Call for Proposals: Comparative Racialization and the Future of Asian American Studies in NYC

Call for Proposals: Comparative Racialization and the Future of Asian American Studies in NYC


Comparative Racialization and the Future of Asian American Studies in NYC


Stanley Thangaraj, City College, CUNY
Angela Reyes, Hunter College and The Graduate Center, CUNY

Allan Punzalan Isaac, Rutgers University

Submission Deadline: September 15, 2016


Click to Download a PDF of this CFP


Conference Description:
The recent increase in explicit acts of violence against Asian American and other racialized groups in the U.S. is often interpreted in singular and essentialized terms. Instead of parsing anti-­‐Black racism, Islamophobia, and other forms of discrimination into separate and distinct categories, this conference aims to push the politics of comparative and intimate racializations further. We understand comparative racialization as the social, political, and historical processes whereby racialized groups are created, managed, and challenged vis-­‐à-­‐vis other racialized groups. Thus various racial formations are always already relational phenomena that mutually constitute one another and structure the affinities and oppositions that characterize race relations. Centering on work by Asian Americanists at CUNY and in New York City, we, as the organizers and attendees of the conference, aim to discover and unravel the ways in which racializations work within Asian American populations in ways that simultaneously interpellate Black, Muslim, Latinx, Native American, and other racialized subjectivities. We also examine how whiteness and other categories of differentiation (e.g., gender, sexuality, class, labor) function in Asian American racial formations and the concurrent racial Othering of communities of color. While we hope to focus on scholarly research on these issues from within and across disciplinary fields, the conference is also an opportunity to see the work of activist Asian American organizations and Asian American Studies programs/departments. Bringing together Asian American scholars, activists, and organizers, this conference situates CUNY as the site for connections and collaborations within a larger NYC intellectual terrain. Some questions that govern this conference include:

  • What interdisciplinary methods and theoretical paradigms complicate the terrain of comparative racializations in Asian America?
  • What ways do Asian American identity, performance, and signification locate and substantiate blackness and Latinx-­‐ness?
  • What are the ways in which blackness depends on forms of Asian American-­‐ness to navigate the racial and national terrain of belonging?
  • How does Asian American activism draw affinities with other racialized communities?
  • What are the similarities and contrasts of Asian American Studies, Black Studies, and Latinx Studies? What coalitional possibilities exist?
  • What are the possibilities and critiques present in Afro-­‐Asian and Latinx-­‐Asian inquiry?
  • How do mixed-­‐race subjectivities complicate how we understand Asian American and other racialized communities?

Submission Information:
Proposals are invited for individual presentations (single-­‐ or multiple-­‐authored). We are not accepting panel submissions. Presentations will be organized into sessions comprised of 3-­‐4 presentations and a chair. Each presentation is allotted 15 minutes, followed by discussion. Proposal submissions must include:

  • Name(s)
  • Affiliation(s)
  • Presentation Title
  • Abstract (250 words or less)
  • Contact Information

The deadline for proposals is 11:59 pm on September 15, 2016. Please email submissions to both Stanley Thangaraj ( and Angela Reyes ( In the subject line, please write: “Proposal for CUNY Asian American Studies Conference.” Presenters will be notified of their acceptance by October 7, 2016.

Conference Details:
The conference is sponsored by MAANY (Mapping Asian American New York) CUNY Faculty Research Seminar. It will be a single all-­‐day conference on Friday, December 9, 2016 at Hunter College Roosevelt House, 47-­‐49 East 65th Street, New York, NY. The keynote speaker is Allan Punzalan Isaac of Rutgers University. Isaac specializes in Asian American, comparative ethnic, and postcolonial aspects of contemporary American literary and cultural studies. His book American Tropics: Articulating Filipino America (University of Minnesota Press, 2006) is the recipient of the Association for Asian American Studies Cultural Studies Book Award. He received his BA from Williams College and his PhD in Comparative Literature from NYU. He teaches a broad range of courses in theory and literature, Asian American Studies, critical race theory, law and literature, and comparative race studies.

Contact Information:
For any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact Stanley Thangaraj ( and Angela Reyes (

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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