Global Solidarities, proposed special session, MLA 2011 (Los Angeles, Jan. 6-9, 2011)

full name / name of organization: 
Roopika Risam
contact email: 

More than 50 years later, contemporary scholars, including Bill Mullen, Gary Okihiro, and Vijay Prashad, are responding to the 1955 Bandung Conference's powerful vision of an Afro-Asian world of color poised to take back the reins of history and challenge the global hegemony of the world's superpowers. These scholars' work emerges not from theoretical models of hybridity within postcolonial and cultural studies but — like the Bandung Conference itself — from anti-imperialist and transnational political agendas. Significantly, as Colleen Lye suggests, this work comprises a third stage of ethnic studies, mediating between limited, nation-bound multiracial analysis and the perceived lack of historical specificity in diaspora models.

Informed by this neo-Bandung critical turn, this panel will examine representations of cross-racial solidarity in U.S. ethnic or postcolonial literatures, including, but not limited to, Afro-Asian encounters. How do cross-racial solidarities transform discussions of race? What are the bases for solidarity beyond race? What can literature contribute towards global solidarities, and what are its limitations?

Papers addressing these questions are welcome for this proposed special session at the Modern Language Association's 2011 conference, to be held in Los Angeles.

Please send a 500-word abstract and brief vitae to Roopika Risam ( by March 15, 2010.

All panelists must be members of MLA by April 7, 2010.