CFP: Association for Asian American Studies 2012 Conference @ Wash, DC

Washington, DC April 11-14, 2012

Submissions due by Saturday, October 1, 2010


The theme, “Expanding the Political: Power, Poetics, Practices,” refers to the location of the meetings in Washington, DC, the seat of politics and power in the United States. Asian Americans play an increasing role in U.S. and international politics in their roles as voters, politicians, and policy makers. At the same time, we wish to highlight the everyday and informal political practices of Asians in America as they use art, academics, and activism to engage—and change—the world around them. We invite submissions that address formal politics and informal politics in their multiple dimensions.

We welcome presentations that explore traditional conceptions of “politics” and political action on topics such as electoral politics, Asian Americans in the government, activism and social movements, and political interests and issues. Do Asian Americans constitute a political block (or have they ever)? How can we interpret the increasing presence of Asian American Republican politicians? Is “Asian America” a useful political category? Simultaneously, we hope the conference will expand our conception of the political to other areas including, but not limited to, the politics of: commemoration and memorialization; war and peace; dynamics within/across/outside Asian American communities, communities of color, and multiracial Asians; immigration, refugee status, citizenship, and national belonging; the relationship between Pacific Island Studies and Asian American Studies; Asian settler colonialism; empire and race. What generative political work emerges in the conversation between academics, activists, and artists? How do Asian Americans contend with the politics of the everyday? The overarching emphasis for this meeting is the analysis of power in its various manifestations in Asian American lives.

We encourage submissions representing all the disciplines covered in Asian American Studies and from individuals engaged in political work, broadly speaking, outside the academy, including politicians, artists and activists. We especially encourage panels incorporating a range of institutional and extra-institutional locations, from students to senior scholars, and from painters to policy makers. Complete panel submissions (with a minimum of three papers and a maximum of four, with a moderator) that attend to the conference theme and reflect this heterogeneity will be given priority, but we will consider individual submissions as well.

In addition to panels, workshops, and roundtables, this year we introduce an inaugural invitation for chaired WORKING PAPER sessions dedicated specifically to this year’s conference theme. For these sessions, panelists will submit longer papers (15-25 pages) prior to the conference, and sessions will be devoted to intensive commentary and discussion on a set of 2-3 papers with a shared theme. A faculty expert on the theme will chair each session and deliver detailed feedback to each author. This format will foster a deeper scholarly exchange and engagement, and showcase the common intellectual threads that run through our diverse research projects. We encourage scholars from various ranks to submit their papers to the Working Paper sessions.

We accept electronic submissions. Paper and panel applicants must be members of the Association for Asian American Studies and all presenters must register and submit their conference fee to be included in the printed conference program. Please check the “WORKING PAPERS” box if you would like your paper or panel submission to be considered for the Working Papers chaired sessions. Relevant information, including the membership form and submissions guidelines, is available at the Association for Asian American Studies Web site at

We look forward to seeing you at the 2012 Association for Asian American Studies conference in Washington, DC!

Committee Co-Chairs,
Sylvia Chong and Nitasha Sharma

*All paper and panel applicants must be members of AAAS in order to submit conference proposals. AAAS membership number or confirmation of membership from JHUP will be required with all proposals.

**AV equipment will be available on request but on a limited, first-come-first-served basis due to budget restrictions. Please make your requests when sending in your proposals.


Author: Camara Dia Holloway

I am an art historian specializing in early twentieth century American art with particular focus on the history of photography, race and representation, and transatlantic modernist networks. I earned my PhD at Yale University in the History of Art Department. Besides my leadership role as the Founding Co-Director of the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH), I am recognized for my expertise on African American Art, particularly African American Photography, and as a seasoned consultant for exhibitions, museum collections, and symposia/lectures planning.

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