Call for Papers: East Asian Literature at MLA 2011

Pro­pos­als are being sought for three pan­els on East Asian lit­er­a­ture planned for pre­sen­ta­tion at the Jan­u­ary 6–9, 2011, meet­ing of the Mod­ern Lan­guage Asso­ci­a­tion in Los Ange­les.

Pan­els seek­ing par­tic­i­pants and their orga­niz­ers are:

  • Nar­rat­ing Tor­tured Lives in East Asia. In recent cen­turies, nar­rat­ing lives in East Asian con­texts have often been man­i­fest­ed, on the one hand, as “pri­vate” forms of lit­er­a­ture such as essays, diaries and let­ters, and, on the oth­er, as biogra­phies of excep­tion­al indi­vid­u­als whose tumul­tuous life sto­ries lead us to ques­tion, prob­lema­tize, and com­pli­cate East Asian cul­tures’ agen­da for progress and enlight­en­ment. And as such, these texts are moti­vat­ed by and con­nect­ed to issues of pow­er and pos­si­ble changes in the exist­ing sta­tus quo, whether social, cul­tur­al, sex­u­al, or polit­i­cal. This pan­el hopes to shed a new light on these issues by explor­ing the theme of “tor­ture,” wide­ly defined, and chal­lenges to oppres­sion through his­tor­i­cal changes found in the nar­ra­tion of extra­or­di­nary lives in East Asian lit­er­a­ture. Com­par­a­tive East Asian per­spec­tives are wel­comed.
  • Con­tact: E-mail 250-word abstract by March 4, 2010, to Kel­ly Jeong (
  • Con­sti­tut­ing War Trau­ma in East Asian Lit­er­a­ture and Film. How has war trau­ma been rep­re­sent­ed in East Asian lit­er­ary and cin­e­mat­ic works? How does the iden­ti­ty (survivor-narrator, con­tem­po­rary “out­side’ observ­er, com­bat­ant, civil­ian, male, female, sec­ond gen­er­a­tion artist, etc.) of the author/director affect the imag­i­na­tive rep­re­sen­ta­tion, con­sti­tu­tion and cog­ni­tion of extreme war-related events? Com­par­a­tive per­spec­tives wel­come.
  • Con­tact: E-mail 250-word abstract by March 1, 2010, to David C. Stahl (
  • Cul­tur­al Flows through Pop­u­lar Media. This pan­el will explore the rich inter­ac­tions across regions in East Asia in the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry. This pan­el is par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ed in the way the­ses move­ments and flows have been rep­re­sent­ed artis­ti­cal­ly. Papers will explore the inter­ac­tions of artists and ideas, focus on the place where lan­guages meet, exam­ine how texts over­lap, ana­lyze how and where images cross. We invite papers that track the move­ment of peo­ple, images, and lan­guage.
  • Con­tact: E-mail 250-word abstract by March 4, 2010 to Dou­glas N. Slay­mak­er (

Ques­tions about MLA pan­els on East Asian lan­guages and lit­er­a­tures after 1900 can be direct­ed to Ming-Bao Yue (