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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

September 13, 2011

Written by C.N.

Call for Submissions: 2012 Assn. for Asian American Studies Conference

The Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS) will be holding their annual conference on April 11-14, 2012 in Washington DC. As I’ve written about before, I always enjoy attending the AAAS annual conference and find it to be a very welcoming and inspiring opportunity to connect with other academics and activists who are also interested in Asian American Studies and contributing to the Asian American community. Below is their Call for Submission:

© David Arky/Corbis

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?

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. We look forward to seeing you at the 2012 Association for Asian American Studies conference in Washington, DC! Submissions due by: October 8, 2011 (extended for original deadline of Oct. 1).

If the online submission system does not work, please submit your proposal via email, with the subject header: AAAS 2012 Conference Proposal and your last, first name to: To submit a proposal via fax please send your proposal to 217-265-6235. For both fax and email submissions, please make sure to fill out the cover page with contact information for all panelists.

For those who are east of the west coast, you may have heard of the East of California section (EoC) of the Association for Asian American Studies, for those academics who — as its name implies — are located east of California. The EoC section has their own Call for Papers below:

Call for Papers: East of California Section-Sponsored Panels for the AAAS Conference
Submission Deadline: September 20, 2011

Based on the conference theme, “Expanding the Political: Power, Poetics, Practices,” the East-of-California Section seeks to sponsor the following three panels at the 2012 AAAS Conference in Washington, DC. We invite faculty, graduate students and community members who are involved in Asian American politics and art to submit proposals to one of these panels by emailing a 250-word abstract and a two-page CV to Mark Chiang ( and Eric Hung ( by September 20, 2011.

Panel: Asian Americans and Conservative Politics East of California

Asian American voters have become increasingly “Democratic-leaning” in federal elections over the past two decades. Simultaneously, a number of Asian Americans have become highly visible in conservative politics. Not only have Dinesh D’Souza and Elaine Chao served in the Reagan and second Bush administrations, Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley have become governors of Louisiana and South Carolina. Additionally, Michelle Malkin has become a prominent conservative pundit on Fox News.

This panel seeks papers that address the rise of Asian Americans in conservative politics—the Republican Party, neoliberal and libertarian organizations, the Tea Party—east of California. What led to this rise? What are its implications for Asian American identity and Asian American Studies? What impacts have these figures made on the Conservative movement? What roles has religion played in this trend? Is it an inevitable result of increased assimilation?

Panel: Asian American Political Art

This panel seeks papers that address the relationship between art (broadly defined), politics and Asian America. We are particularly interested in studies of visual art, film, dance, music and literature that engage with the formal political system or the political process. Potential topics include:

  • Methodological issues raised by political art
  • Art as a tool of political legitimation or resistance
  • Propagandistic works about Asian America or Asian immigration
  • Art’s impact on the terms of debate and political actions
  • The role of community in the creation and use of political art

Panel: Questions of State

What role does the state play in Asian American politics, culture and community? We seek papers that address any aspect of the state, from historical studies of Asian American actors in the political system or state apparatus (government employees, politicians, lobbyists and others), to theoretical reflections on the contemporary transformations of the state and its impact on ideological struggles over political hegemony, to investigations of the state’s place in the global economy and how that shapes Asian American subjects or communities. What kinds of power still operate through the state and where are Asian Americans located in relation to that power? Is the state still an essential site of political or cultural struggles, or is it becoming increasingly marginal to transnational movements or organizations?

June 17, 2010

Written by C.N.

Links & Announcements #28

Here are some more announcements and links out that have come my way relating to Asians, Asian Americans, or racial/ethnic minorities in general. As always, links to other sites are provided for informational purposes and do not necessarily imply an endorsement of their contents.

Job Opportunity: Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies, The Claremont Colleges

The Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies at the Claremont Colleges and the Asian American Studies field group at Pitzer College invite applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in Asian American Studies, to begin 1 July 2011.

The successful candidate should, by the beginning of the Fall 2011 semester, have a Ph.D. in ethnic studies, American Studies, or other disciplines or interdisciplinary studies appropriate to this subject. Candidates should have the ability to teach a community-based learning course and Asian American History. The department has identified a need for research and teaching expertise in Filipino, Muslim, Pacific Islander, South Asian, or Southeast Asian communities. We especially encourage candidates whose work takes place within frameworks of transnationalism and globalization.

Pitzer College, a member of the Claremont Colleges, has a strong institutional commitment to the principles of diversity in all areas and strongly encourages candidates from underrepresented social groups. We favor candidates who can contribute to the College’s distinctive educational objectives, which promote interdisciplinary perspectives, intercultural understanding, and concern with social responsibility and the ethical implications of knowledge and action. Pitzer College is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. For the successful applicant with the relevant interests, affiliations are possible with the intercollegiate departments of Africana Studies, Chicano/Latino Studies, and/or Women’s Studies.

To apply, send letter of application, curriculum vitae, selected evidence of excellence in teaching and research, statement of teaching philosophy, statement on social responsibility, a statement of research, and three letters of recommendation (at least one (1) of which addresses your teaching effectiveness) VIA EMAIL to “” Electronic documents should be sent in PDF format. Applications will be considered beginning September 17, 2010, until the position is filled.

Job Opportunity: Asian & Pacific Islander Student Center Coordinator

Recruitment No. 50320, Classification Title: Student Services Professional III

The Office of Student Life and Cultural Centers exist to support student development, cultural enhancement, social justice and academic excellence. Basic services provided by the department include: campus scheduling, student activities, cultural programming, leadership and diversity training, club and organization advising, campus policy, crisis intervention, and a variety of other services related to campus life at Cal Poly Pomona.

