Roundtable CFP: Abolition and Asian American Cultural Studies

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association
contact email: 

This roundtable engages what Dylan Rodríguez coins the “Carceral Dilemma of Asian American Studies,” wherein the discipline and the parallel social formation of the “model minority” figure have expanded anti-Black state violence under the guise of a multicultural civil society.

An interdisciplinary invitation and gathering, this roundtable is a space for diasporic academics to reflect on how abolitionist theory and practice informs their scholarship and pedagogy, and how this political orientation is conducted and constrained within the neoliberal university.

Engaging abolitionism as an ongoing and everyday practice rather than an identitarian category, this roundtable will then make room for brainstorming alternative scholarly and pedagogical methods in the study of Asian American histories and literatures.

A consideration of abolition is particularly salient in this contemporary conjuncture, as anti-Asian violence is reduced to “hate” and used to further reify the carceral U.S. state. Liberal empire and racial capitalism have naturalized the pursuit for legal redress, which has only served to continue funding prisons and police, when in reality the pandemic has undeniably demonstrated the need to collectivize and transform social relations and institutions altogether during this interregnum of ongoing organized abandonment.

Five decades after its institutional codification, what are the different intellectual directions and political networks of Asian American Studies, and how does abolition help guide our movements forward?

Abstracts of 250-300 words should be submitted directly on the NeMLA website by September 30th, 2022. For any questions or concerns, please contact