. Possible topics include racism, colonialism, imperialism, cultural/social citizenship and neoliberal subjecthood, women of color and transnational feminisms as well as the issues of immigration, diaspora, and border crossings. 

All proposals must be submitted through NeMLA portal. Below is the link for submissin:

https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/16810

Proposals are due September 30, 2017. Participants will be notified by Oct 15 as to the status of their proposal.