The Seen and Unseen in Asian / Asian American Literature and Studies (SAMLA 96 panel)

deadline for submissions: 
June 15, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA)
contact email: 

In the U.S., immigrants of Asian origin have historically fallen victim to both extreme violent legal measures and racist stereotype labels—such as the infamous “Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882” and/or other major laws against the naturalization of Asians voted in 1924 and 1934, as well as the notorious use of Orientalist terms such as “inferior race,” “yellow peril,” “perpetual foreigner,” and “model minority,” etc—all of which either aim to “unsee” or to “wrongfully see” Asian presence in the United States of America. Yet, even now two decades into the 21st century, this issue is clearly still ongoing, as the title of scholar Sharon S. Lee’s 2021 published work, An Unseen Unheard Minority: Asian American Students at the University of Illinois, apparently seem to suggest: issues of under- and over-representations as well as the various realities of race for Asian / Asian American minorities is still very much alive and present. Now, amidst the ongoing anti-DEI climate, perhaps more than ever, the field of Asian / Asian American Studies calls for a new vision or re-vision of the past and the present, to help us re-envision the future and make new meaning out of the many living realities and meanings—whether racially, culturally, historically, or politically, just to name a few—on which we stand. This roundtable panel thus welcomes presentations on any aspect of studies and/or teaching in literature, language, history, culture, and arts within the realms of Asian/Asian American Studies that aims to address the following questions: What are some of the seen and/or unseen in Asian/Asian American studies and literature? How should we interpret such seen and/or unseen conditions and realities? What acts and manners of writing could or should be considered as meaningful, pertinent, or even necessary ways of confronting these conditions and realities, and further allow for “the seeing of the unseen” or “the unseeing of the wrongfully seen” in Asian/Asian American studies and literature? Comparative or interdisciplinary studies, multiethnic, transnational, and cross-cultural research related to the SAMLA 96 theme, Seen/Unseen, are especially welcome. Please submit a 250-300 word abstract/proposal, a brief academic bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to I-Hsien Shannon Lee (ilee11@gsu.edu) by June 15, 2024.