CFP: Militarism, War, and Asia/Pacific/US Cult. Prod. (11/1/06; ACLA, 4/19/07-4/22/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Christine Hong
contact email: 

American Comparative Literature Association
"Trans, Pan, Intra: Cultures in Contact" Conference
Puebla, Mexico
19-22 April 2007

Seminar: "Rethinking the Pacific Imaginary: Militarism, Geopolitics, and
Emergent Asia/Pacific/US Cultural Production" (seminar chair: Rob Wilson,
University of California, Santa Cruz)

>From the early sixteenth century, when Vasco Núñez de Balboa sighted the
Pacific and Fernáo de Magalháes (Magellan) gave the ocean its sublime name,
it has been less a region of peace and stability and more an arena of war.
Taking a broad view of the Pacific, with particular emphasis on the long
twentieth-century, this seminar inquires into the violent underside of the
long history of imperialist imaginings of the Pacific.

Described in lush, munificent, and seemingly benign terms as a site of
tranquility, openness, and abundance by successive imperialist regimes, the
Pacific, as a region, has been shaped by the violence of war, militarism,
revolution, and resistance. "Pacific," "Silk Road," "Open Door," "Greater
East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere," "Shangri-La," "American Lake": all of these
designations conjure forth ideas of the region and its localities in
aesthetized political language imposed from without as well as from
within—language which obscures the brute asymmetry of power relations that
have historically riven the region. This seminar seeks not so much to
re-describe the history of imposed representation vis-à-vis the Pacific as
it aims to unearth that which hovers just beneath: namely, the militarism,
geopolitics, and colonialism that have repeatedly reconfigured the region.

Within the long twentieth century alone, the Pacific has been a site of
contesting, frequently overlapping imperialisms and successive wars: the
Spanish-American War, the Philippine-American War, the Asia-Pacific War, the
Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the "secret" war in Cambodia and Laos. The
arena where the U.S. and Japan laid grand imperial designs, thereby enabling
their simultaneous emergence as sovereign powers on the world stage, the
Pacific has historically been host to competing geopolitical forays by
imperial actors, including Spain, France, Great Britain, Holland, Russia,
the U.S., and Japan. This seminar asks the question: how has this history
of serial wars, serial colonialisms, and serial militarisms in the Pacific
made its imprint on cultural production? This seminar solicits papers that
address this question from perspectives both large-scale and micro: for
example, the "Pacific" as a region and specific localities within the
Pacific, war, colonialism, and militarism and their epiphenomena. In the
spirit of "Trans, Pan, and Intra," we encourage papers that highlight a
number of sites within and along the "rim" of the Pacific, from a range of
disciplinary positions—particularly those that combine area studies and
Asian American studies.

With the Pacific framing in mind, you are encouraged to submit papers that
speak to but are certainly not limited to the following possible topics:

* Historical wars in the Pacific
* Geopolitical vs. local imaginaries
* Construction of the Pacific as a "theater"
* Popular social movements, racism, and justice
* "Pacific Rim" vs. "Asia Pacific"
* Afro-Asian alliance politics
* "Hot war" during the Cold War
* Militourism, R & R stations, camptowns
* Sexual violence in the context of armed conflict
* Free market reconstruction: postcolonial vs. neocolonial/World Bank/IMF
* Environmental consequences
* Experimental political art

Please note that the ACLA requires that all prospective participants submit
an abstract through the ACLA website by 1 November 2006:

Please feel free to contact seminar co-organizers Christine Hong
(, Sherwin Mendoza (, or Jeff
Schroeder ( with any questions.

              From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
                         Full Information at
         or write Jennifer Higginbotham:
Received on Sat Oct 14 2006 - 20:53:00 EDT