Lili Shi, Kingsborough Community College, CUNY
Yadira Perez Hazel, University of Melbourne
Asian diasporas are gendering spaces and times that intertwine stories of race, transnationalism, citizenship, and postcoloniality. We contend that Asia is not only a geographic term but also a comparative one. It is the collective sum of heterogeneous racial, regional, transhistorical, and transnational politics that transcends bodies and identities of “Asia” across Global South and North as well as global mediascape. We also embrace an expansive notion of diaspora, one that is beyond the mere causal result of travel and migration that reifies the binary of home and settlement that subsequently “privileges the mobility of masculine subjects” (Campt, T. & Thomas, D. A., 2008, 2). We propose Asian diasporas as scattered communities, identities, and relationships that are conditioned by, while influencing and transforming, global struggles of nation, empire, postcoloniality, transnationality, and respective hegemonies.
This special issue aims to curate essays that theorize and narrate Asian diasporas through feminist frameworks. We invite contributors to foreground gender as they engage conceptually with Asian diasporas as spaces of un-unified and uneven gendering and queering experiences, identities, histories, and hegemonies, compelling individuals to endlessly translate multiple forces into daily interactions (Brah, 1996; Hall, 1996; Ang, 2001; Edwards, 2003; Grewal, 2005; Campt, 2004; Gopinath, 2005; Campt & Thomas, 2008, Atay 2015). What are the local and global gendering moments in Asian diasporic transnationalism? How do we investigate the “politics of destination” (Chu 2010) in the often-described fluid movement of Asian diasporas? What unique struggles do Asian diasporas encounter as a historically feminized group in colonialist discourse? In what light should we study Asian diasporas beyond the Global North’s imaginaries of “Asia” and its related gender identities, localities, populations, and bodies?
This call also encourages contributors to examine this issue’s boundary-marking concepts of Asian-ness, diasporic-ness, woman-ness, and queerness within various grounded contexts and times. For example, how does gender intersect with the politics of belonging in racialized immigrant communities? How do we theorize intra-diasporic differences? What are the comparative or differing histories and moments that Asian diasporas encounter with those of other diasporas, other marginalized groups, against the dominant (American-centric) black-and-white racial relationships? How are Asian diasporic women and queer people affected by global scripts of patriarchy, neoliberalism, transnational capitalism, and the responding logics of gender, race, labor, and family?
We especially welcome contributions that engage Asian diaspora beyond the Americas, beyond U.S. notions of race and racial experience, and diasporas across centers of Global North within Asia.