CFP: How We Do Asian American Studies: AAPI Narratives of Shared Vulnerability and Care Communities

deadline for submissions: 
September 27, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Seol Ha & Surbhi Malik / Creighton University
contact email: 

Call for Papers


2024 AAAS Annual Conference

April 25-27, 2024

Seattle, WA


Asian American Studies in the 2020s: Disciplinary, Ethnic, Diasporic Identities



Panel Title

How We Do Asian American Studies: AAPI Narratives of Shared Vulnerability and Care Communities


Type: Paper Presentation (3-4 presenters)


Keywords: AAPI narratives; care work; lived experiences; shared vulnerability; women of color feminism; intersections of race, gender, sexuality, disability, class; interdisciplinary Asian American Studies



The myth of model minority is one of the most haunting notions in the field of Asian American Studies, enforcing hyper-ablebodiedness upon Asian and Asian American bodyminds. A global pandemic, however, affected the American cultural imagination in ways that coded flaws, rather than exemplariness, into Asian bodies. With its injurious impacts aside, the pandemic also reminded us how Asian bodies have historically been pathologized and persecuted, as illustrated in the race-specific quarantine rules in San Francisco during the bubonic plague in the 1900s. Meanwhile, the tragic shooting in Atlanta, GA in 2021 also serves as a reminder that Asian bodyminds are monstrocized as sources of moral disease as well. Connecting these dots to make a full circle in history further challenges the model minority myth that still haunts the lived realities of Asian and Asian American communities in which adaptability, assimilation, and fitness are closely linked to wellness and survival.


In response to the injurious history that repeats itself, recent scholarship on AAPI lives in America looks at the multiplicity of the lives and care communities of AAPI immigrants, refugees, and their descendants whose complex positionalities necessitate intersectional and interdisciplinary approaches. Building on the conference’s annual theme, “Asian American Studies in the 2020s,” this panel brings together various points of view in the current field of AAPI studies to collectively explore the lived and imagined experiences of marginality - and centrality - of AAPI immigrants, refugees, and other diasporic communities represented in cultural and literary texts including oral histories, archival materials, memoirs, novels, poems, and cinema. The panel takes sociological and cultural-anthropological approaches and offers various methodologies of “doing Asian American Studies” in the 2020s.


In this panel, we focus specifically on the polyphonic voices from the AAPI communities positioned at the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, and disability. We ask how can we, as multidisciplinary scholars of race and ethnicity, foreground the ways that Asian and Asian Americans constantly straddle the border between model minorities and sources of terror. How does the collective fear and ignorance in white America affect the mental and emotional lives in AAPI communities? What are the consequences of perpetuating sociocultural as well as physical violence upon yellow and brown bodyminds? How is care work embedded in the particular practices of surviving - and thriving - in AAPI communities? How may our analyses of the shared vulnerability in AAPI narratives expand the vocabulary shared within the field of Asian American Studies and beyond? How can we reimagine Asian American Studies from the perspectives of non-belonging, illegitimate AAPI subjects?


Possible topics for individual presentations include:


  • AAPI care communities and care work (in its broadest conception)
  • affect and emotion in AAPI communities
  • shared vulnerability in AAPI communities
  • Immigrant and refugee narratives
  • autoethnography and cultural anthropology
  • sociology and Asian American Studies
  • AAPI diaspora and sense of un/belonging
  • citizenship and il/legitimacy
  • sociocultural perception of yellow and brown bodyminds
  • social, cultural, physical violence upon AAPI bodyminds
  • revising the model minority myth in the 2020s


The goal of the panel is not only to create an opportunity for AAPI scholars, educators, and activists to be in conversation with one another, but it is also to create a safe space for the larger community that engages with a broad range of social justice issues. We invite a range of voices and methodologies to grapple with the questions of systemic racism and xenophobia as inseparable from our everyday life and scholarly attention to social justice. Presenters will be given 15 minutes each to present their individual papers, followed by a 20-minute Q&A session for all. Audience members will be invited to contribute their ideas to the conversation, collaborating with the presenters to work toward building a community for racial justice and coalitional effort for advocacy.


Please submit a 250-word abstract of your presentation along with a short biography to Seol Ha ( and Surbhi Malik ( by September 27, 2023. Organizers will notify the presenters by September 30, 2023.