Verge Special Issue 7.2 CFP: Digital Asias

Yi-Ting Chang's picture



Edited by Jonathan E. Abel (Penn State University) and Joseph Jonghyun Jeon (UC-Irvine)


We have been willing participants in our own digital colonization.  This digitalization has some historical roots in Asia and today is routed through Asia.  It is saturated in stereotypical techno-orientalist images of a futuristic Asia, and proliferates through Asian media, finance capital, and artistic production. In short, Asia has been entangled in the global digital culture that occupies our everyday.  As a major node in digital mediations of the world, Asia plays a primary part in producing computational gadgets (whether made by Sunway, LG, or Fujitsu), designing new forms of social media (Line, Weibo, SyncYu, and KakaoTalk), or creating innovative digital content (Bollywood, K-pop, anime).  We welcome scholarship on all forms of Digital Asia.  This may include, for instance, the role Asian diasporas play in global digital life; the social, political, economic, and artistic functions of digital connectivity in Asian communities around the world; the stereotype of Asian identity as binary; the global infrastructures and logistical innovations that increasingly characterize global Asia; and Asian inflections of global activities like the algorithmic determination of risk for venture capital and the corporate and government abuse of big data.


This special issue seeks to answer, at least provisionally, some of the following interrelated questions:  How has the digitalization of life in Asia, and of Asian lives, transformed the world?  How does a consideration of cultures that are born digital differ from those that grow up analog?  If daily life has been colonized by the digital, what is globally consistent about contemporary digitalization?  How is Asian cultural digitalization different from, innovating on, or resistant to popular modes elsewhere?  If the putatively real public persona has reigned supreme online since the dawn of Web 2.0, why have anonymous internet activities continued to flourish in Asia?  How do the supposed “new” economies that surround digital production reimagine and/or restructure late capitalist practices, particularly as deindustrialization becomes an increasingly global phenomenon? What is new about Digital Asia and what is atavistic? What does this focus on the digital in all of its forms bring to the surface in Asian and Asian American Studies that would not otherwise be visible?


One of the journal's distinctive features is an opening section called Convergence, where we curate a rotating series of rubrics that emphasize collaborative intellectual engagement and exchange.   Each issue features four of the following rubrics: A&Q, a responsive dialogue, either in interview or roundtable format, inspired by  a set of questions; Codex, a collaborative discussion and assessment of books; Translation, for texts, primary or secondary, not yet available in English; Field Trip, reports from various subfields of the disciplines; Portfolio, commentaries on visual images; and Interface, texts (and eventually online material) exploring the resources of the print-digital world. We welcome those interested in these features to submit a Convergence proposal for the issue.  Proposals should indicate what kind of feature is being proposed; demonstrate an awareness of the formats utilized by the journal; include an abstract and, if collaborative, a list of proposed contributors; and be accompanied by a letter of interest by the feature’s primary coordinator along with a short (2 pg) cv.

Submission Deadlines:

Convergence proposals—October 1, 2019

Essays—May 1, 2020 

Please direct all inquiries and submissions to


Categories: CFP