We're seeking queer API [Asian Pacific Islander -- ed.] scholars and activists for a proposed roundtable entitled "Diasporic Desires"—to discuss the role of (public) history in queer API community building—for next year's National Council on Public History conference, March 18-21 in Atlanta, GA. Our discussion questions can be found below and the conference website can be found here. More information on this session proposal can be found here.
If you or someone you know are interested/available, please let us know as soon as possible! Don't hesitate to reach out with any questions.
• Queer people of color often seek to reclaim an “indigenous,” precolonial past as a means of decolonizing their sexual experiences and self-conceptions. What role has, does, or can public history play in this process of (a)historical validation? Why and how does the past confer a sense of legitimacy, especially for queer API in the diaspora?
• In an American context, API stereotypes abound—the model minority, the perpetual foreigner, sexless or sexful. Meanwhile, queer API are rendered “the minority of the minority”—stifled, invisible, nonexistent. How have we internalized these frameworks and allowed them to circumscribe our queer historical imaginings—who we were and are, and what we could become? What role has, does, or can public history praxis play in perpetuating or disrupting this false narrative construction?
• How do we find each other and ourselves? What are concrete and constructive examples of queer API community building and identity formation—past, present, and future? What role does historical consciousness play in this process, and is it exceptional to other modes of grassroots work? In other words, what can queer API bring to the table—to synthesize queer of color critique and public history theory for the benefit of political organizing and spiritual meaning-making?