Special Forum - Redefining the American in Asian American Studies: Transnationalism, Diaspora and Representation
Journal of Transnational American Studies (JTAS)
Special Forum on Asian American Studies
Redefining the American in Asian American Studies: Transnationalism, Diaspora
Guest edited by Tanfer Emin Tunc (Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey); Elisabetta Marino (University of Rome, Italy); Daniel Y. Kim (Brown University, USA); Te-hsing Shan (Academia Sinica, Taiwan)
Deadline for complete submissions: September 1, 2010
In her seminal work Reading Asian American Literature: From Necessity to Extravagance (1993), Sau-ling Wong established the intertextuality of Asian American literature by focusing on four motifs—food and eating; the Doppelganger figure; mobility; and play—illustrating that these motifs transcend ethnic subgroup, gender, class, generational, and historical boundaries. In doing so, Wong conveyed the primacy of Asian patterns in Asian American literature, as well as the rich interactions that occur within Asian subcultures, and with American culture at large. As Elaine Kim, author of Asian American Literature (1982) has noted, Wong's analysis of Asian American literature in this work is not only "informed by her intimate knowledge of Asian American culture, minority discourses, feminist thought, and contemporary literary theory…[but is also full of] insightful interpretations and careful [sociopolitical] contextualizations."
Wong's crucial vantage point as a woman of both Asian and American heritage has, over the years, rendered her an important figure in critiques of bilingualism and biculturalism (in both print and media sources), and in discourses involving transnationalism, globalization, citizenship, mobility and diasporic identities. She has called for a "denationalization" of Asian and Asian American subjects in order to expose deeper layers of analysis, and has challenged the benefits of limiting Asian American Studies to the borders of the United States. She has also proposed a transnational investigation of the Asian diaspora that takes ethnicity as a common factor, while simultaneously prioritizing class (a category of analysis that, as Wong notes, is often elided in discussions of transnationality). Wong's works have illustrated the irrelevancy of borders in constructing identities and cultures, thus reinforcing the "transnational turn" in Asian American Studies. She has warned, however, against overusing concepts such as "global" or "diaspora," since they too can result in the marginalization (or sometimes the complete exclusion) of local, regional and national ethnic organization. A more appropriate balance, she maintains, includes a cultural nationalism which considers nation-based identities (such as Asian American), as well as coalition building within/among Asian groups.
The co-editors of this special forum of the Journal of Transnational American Studies (JTAS), which is dedicated to Professor Sau-ling Wong as she gains Emeritus status from the University of California, Berkeley, seek submissions (full-length manuscripts of between 6,000 and 8,000 words, following the Chicago Manual of Style, as well as shorter book reviews, essays, and commentaries) that take Wong's writings, and/or the "transnational turn" in Asian American Studies, as their point of departure (submissions can also include those which consider Professor Wong's contributions to other fields, such as the study of mestizaje and Chicano culture). We also seek submissions on topics related to Asian American Studies, including, but not limited to:
• Asian American Studies beyond the United States
• New trends and developments in transnational Asian American history
• The politics of Asian American Studies
• Asian American literature/the "canon"
• The pedagogy of Asian American Studies
• Asian American digital culture and the Internet
• Bilingualism and biculturalism in the Asian American context
• The Asian American immigrant experience
• (Re)defining the Asian American family
• Women, sexuality and reproduction in the transnational Asian American context
• Hybridity, diaspora and borders
• Asian American Arts (visual, theatrical, cultural, oral traditions, etc)
• Asian American self-writing (incl. travel writing, journals, diaries, and memoirs)
• Translation/interpretation/adaptation and the Asian American experience
• Asian American resistance/subversion
• Americanization, assimilation, acculturation
• Identity, representation, race, class and gender
• Globalization, citizenship, mobility
• Asian Americans and popular/consumer culture
Complete submissions (no abstracts please) and one-paragraph bios should be emailed as Microsoft Word attachments to Drs. Tanfer Emin Tunc, Elisabetta Marino, Daniel Y. Kim, and Te-hsing Shan (JTAS2010@gmail.com) by September 1, 2010. Please convey your interest by e-mailing us your topic by July 1, 2010, with full text to follow on September 1, 2010.