Verge 8.1 A&Q – “Race, Racialization, and Antiracism: Reimagining the Study of Global Asias”

deadline for submissions: 
July 31, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Verge: Studies in Global Asias
contact email: 

CfP: Verge 8.1 A&Q – “Race, Racialization, and Antiracism: Reimagining the Study of Global Asias”

Following the resurgence of protests against racialized police violence since May 2020, citizens, activists, artists, and academic communities across the globe have renewed efforts to reflect on and respond to issues of race and racial discrimination. One such measure taken to address structural racism in academia has been an email petition generated by members of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) to the board of directors, in which cosigners voice their support for black scholars of Asia and urge other AAS members to include panels and roundtables on race, ethnicity, and Africa-Asia Studies in future AAS conferences as one way to combat racial bias and anti-Blackness. To expand the epistemic potential of Asian Studies and Global Asia programs, we must center anti-racist pedagogies and review issues of race and culture beyond the existing paradigms of Asian diasporas and Asian migrants.

In this context, we will be adding another A&Q Convergence feature to our forthcoming Verge special issue on “Indian Ocean Studies, Afro-Asian Affinities” in order to present multi-disciplinary and polyvocal perspectives on the current state of race and ethnicity in Asian Studies. We invite submissions of 1000-1500 words from scholars, graduate students, artists, and activists interested in responding to any of the following questions:

  • How might we decolonize existing vocabularies within Asian Studies while addressing the limitations of appropriating, transposing, and/or mistranslating Euro-American perspectives on racial formations?
  • What are the ethical challenges of working with marginalized racial communities and individuals in different parts of Asia and around the Indian Ocean? And what are the theoretical, methodological, and political concerns surrounding issues of representation (i.e. who can/should speak for whom)? Whose voices and experiences should be centered and how might we accomplish such recentering?
  • What are the explicit and implicit biases inherent to the conception and history of Asian Studies as a field? And how to address the gap between racialized experiences and scientific/scholarly/institutional discourses about racism, racial justice, and representation? How might we navigate constraints regarding mediation, allyship and/or advocacy on matters of race and racial discrimination?
  • How might we construct and strengthen transnational pedagogic frameworks on race and ethnicity that mobilize conversations within African and African American Studies so as to restore understanding of Creole cultures, African Descents, the Black Pacific, and Afro-Arabic communities in the study of Global Asias?
  • What research methods might transcend postcolonial frameworks and existing categories (e.g. Asian Americans, South Asian diaspora, etc.) to express more fluid positionalities and racial solidarities? What theories might open other dynamic categories such as the Indian Ocean and Africa-Asia interactions?

If you would be interested in contributing a short essay response for this Convergence feature, please send an abstract (no more than 300 words) and a narrative bio (no more than 200 words) to vergevents@psu.edu by Friday, July 31, 2020.

Select applicants may be invited, based on their abstract submissions, to be part of a panel discussion on race and inclusivity in Asian Studies at the AAS Conference in 2021.  If you would not be interested in being considered for inclusion on this panel, please note that in your materials.