Tragedy/The Tragic in Asian American Literature

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Calling papers for possible panel at MLA 2012-13
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This panel will explore Asian American literary participation in the tragic mode. Reasons for this exploration include:
- the desire to explore some of the aesthetic dimensions of Asian American fiction that have long been neglected by critics.
- the desire to recuperate tragedy/the tragic for the 20th Century, where it has often been dismissed as no longer applicable
- the desire to break down longstanding binaries between existential and political approaches to the tragic.
- the desire to better understand possible political ramifications of tragedy/the tragic in the 20th Century
- the desire to examine the role of genre in knowledge production and ethics

Possible paper topics include, but not are limited to:
- any approaches/treatments of/responses to suffering in Asian American literature, by authors, readers, critics, narrators, or fictional characters
- a questioning of traditional Western claims to tragedy, through investigations of tragedy in Asian and/or Asian American literature
- Examinations of heroism in Asian American literature
- Explorations of the ways in which the tragic appears in Asian American literature
-The tragic as it manifests in Asian cultural values/belief systems.
- Ethics and suffering/grief/tragedy in Asian American literature
- Genre shaping in Asian American literature
- Attention to lyricism and imagism in Asian American fiction
- Negotiating hope in Asian American fiction
- The role of genre in knowledge production and ethics
- The tragic as it manifests in the 20th Century
- The tragic as it manifests in American literature
- The relationship of any of the above to transnationalism

Please send a 400 word abstract by email to by February 18, 2012.