Call for Publications - Verge: Studies in Global Asias (Issues 3.1-4.2)

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Verge: Studies in Global Asias


Issue 3.1

Open Issue

Submission deadline: February 1, 2016


Issue 3.2

Between Asia and Latin America: New Transpacific Perspectives

(edited by Andrea Bachner and Pedro Erber)

Asia and the Americas no longer occupy the disconnected extremes of an imagined map. Nor do they continue to embody the antipodes of East and West, framing Europe as the symbolic center. Rather, accelerated by recent geopolitical and global economic shifts, the Transpacific has emerged as a space of intense transcultural movements and exchanges, reviving the “swarmlike buzz of activity” around and across the perimeter of the Pacific that Claude Lévi-Strauss had pitted against “the great Atlantic silence” prior to the “discovery” of the Americas (Tristes Tropiques 297). And yet, most approaches to the cultural interactions of the Transpacific remain limited by a focus on the Northern part of the Americas, often equating the label of “American” implicitly (or explicitly) with the US. Recent exciting work on the Transpacific that has started to include Latin America, thus troubling not only easy divisions of East and West, but also of North and South, often divided into and thus limited by the perspectives of specific disciplines, such as Asian-American studies, Latin-American Studies, or diaspora studies.

This special issue will gather different emerging approaches to the intercultural study of Asia and Latin America with the aim of rethinking the Transpacific as a method, a lens for comparison, rather than simply an area or a region. The emergence of new Transpacific perspectives signals the myriad possibilities of new transregional frameworks that challenge conventional geopolitical models of comparative studies. Consequently, we invite essays that approach the real and imagined spaces of the Transpacific between Asia and Latin America from a wide variety of perspectives and disciplines. We especially welcome work that reflects critically and creatively on the multiple possible meanings, methodologies, and mappings of the Transpacific and that pays attention to alternative links between Asia and Latin America: from diaspora, textual circulation, and cultural exchanges to uneven dialogues, compelling analogies, or conceptual affinities.

Submission deadline: August 1, 2016


Issue 4.1


(edited by Ran Zwigenberg and Nathan Hopson)

“The process by which identities are shaped and reshaped,” writes Asia historian Tessa Morris-Suzuki, “is most clearly visible when one focuses upon those places where one self-defined group brushes against the edges of another."  We ask if the frontier thus defined can be a methodology for understanding Asian history at the level of experience and identity.  As formulated by historians like Frederick Jackson Turner, the frontier is widely associated with imperialism and conquest, with the tautology of progress and development of terra nullius. But can the term frontier be resurrected and put to better use? After all the term “frontier” also refers to zones of contact, exchange, and invention, to the movement of people, things, and ideas in ways that often ignore or circumvent the geopolitics of the state. Instead of “seeing [frontiers] like a state,” we leverage the polysemous possibilities of the term to capture other ways of seeing, feeling, and living frontiers.

This special issue of Verge examines the possibilities for insight and convergence when the concept of the frontier is deployed as a tool of historical and social analysis of Asia. We are especially interested in sensory frontiers (such as food and sound), migration and minorities (and how these intersect), and the emic, subjective perspective from contact zones and other areas where borders collide and collapse and where such conjunctions impact actors’ sense of identity and self. In this spirit, we invite submissions that creatively riff on the concept of the frontier to illuminate new paths in the transnational history of Asia or use studies of specific frontiers to improve our understanding of the creation, maintenance, and transgression of social, political, and cultural boundaries. We also encourage contributors to consider both Asia’s internal and external frontiers, and to look beyond geographical and political iterations of the frontier as boundary or zone of colonization in order to see how the movement of people, things, and ideas shapes personal, collective, and regional identities.

Submission deadline: Dec. 15, 2016


Issue 4.2


(edited by Charlotte Eubanks and Pasang Yangjee Sherpa)

If “Asia” is a place, notional or otherwise, then to be “Asian” is to have some particular relation to that place, but the exact quality and texture of that relation, its historical depth and identitarian legacy, can be difficult to plumb, even when the ties between people, land, and identity may be especially snug.

In this special issue, we are interested in charting the interactions between notions of indigeneity and Asian-ness. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: conversations between Asian American and First Nations peoples, and tensions between identity, land, and language; indigenous activism in response to climate change and international development (whether in the Himalayan region, the Gobi desert, or the littoral zones of Pacific islands); the place of indigenous cultural production vis-a-vis the/a State (e.g. the circulation or suppression of Chukchee literature in Eastern Siberia, the questions of ownership over cultural property in Vanuatu, the display of native artifacts in national museums, and so on); practices of resistance and policies of assimilation, both historical and contemporary (Ainu in Japan and Eastern Russia, aboriginal groups in Taiwan, the Orang Asli in peninsular Malaysia, designated ‘national minorities’ in the PRC, the Dravidian/Aryan divide in South Asia, etc); historical encounters of indigenous groups with expanding states and empires; the many problematics, demographic and otherwise, of categorizing Pacific Islanders with Asian Americans; practices of indigenous knowledge in Asia and Asian America; the human geography of settler and indigenous communities (i.e. the displacement of Hawaiians by Asian settlers, the legal rubric and social position of ‘Asians’ in East Africa and ‘overseas Chinese’ in South-East Asia vis-a-vis ‘local’ communities, claims to biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand); the creation of land reservations for indigenous peoples (in the Philippines, for instance); the international politics of indigenous rights; archeology and the deep histories of indigenous artwork and artefacts; the digitalization of indigenous ‘ways of knowing’; and so forth. 

We welcome approaches from across the qualitative social sciences and the humanities and especially encourage papers grounded in a particular discipline, time, and place but which speak to questions, concerns, and topics of debate that are of relevance to a wide range of scholars.

Submission deadline: June 15, 2017


Categories: CFP