Re-conceptualizing National Identity

deadline for submissions: 
May 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Debora Stefani (GCSU)/ SAMLA (Birmingham, AL)
contact email: 

In her article “Scales of Aggregation: Prenational, Subnational, Transnational,” Wai Chee Dimock asks some important questions “On what scale should we study the transnational? How does it mesh with the scale of the nation-state? How does it act upon the latter-and how is it in turn acted upon as a competing as well as a complementary regime of regulation?” Dimock recognizes that the transnational is in a dialogic relationship with the national. This view, however, seems to invite a vertical interpretation of this relationship. Winfred Fluck argues that “the transnational sphere is conceived as a privileged counterspace to the nation-state, although it is a sphere which is in itself dominated by imperial designs, social conflicts, the ‘free play’ of an increasingly mobile capital, and other manifestations of economic and political power.” Is transnationalism liberating or does it act as a tyrant in repressing any individual’s attempt to self-define? In Minor Transnationalism, Françoise Lionnet and Shu-mei Shih argue that transnationalism is “a space … where it is still possible for cultures to be produced and performed without necessary mediation by the center.” How does each individual negotiate his position against national and other transnational forces? How does transnationalism re-conceptualize national identity, specifically Asian American identity? This panel encourages papers comparing Asian American texts with texts by other minorities. Also welcome are papers comparing Asian American texts with texts by immigrants that are trying to redefine national identities other than American. Please send a 400 word abstract, a one page CV, and any A/V requests by May 15, 2018 to Debora Stefani, Georgia College, at dstefani2012@gmail.com. SAMLA (South Atlantic  MLA will take place in Birmingham, AL, Nov. 2-4.)