[UPDATE] Transpacific Encounters: Catastrophic Aftermath in the Asian Diaspora at Brown University 03/29-04/01

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American Comparative Literature Association
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Within the past decade growing interests in transnationalism, globalization, and deterritorialized nation-state have offered alternative approaches to the studies of migration and resettlement. This panel invites papers that explore civilizational encounters and transformations between the Americas and Asia (East, Southeast, South, Central, and West Asia) and their catastrophic aftermath across the Pacific. Recent scholarship attempts to grapple with the origin and different manifestations of the Asian diaspora not as an East- or West-centered model, but rather as a transpacific migration phenomenon besieged by a discourse of identity crises and historical ruptures. The cultural and material traffic across the continent is marked by elements of hostility, destruction, conquest, exile, and disorientation. How, we ask, do subjects in the diaspora reconcile their individual and national identities as they undergo psychological, intellectual, economic, and sociopolitical catastrophes during their transcontinental voyage? In what ways migrants negotiate agency while responding to and revolting against cues of turbulence and chaos? Do sites of resistance and empowerment exist within this East-West intermediary space? To this end, the seminar specifically seeks why the transpacific framework is valuable for rethinking the Asian diaspora imaginary. Keynote presenters include King-Kok Cheung (UCLA) and Kent Ono (U of Illinois).

The panel welcomes themes on: 1) problematics and potentials of assimilation and acculturation; 2) nativism and hostility by the hostlands; 3) generational conflicts between diasporic individuals and native communities; 4) the loss of language and memory; 5) the psychological dimensions of diaspora (loss, melancholia, nostalgia, mental disturbance, depression, and exhilaration).

250 word proposals addressing any literary or cultural or historical periods are welcome. Deadline: 11/15.

Please submit abstracts to Janice Tong (tong14@illinois.edu), or through the ACLA website: http://acla.org/acla2012/?page_id=45
Be sure to select "Transpacific Encounters" as the seminar for you individual paper.