Writing and Photography

All Over the Place: Global Networks, Diasporic Imaginaries, and Asian American Studies

Added on by Wendy Cheng.

Association for Asian American Studies Conference Panel (San Francisco)

All Over the Place: Global Networks, Diasporic Imaginaries, and Asian American Studies

Friday, April 18, 8:00 - 9:30am

Grand Hyatt, Cypress A

Asian American Studies has increasingly welcomed transnational and diasporic methods and themes, even as it maintained the need for the status of the field as separate from Asian Studies and Asian Diaspora Studies. In keeping with the theme of this year’s conference, “Building Bridges, Forging Movements,” our panel proposes to take stock of the varied political and critical possibilities generated from the meeting of these different epistemological projects.

In their papers, Steven Lee and Wendy Cheng examine how particular diasporic histories—Korean and Taiwanese, respectively—have enlivened political imaginaries for postcolonial nationalism and political formation that have profound implication for not only homeland nations, but for the orientation of Asian Americanist politics and critique. Jian Chen and Crystal Parikh, on the other hand, consider how transnational media, infrastructure, and discourses open the “subjectless discourse” (in Kandice Chuh’s now well-known formulation) of Asian American Studies towards affiliations and claims that are otherwise foreclosed from a domestic imaginary within the United States. 

As a whole, the panel asks what it means not only to “slide over” the “racial frontier” between Asia and America—about which the panel chair David Palumbo-Liu has written so compellingly in Asian/American—but the implications of an Asian American Studies that is “all over the place,” in terms of its objects, methods, and aspirations.


Steven Lee, University of California, Berkeley

            Pyongyang via Almaty: A Second Worldist Lens on the Korean Diaspora

Jian Chen, Ohio State University

           Trans-Media: Transgender, Queer, and Gender/Sexual Non-Conforming Media
           Interventions in Transnational Networks

Wendy Cheng, Arizona State University

           Island X: Taiwanese/American Students and Oppositional Political Formation in the

Crystal Parikh, New York University

            Writing Otherwise: Asian American Literature and a Human Rights Method

Chair/Facilitator: David Palumbo-Liu, Stanford University