Under the general direction of the Director of the Office of Student Life & Cultural Centers, the Coordinator will be responsible for implementing student support programs for the Asian & Pacific Islander (API) community; developing and implementing outreach and retention programs; coordinating campus-wide academic and educational programs for the student community at Cal Poly Pomona; assisting in leadership programs offered by the department; selecting and training student assistants and volunteers; overseeing the day to day operations of the facility; and reaching out to the local community.

Duties will include: oversee program advising to API student organizations; offer leadership development programs; maintain knowledge of university policies/procedures as they relate to campus organizations and the use of facilities; interpret regulations to student groups and assist students in their program design, planning and implementation; maintain knowledge of Associated Students Incorporated (ASI) policies/procedures as they related to programs co-sponsored by ASI and student organizations registered with the API Student Center; act as liaison to student groups; oversee the annual programming budget; develop and implement various programs/services designed to address the needs of the API campus community and the mission of the API Student Center; advise and assist student committees with the coordination of programs such as Asia & The Pacific Islands Heritage Month and various end of year programs; provide direction in program advising regarding publicity, funding proposals, budget preparation, room reservations and program evaluations; develop and implement a Pan-Asian graduation celebration and other workshops/seminars; and perform other duties as assigned.

Three years of progressively responsible professional student services work experience AND equivalent to graduation from a four-year college in a related field plus upper division or graduate course work in counseling techniques, interviewing and conflict resolution. (A Master’s degree in Counseling, Clinical Psychology, Social Work or a job-related field may be substituted for one year of professional experience; a doctorate degree and the appropriate internship or clinical training in counseling, guidance or a job-related field may be substituted for three years of the required professional experience); the ability to plan, develop, coordinate, supervise and organize programs and activities; ability to interact with a diverse student population, faculty, staff and the public; excellent verbal and written communication skills.

Masters degree preferred. Experience in the program area and/or active work with API communities is desirable and the collaborative, demonstrated commitment to all issues of diversity.

Call for Papers: 2011 Association for Asian American Studies Conference

“Consuming Asian America”: 2011 Association for Asian American Studies Conference in New Orleans, May 18-21, 2011. Submissions due by Monday, November 1, 2010 [go to to submit on-line]

The theme for the 2011 AAAS conference “Consuming Asian America” is inspired, in part, by the site of the conference itself—New Orleans, the city that measures the success of its Mardi Gras celebration by weighing the garbage collected the morning after and whose shopping and nightclub district for locals is called “Fat City.” We invite proposals to engage with all aspects of consumption, such as excess (after all, New Orlean’s tradition of Mardi Gras suggests an excess of consumption), labor material culture, technology, marketing, identity, assimilation, gender, popular culture, religion, music, or tourism.

The title “Consuming Asian America” has a double sense, referring both to the consumption performed by Asian Americans and the consumption of objects, people, and practices that are marked as Asian American. We are interested in the material practices, actions, and cultures of different versions of the consumer, such as eating, buying, viewing, as well as the larger metaphor of consumption.

For example, proposals might examine the material reality of food and its cultivation, production, labor, and marketing: agribusiness, the restaurant industry, our current fascination with television food shows or “authentic” ethnic eating. Others might examine consumption, purchasing, and power by examining chains of production, from the unseen labor of overseas and domestic Asian workers to how the advertising of various products specifically employs or ignores Asian and Asian American bodies.

This topic also encompasses the widespread consumption of goods and services identified as Asian or Asian American. These might include religious iconography, such as Mehndi and the Buddha, artistic traditions such as haiku, martial arts, or manga), or language and writing, such as Chinese writing in keychains, home decor, and body art. Consumption also can be thought of as a means of absorbing, reformulating, or challenging culture through various technologies: how images of Asians, from the yellow peril to the model minority have been circulated and consumed by a multi-racial America, and how one might control or resist the consumption of Asian America.

This is the first time AAAS will meet in New Orleans. Accordingly, we are interested in the ways in which New Orleans (and the Gulf Coast more broadly) has been the object of consumption post-Katrina, as well as the relative invisibility of Asian Americans in the public attention following the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. How might this conference steer us away from being unthinking consumers of New Orleans culture and instead engage us with the possibilities of critical activism?

Online Archive of Asian American Art

Dear Dr. Le,

I would like to introduce to you, an online archive of Asian American art. Here is a far-reaching tool for research as well as an invaluable educational resource for educators and students. is the result of over twenty-five years of art exhibition programming by Asian American Arts Centre (AAAC) in the Asian community of Lower Manhattan. Working on behalf of this community’s cultural history, gradually gathering images and documents, a physical archive of over 1,500 artist entries has been preserved. Many of these artists are well known today.

Throughout the 60s and 70s, artists were found and exhibited at AAAC. Also, we have conducted very projects to reach back to the end of WWII; to learn more, check out, under Stories of Chinatown. Fascinating examples of the lives and art of modern artists can demonstrate to young people like no other, how ethnicity evolves and entwines itself into the American landscape.

This recently launched online archive, encapsulates and asserts a little known cultural presence in the United States. The history, meaning and content of the subject “Asian American Art” begins to take shape here with each artist contextualizing the other.

We hope that you will spread the word about AAAC’s digital archive! We need your support and the support of scholars, educators, researchers, and Asian American studies specialists to continue to grow the Archive, and make the story of a contemporary Asian creative presence widely known. Use this Archive and you will come to appreciate its originality and innovative character, where the artworks themselves are featured, vivid in all their detail. See why this visual resource is worthy of your time and interest. Please help us spread the word, and grow this aspect of American history.

Best regards,
Emily Matsuda
On behalf of Bob Lee, Eleanor Yung and the Staff of AAAC
Asian American Arts Centre
111 Norfolk St.
New York, NY 10002
o: 212.233.2154 f: 360.283.2154