Circle for Asian American Literary Studies at 2022 AAAS

deadline for submissions: 
September 17, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Julia Lee
contact email: 

Two panels sponsored by the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies for the 2022 Association of Asian American Studies Conference:

Panel 1) Asian American Literature and the “American West” 

This year’s AAAS conference will take place in Denver, Colorado. The city’s location evokes popular narratives that link the nation’s exceptionalism and ascendance with the spaces of its frontier. As the CFP for the conference notes, these narratives attempt to erase histories and peoples that do not fit into these narratives. This panel invites submissions that explore the “American West” in Asian American literary works. Topics may include but are certainly not limited to: labor exploitation, environmental destruction, resource extraction, settler colonialism, and sexualized violence. How do Asian American literary texts that are set in the “West” explore these issues? How do they represent the relationship between settlers and Native Americans? How do they work with and/or against national myths associated with the frontier? What types of relationships do they imagine between the land and its inhabitants? We welcome papers that focus on all eras of Asian American literary production and all genres of Asian American writing.  

Please submit a 250-word abstract and a two-page CV to Julia Lee ( by Friday, September 17.

Panel 2) Asian American Renewals: Possibilities for a Sustainable Future

The field of Asian American studies has developed over the years to include and acknowledge a diverse group of literatures that focus on questions of future sustainabilities. Responding to the political movements as well as the changing demographics stemming from mass migrations, the critical and theoretical responses often look to the past to trace the development of the field. This panel solicits paper proposals to look to the future and broadly consider the following questions: What are the possibilities for Asian American critical literary future? What are the reflections of these possible futures in Asian Americans and Asian diasporic communities? What kinds of meditations result from considering the role of the Asian American literary canon and its capacity for reflecting and sustaining the notion of Asian American? 

The recognition of specific gender, class, and racial differences within the Asian American literary field in a broader sense has catalyzed coalition building and pan-ethnic collaboration. Moving from ruin to renewal, we have seen how the notion of “sustainable” has worked its way into fiction. We have also seen tensions regarding approaches to renewal; specifically, we see tensions in the ways Asian American studies explores the emergence of technology as both a way to the future as well as a challenge to growth. Asian diasporic histories grow increasingly complicated and layered; this panel invites considerations of a wide range of Asian American texts such as fiction, poetry, film, journalism, memoir, or activist writing, and encourages intersections with critical ethnic studies, feminist studies, queer studies, disability studies, and environmental studies.

Please email a 250 word abstract of your paper as a two-page CV to Krupa Amin ( by Friday, September 17.

For both panels: be sure to mention any technological needs for your presentation in your abstract. Please note that if your abstract is selected and you agree to present on this panel, you will need to become a member of CAALS before presenting. CAALS is an international organization of scholars, teachers, writers, and students of Asian American literature. We welcome scholars at all career stages. To learn more, please visit