CFP for 2021 PAMLA - James Baldwin in Hawaiʻi, the Pacific, and Beyond: Teaching Intersectionality through Literature

deadline for submissions: 
April 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Michael Pak, UH West Oahu
contact email: 

118th PAMLA Conference

Las Vegas, Nevada | November 11-14, 2021

Sahara Las Vegas Hotel and Online

Hosted by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas



James Baldwin in Hawaiʻi, the Pacific, and Beyond: Teaching Intersectionality through Literature



Mike Pak, UH West Oahu



This roundtable seeks to harness the spirit of James Baldwin to think through how his intersectional analysis of society is beneficial for teaching literature throughout the Hawaii and the Pacific. One of the primary themes this roundtable is concerned with is how African American literature, and other forms of Ethnic Literature, can be taught in our contemporary moment. Although, the focus of the roundtable is centered on Hawaiʻi and the Pacific, the roundtable encourages submission from any area of Ethnic Literature so a fruitful conversation can be had concerning pedagogical approaches that can be mobilized when approaching this rich body of literature.

As an approach to literary analysis, intersectionality can provide a framework of reading that carefully considers many different aspects of identity. These markers of identity include, but are not limited to, class, race, sexual orientation, age, religion, ability, and gender. Writers like James Baldwin can be read through many approaches (e.g., Modernism, LGBTQ+, African-American), and intersectionality offers that all of these different lenses interact through the literature. In addition, where we as instructors teach literature also introduces interesting critical lenses. For example, at the University of Hawaiʻi, teaching Ethnic Literature may bring forth the sensibilities and ideologies of Indigenous theory or Translation Studies, two trajectories perhaps disparate from typical Baldwin criticism yet very productive within an intersectional approach.


In our roundtable, we will share examples of teaching Ethnic Literature in short informal presentations to build more pedagogical and philosophical webs of intersectionality. Like a classroom space, we want the roundtable to encourage both participants and the audience to engage in conversation. Some questions we will ask are: what pressing social issues can be illuminated by turning to Ethnic literature? What new literature has emerged that can be incorporated into the classroom? What pedagogical approaches work best? How can place-based approaches benefit the teaching of Ethnic Literature?


Our panel will be held VIRTUALLY.

Abstract proposals are due April 15, 2021.

Please submit presentation proposals here:

If you have any questions, please contact Mike Pak,