CFP Verge-sponsored panels AAS 2023

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Call for Papers
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Asian American History / Studies, Asian History / Studies

Verge-sponsored Panels 2023 AAS

Submission Deadline | August 1, 2022

250 word abstracts and 2-page CVs should be submitted to organizers by August 1, 2022. Please find the individual panel statements and the organizers' contact information below. Please note: these panels will be submitted for the in-person AAS conference in Boston, March 16-19, 2023.

The Material Transpacific: Histories, Mobilities, Agencies

Panel Organizer: Susan Eberhard (

How can art and material culture studies surface the opaque mechanisms of empire--both Asian and American--that laced the Pacific historically and in the present? How can attention to works of art, objects, object ontologies, and material properties bring to light the construction of global logics of difference, such as race and ethnicity, gender, and class?

This panel concerns the movement and agency of humans and nonhumans in East Asia, the South Pacific, and the Americas, centering on Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) histories. Papers trace how the mobilities of art, craft, and material things trouble and reveal social hierarchies of power, as well as the structures built to conceal them. In other words, they examine the intersecting, co-constituting points of the social and material, or what Karen Barad has termed “intra-actions” in the transpacific context. The panel follows recent calls for studies of “global Asias" from oceanic, as opposed to land-based, perspectives. By drawing on interdisciplinary methods to track the lived experiences of individuals and the social lives of objects as they intersect with notions of materiality, they actively de-center the totalizing and self-reaffirming narratives of the world economy and the nation-state.

The papers hold in tension the fluidities of object mobility and human migration with the stubborn concreteness of the art, objects and materials that form their anchoring case studies. Possible topics could focus on the ethnicization and exchange of objects, disease, and biological matter; body, intimacy, and affect in spaces of empire; and human, animal, and plant distinctions; among others.

The Politics, Practices, and Spaces of Migrant (In)visibility

Panel Organizers: Carol Chan ( & Venera Khalikova (

During the Covid-19 pandemic and the global shift towards more conversative, nationalist and xenophobic attitudes, racialized migrants--particularly those of (East, Southeast and South) Asian origin--in diverse global contexts were deemed highly visible, due to their stigmatized associations with the virus and (migrant) illegality. Their visibility provoked hostility and violent attacks in public spaces. In contrast to this hypervisibility, there is growing work on “invisible migrants,” a term used to refer to irregular migrants, extreme minorities, migrants who work the night shift, or skilled migrants who may or may not be racialized. Migrant (in)visibility is thus often linked to the socio-economic and racialized position of the migrant individual and group, such as in studies about their spatial segregation due to poverty or irregular status, or their uncommon and “invisible” migration routes.

With a goal of developing a theoretical framework of migrant in/visibility, this panel seeks papers that present ethnographic and qualitative research on diverse circumstances under which migrants from Asian countries in diverse global contexts become hypervisible in particular (stereotypical) ways, or how they escape perception, attention, and being seen in other circumstances. What are the policies and technologies that mediate how Asian migrants are perceived or rendered invisible in relation to specific public agendas and discussions? How do migrants respond to or negotiate their conditional visibility and invisibility to their advantage? How do migrants seek forms of representation, documentation, or erasure, particularly if visibility is linked to forms of state surveillance as well as protection?

Food in/of Conflict

Panel Organizers: Ishita Dey ( & Sarbani Sharma (

Scarcity, circulation, and access to food have often been the cornerstone of peace, forging new alliances or perpetuating the conflict by imperialist regimes across Asias for centuries. Concerns about food security have festered ecologies of war and violence, forcing communities across Global Asias to adapt, innovate and mitigate through protracted periods of conflict and violence. Building upon Asia as a method and recognizing multiplicities of Global Asias, we propose to develop a convergence between food and conflict studies to meditate on questions of place and space-making practices, health and nutrition, food-in-aid programs, politics of identities, structural violence that inform problems of access and in a conflict zone, etc.

In this panel, we want to explore the following but are not limited to questions: How do we situate the role of food and food security in understanding ethnic conflicts and wars in Asia(s)? What can we learn about transnational Asias from experiences of food in conflict situations within a neoliberal economy? Has conflict produced new circuits of food logistics and global supply chain? How has conflict produced new food and food habits with the curb in rations and embargo? How has food been used to rebuild lives in situations of protracted conflicts, such as camps and transit centers?

We invite scholars across disciplines (Anthropology, History, Sociology, and associated fields) to interrogate how food has been an embodied experience of necessity, survival, and community building from various contexts covering ethnic violence, imperialist propaganda, interstate violence, and civil war, across Asian geographies.

Download the PDF of this CFP from the Global Asias Initiative Website at this link:

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