Call For Papers: At the Crossroads of Care and Giving

Call For Papers: At the Crossroads of Care and Giving

2017 Association for Asian American Studies 137th Conference
April 13-15, 2017, Portland, Oregon

Submissions due by: Friday, October 14th, 2016

Remember: You MUST be a current and active AAAS member of the calendar year in which you are submitting your proposal (so your membership must be active for the calendar year of 2016 in order to submit a proposal for 2017).

Please note that new memberships default to the next calendar year, as they do not officially start until January. You will not be able to submit proposals for the 2017 conference (as membership must be current for the calendar year in which you submit) unless you specifically request that your new membership starts for the year of 2016.


Angie Y. Chung (University at Albany, SUNY) and Eleanor Ty (Wilfrid Laurier University)

In recognition of Portland’s reputation as one of the greenest cities in America, the 2017 conference of the Association for Asian American Studies focuses on the broad theme of care and caregiving through the history, culture and practices of governmental and non-governmental care. We ask participants to think of care–and the lack of care–in broad terms: care as humanitarian relief, care of the environment, care of historical heritage and culture, care of the self, and care of others. How have Asian Americans received care and contributed to a caring world both at home and overseas? Conversely, how have some knowingly or unintentionally participated in larger institutions of power and profit that compete with communities and cultures of human expression, nurturing, sympathy, humanitarianism and bridge-building? What can governments and people in power do to provide support for these individual and collective efforts for a caring world?

Through its care for the environment, Portland offers the ideal site to explore these themes of care and caregiving. The city has received widespread national and world attention as one of the most environmentally conscious or “green cities” of the world, as a result of its infrastructural support for walking, bicycling and public transportation, its abundance of parks and open spaces, its efforts in energy conservation, and its commitment to local foods and sustainable agriculture. Once nicknamed “Stumptown” because of all the trees and natural land it demolished to pave way for development, Portland has since transformed into one of America’s cleanest and environmentally sustainable cities through a combination of citizen action and governmental policies. Portland is now capitalizing on this image by branding and marketing its visions abroad.

The conference brings to light parallel expressions, acts and communities of care among Asian Americans. Historically, many Asian Americans have been the recipients of international relief, but they also play active roles in local, national, and global communities of care and caregiving. Some examples include caregiving for kin and non-kin, remittances from the diaspora, efforts to fight poverty, aid in disaster relief, religious missions, war and the politics of care (e.g. comfort women, nurses, refugees), human rights for migrant workers, cultural representations of caring subjects, and accessibility of health care. Women are the main caregivers for the sick, the elderly, the disabled and the young, but they may also be part of larger communities and institutions such as families, neighborhoods, organizations and governments that have the potential to broaden the reaches of care and caregiving. Throughout history, the responsibility of care has extended from individuals and families to national governments and now to paid and unpaid caregivers abroad. Economic globalization has produced an international workforce of caregivers from countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, and India. In addition to acknowledging the humanistic goals and selfless sacrifices involved, we also encourage participants to consider some of the inequalities and contradictions that arise from these networks, institutions and economies of care.

We welcome submissions from academics, artists, and activists from diverse institutions, organizations, regions, and disciplines. Panels should ideally include participants from diverse disciplines and individuals at various stages of their respective careers (graduate students, junior faculty, senior faculty). Proposals for mentorship or professionalization round tables, panels, or workshops are also welcome. All submissions and proposals are due Friday, Oct. 14, 2016. Please note: Participants may only appear in the program twice and only in different roles.

For specific questions regarding type of sessions, submission guidelines, or other programmatic issues, please contact the Program Committee Co-Chairs: Angie Chung ( or Eleanor Ty ( Program Site Co-Chairs: Lynn Fujiwara (University of Oregon) and Patti Duncan (Oregon State University).


Keith Miyake is a graduate of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. His work crosses the fields of political economic geography, environmental justice and environmental governance, critical race and ethnic studies, American studies, and Asian American studies. His dissertation examined the institutionalization of environmental and racial knowledges within the contemporary capitalist state.


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