CFP: “Asian-Indigenous Relations” ACLA 2022

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Call for Papers
June 15, 2021 to June 18, 2021
Subject Fields: 
Asian History / Studies, Indigenous Studies, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Asian American History / Studies

The American Comparative Literature Association 2022 Annual Meeting

Seminar: Asian-Indigenous Relations

Organizer: Yan Lu

Co-Organizer: Kirsten Vanderwerff

Connections between Asians and Indigenous communities have long been formed through Asian migration around the world. Asian diaspora, from indentured labourers to new immigrants, have centuries of contact history with Indigenous peoples in settler societies. However, the two communities have been and continue to be imagined separately and disconnected from each other; their relations are underrepresented in public and scholarly discussion.

This seminar examines the varied presence of Asian-Indigenous relations and their literary, cinematic, artistic, and cultural representations across history and societies. Asian-Indigenous relations are distinct from the minority-versus-majority opposition and illustrate a unique set of interactions at the margins. The entangled histories reveal cultural connections and growing possibilities of alliance and solidarity in the struggle for decolonization and anti-racism. Meanwhile, the shifting positions of the two communities alert us to their asymmetrical power relationship in an uneven social-political field.  

The seminar aims to foster cross-cultural dialogues between Asian studies and Indigenous studies. We welcome papers on all aspects related to Asian-Indigenous relations and seek to address questions that include, but are not limited to: How are the relations between Asian immigrants and Indigenous peoples in different countries from the 18th century to the present? How did restrictive policies and legislations toward Asians and Indigenous peoples impact interracial intimacies? What are the enduring and emerging challenges that the two communities find themselves facing? How are legacies of Asian-Indigenous history passed on through family heritage, cultural practices, and mixed identity? How are Asian-Indigenous relations represented in literature, film, art, and media? With focus on Asian-Indigenous relations, this seminar also invites papers on the general topic of diasporic and Indigenous crossings.

Please submit your abstract through the ACLA website by Oct. 31, 2021. If you have any questions, please contact Yan Lu at

Contact Info: 

Yan Lu (Huron University College at Western University)

Contact Email: 
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