CFP: Psychoanalysis and Asian American Literary Studies (4/30/05; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Wenxin Li
contact email: 


For a Collection of Essays Tentatively Entitled


Until very recently, Asian American literary studies has been reluctant to
systematically embrace psychoanalysis, a theoretical framework
traditionally believed to be essentializing and ahistorical. However,
recent developments in feminist criticism and critical race studies have
shown that psychoanalytic theory has much to offer to our critical
paradigms of ethnic literary studies. Post-Lacanian feminism, for example,
seeks to subvert the Lacanian symbolic order in which women are rigidly
positioned as the mirror opposite of the masculine subject, thus freeing
the feminine from the tyrannical abjection of phallocentrism. In the field
of critical race studies, vital concepts of psychoanalysis such as fantasy
and displacement have been employed, for example in Frantz Fanon's Black
Skin, White Masks (1967), to complicate the power dynamic between the
colonizer and the colonized. More recently, Christopher Lane's The
Psychoanalysis of Race (1998), focuses on the unconscious fantasies and
identities of many groups, communities, and nations in its investigation of
the historical persistency of racism beyond its political confines. Anne
Cheng's The Melancholy of Race (2001) and David Eng's Racial Castration
(2001) represent the first systematic efforts to apply psychoanalytic
theory to the study of Asian American literary production.

I welcome innovative essays that explore how psychoanalytic theory impacts
Asian American literary and/or film studies and transforms traditional
readings of Asian American texts. Areas of interest may include but are
certainly not limited to:

1) Freudian, Lacanian, Kristevian perspectives
2) Marxist, feminist, queer critiques
3) Gender, race, cultural studies

Potential contributors are invited to attend my special session on the
subject at MLA to get a sense of the tone and tenor of the collection
(Session No. 13: Psychoanalysis and Asian American Literature on Monday,
December 27, 5:15-6:30 p.m., 310, Philadelphia Marriott). Please contact
Wenxin Li for further information at Completed essays are
due by April 30, 2005.

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Received on Mon Nov 29 2004 - 10:52:19 EST