Re-Imagining the Pacific - Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) - DEADLINE EXTENDED

deadline for submissions: 
October 5, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Francisco Delgado, Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY)

***Deadline Extended***

This panel will examine what it means to re-imagine a region of the world that continues to occupy the imaginations of, among others, artists and scholars, vacation goers and/or environmentalists. The islands of the Pacific, for instance, were regarded by colonial explorers from Europe as utopias untouched by humankind. Beginning in the twentieth century, some islands were used as military testing sites by the United States and Europe with no regard for the Indigenous people of these locations. And most recently, as literary theorist Aimee Bhang explains, the Pacific “is laden with speculation, mostly of two kinds: one that anticipates the economic potential of the ‘Asian century,’ and another that projects its ecological devastation” (663). In other words, re-imagining the Pacific helps account for the anxiety linked to the shifting world order prompted by the ascendency of countries like China (and thus, perhaps relatedly, the decline of the United States and the West in general), as well as about environmental ruin. The act of re-imagining the Pacific is therefore not only a historical practice but indicative of evolving ideologies across the globe. It continues to connect individuals across time and place and reflect many of the tensions and anxieties permeating international relations. And, most importantly for our purposes with this panel, for Indigenous writers, filmmakers, and artists, re-imagining the Pacific often means taking it back. This panel will consider but by no means limit itself to the following questions: in what ways do Indigenous writers/filmmakers/artists respond to the dominant portrayal of their home islands? What impact do their languages, folklore, and cultural traditions seem to play in their creative work? Lastly, how does their work link to the decolonizing efforts underway in many parts of the Pacific, such as in Hawai’i and Guam?

Papers will be presented during the 2019 Northeast MLA convention in Washington D.C., which will take place from March 21-24. Proposals of no more than 250 words must be submitted through the NeMLA website. The call for papers for this particular panel can be accessed via the following link:

To submit your proposal, click on the "Submit Abstract" button on the top right of the screen.

Proposals must be submitted by September 30, 2018.