In the past century, key political moments have brought together Africans, Asians, and members of their respective diasporas in the Americas. Events such as the Pan-African Conference of 1900, the Bandung Conference of 1955, and the American ethnic nationalist movements of the 1960s and 70s instigated a discourse on the generative potential of Afro-Asian and Afro-Asian American connections. In recent years, an increasing body of scholarship has addressed and theorized this history of contact, critically assessing as well as extending it to include events ranging from the antebellum debates over coolie labor to the 1992 LA riots.
As graduate students and scholars in African American and Asian American studies, how might this comparativist trend inform the work we do within our respective disciplines? This conference seeks to center this question by calling for papers that either explicitly theorize connections or cover themes that are central to both disciplines (such as migration/diaspora, labor/slavery, legal racialization, etc). While we invite papers that specifically illuminate Afro-Asian American intersections, we also invite abstracts that are rooted in either Africana or Asian American studies. Through this call for both papers and people, we intend to contribute to the critical conversation by opening a space to map out and create connections between African American and Asian American studies.
The conference will be from November 18-19, 2011 (paper proposals due June 1), and it is grad student-friendly (I'm assured that includes law students, kids!).