Bodies in Crises - CfP AAS conference, Honolulu 2022

Beata Switek's picture

Dear All,

Please find below a CfP for the forthcoming AAS conference.

Best wishes,



Panel proposal for the Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference

March 24-27, 2022, Honolulu, Hawai’i

Convenor: Beata Świtek, Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen


Bodies in Crises. Imagining the otherwise in Asia

Increasingly in Asia, the body is not just a site of normative Foucauldian embodiment, but of activism for change. From the LGBTQI+ movements gaining public visibility and concrete rights, to novel approaches to ageing, (dis)ability, and gender equality, to post-disaster reorganisations of livelihoods, and to emergent forms of economic organisation, Asia is a vibrant field of imagining new futures. In this panel, we look at these imaginings as closely linked to somatic experiences that foster particular kinds of political, economic and environmental thinking.

We thus invite ideas-in-progress that consider the body not as a docile site of power inscription, but as a catalyst for reimagining and reorganising society on a planetary, regional, local, and interpersonal level. In particular, we call for accounts of how bodily crises trigger reflection and carry the potential to imagine the otherwise that could or should be and catalyse a change in the world one inhabits. Bodily crises in this context are understood as somatic experiences that result in a dissonance between one’s sense of self as a bodied-being-in-the-world and what is happening to that bodied self or how this body is being read, for example, when the body is at the mercy of natural elements, or when we are unable to maintain our social ‘face’.

We invite contributions that examine the socially, politically, economically, and ideologically generative potential of such bodily crises experienced in Asian contexts in relation to one’s positioning vis á vis and within natural and built environments, normative socialities, labour relations, sexualities, abilities, affective attachments, and others.



The session will take the format of a workshop during which participants take turns in discussing the contributions of the remaining participants in light of their own work. Each participant will be allocated up to ten minutes for that purpose. This will be followed by responses from the other participants and a moderated general discussion.

We welcome proposals from all disciplinary perspectives and focusing on any historical period. In particular, we invite contributions based on ethnographic research, historical studies, works of art, such as film and literary formats, and those anchored in Asian philosophy.

Panel participants will be expected to submit their contributions of circa 2000-3000 words by the end of January 2022.


Please submit your abstract (max 250 words), paper title, and presenter information (see below for requirements) to Beata Świtek ( by August  5th, Thursday.


Please indicate if you are intending to attend the conference in person or only online.


Presenter information needs to include:

1. Full Name
2. Email address
3. Affiliation
4. Rank (student, professor, assistant professor, etc.)
5. Gender (female, male, non-binary)