NeMLA 2016 PANEL--The Matrilineal Textual Body: Maternal Bodies in Asian American Lit and PopCulture as Text

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Jina Lee
contact email: 

This panel seeks to theorize the female Asian American body as a biopolitical site for either a patriarchal or maternal dialogue and to investigate these representations and the textual body in order to consider the following:

Are these representations vehicles through/by which postcolonial and diasporic trauma is articulated?


Are maternal bodies deleted from family histories?

Does the body represent a sexualized and feminized nation?

What are the haunted histories and locations of the Asian American experience in the literary field and in the American field of cultural production?


How does the narrator serve as a cultural translator?

Are hauntings the vehicle by which the politics of the body are negotiated?


What are the implications of the haunting on/of the mother-daughter continuum?


How are representations in pop culture distinctive from literary representations? Are the aesthetics a means to gain cultural capital?


What are the limits of Western critical approaches to literary representations in Asian American studies?

Topics or critical paradigms can include, but are not limited to: the abject, biopower, silence, subjectivity, transnationalism, femininity, masculinity, memory, politics, rape, torture, trauma theory, psychoanalytic theory, eroticism, materiality, miscegenation, spectral identities, consumption, loss, reception, diaspora, and femicide-- specifically in the works of Nora Okja Keller, Changrae Lee, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Mia Yun, Patti Kim, Susan Choi, Amy Tan, Maxine Hong Kingston, Jhumpa Lahiri, Suki Kim, Bharati Mukherjee, Carlos Bulosan, Jessica Hagedorn, Frank Chin, Hisaye Yamamoto, Asian American authors of the post-1965 Immigration Act generation, film, television, music, and digital media.