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Editorial Information

Editors

 

Tina Chen
Associate Professor of English and Asian American Studies
The Pennsylvania State University

 

Associate Editor

Charlotte Eubanks


Managing Editor

Leland Tabares, The Pennsylvania State University

 

Editorial Collective

Jessamyn Abel, Asian Studies and History

Jonathan E. Abel, Comparative Literature and Asian Studies

Erica Brindley, History and Asian Studies

Madhuri Desai, Art History and Asian Studies

On-cho Ng, History and Asian Studies

Shuang Shen, Comparative Literature and Asian Studies

Nicolai Volland, Asian Studies and Comparative Literature

We Jung Yi, Asian Studies and Comparative Literature

Ran Zwigenberg, Asian Studies, History, and Jewish Studies

 

Advisory Board

Andrea Bachner (2018), Comparative Literature, Cornell University

Donald Baker (2019), Korean History and Civilization, University of British Columbia 

Erin Aeran Chung (2020), Political Science and East Asian Studies, Johns Hopkins University

Stephanie De Boer (2019), Communication and Culture, Indiana University  

Kale Fajardo (2019), American Studies and Asian American Studies, University of Minnesota

Dennis Hirota (2017), Japanese Buddhism, Ryukoku University 

Evelyn Hu-Dehart (2018), History and Ethnic Studies, Brown University

Moon-Ho Jung (2019), History, University of Washington

Chris Lee (2019), English, University of British Columbia

Fred Lee (2019), Political Science, University of Connecticut, Storrs

Ania Loomba (2018), English, Comparative Literature, South Asian Studies, and Women’s Studies, University of Pennsylvania            

Andrea Louie (2018), Anthropology and Asian American Studies, Michigan State University

Colleen Lye (2019), English, University of California-Berkeley

Michael Meister (2019), History of Art and South Asia Studies, University of Pennsylvania 

Carla Nappi (2019), History, University of British Columbia 

Peng Hsiao Yen (2018), Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academic Sinica

Jing Tsu (2018), Chinese Literature and Comparative Literature, Yale University  

Rob Wilson (2019), Literature, Creative Writing, and Cultural Studies, University of California-Santa Cruz

 


Submissions

 

Essays (between 6,000-10,000 words) should be prepared according to the author-date + bibliography format as outlined in section 2.38 of the University of Minnesota Press style guide, and submitted electronically to .

Authors' names should not appear on manuscripts; instead, please include a separate document with the author's name and address and the title of the article with your electronic submission. Authors should not refer to themselves in the first person in the submitted text or notes if such references would identify them; any necessary references to the author's previous work, for example, should be in the third person.

 

Queries and submissions should be sent to: verge@psu.edu.

 

CALL FOR PAPERS


Issue 3.2

Between Asia and Latin America: New Transpacific Perspectives

Edited by Andrea Bachner (Cornell University) and Pedro Erber (Cornell University)

Asia and the Americas no longer occupy the disconnected extremes of an imagined map. Nor do they continue to embody the antipodes of East and West, framing Europe as the symbolic center. Rather, accelerated by recent geopolitical and global economic shifts, the Transpacific has emerged as a space of intense transcultural movements and exchanges, reviving the “swarmlike buzz of activity” around and across the perimeter of the Pacific that Claude Lévi-Strauss had pitted against “the great Atlantic silence” prior to the “discovery” of the Americas (Tristes Tropiques 297). And yet, most approaches to the cultural interactions of the Transpacific remain limited by a focus on the Northern part of the Americas, often equating the label of “American” implicitly (or explicitly) with the US. Recent exciting work on the Transpacific that has started to include Latin America, thus troubling not only easy divisions of East and West, but also of North and South, often divided into and thus limited by the perspectives of specific disciplines, such as Asian-American studies, Latin-American Studies, or diaspora studies.

This special issue will gather different emerging approaches to the intercultural study of Asia and Latin America with the aim of rethinking the Transpacific as a method, a lens for comparison, rather than simply an area or a region. The emergence of new Transpacific perspectives signals the myriad possibilities of new transregional frameworks that challenge conventional geopolitical models of comparative studies. Consequently, we invite essays that approach the real and imagined spaces of the Transpacific between Asia and Latin America from a wide variety of perspectives and disciplines. We especially welcome work that reflects critically and creatively on the multiple possible meanings, methodologies, and mappings of the Transpacific and that pays attention to alternative links between Asia and Latin America: from diaspora, textual circulation, and cultural exchanges to uneven dialogues, compelling analogies, or conceptual affinities.

Submission deadline: August 1, 2016

 

Issue 4.1

Issue: Frontiers

Edited by Ran Zwigenberg (Penn State University) and Nathan Hopson (Nagoya University)

“The process by which identities are shaped and reshaped,” writes Asia historian Tessa Morris-Suzuki, “is most clearly visible when one focuses upon those places where one self-defined group brushes against the edges of another."  We ask if the frontier thus defined can be a methodology for understanding Asian history at the level of experience and identity.  As formulated by historians like Frederick Jackson Turner, the frontier is widely associated with imperialism and conquest, with the tautology of progress and development of terra nullius. But can the term frontier be resurrected and put to better use? After all the term “frontier” also refers to zones of contact, exchange, and invention, to the movement of people, things, and ideas in ways that often ignore or circumvent the geopolitics of the state. Instead of “seeing [frontiers] like a state,” we leverage the polysemous possibilities of the term to capture other ways of seeing, feeling, and living frontiers. 

This special issue of Verge examines the possibilities for insight and convergence when the concept of the frontier is deployed as a tool of historical and social analysis of Asia. We are especially interested in sensory frontiers (such as food and sound), migration and minorities (and how these intersect), and the emic, subjective perspective from contact zones and other areas where borders collide and collapse and where such conjunctions impact actors’ sense of identity and self. In this spirit, we invite submissions that creatively riff on the concept of the frontier to illuminate new paths in the transnational history of Asia or use studies of specific frontiers to improve our understanding of the creation, maintenance, and transgression of social, political, and cultural boundaries. We also encourage contributors to consider both Asia’s internal and external frontiers, and to look beyond geographical and political iterations of the frontier as boundary or zone of colonization in order to see how the movement of people, things, and ideas shapes personal, collective, and regional identities. 

Submission deadline: Dec. 15, 2016

 

 

Issue 4.2

Indigeneity

Edited by Charlotte Eubanks (Penn State University) and Pasang Yangjee Sherpa (The New School) 

If “Asia” is a place, notional or otherwise, then to be “Asian” is to have some particular relation to that place, but the exact quality and texture of that relation, its historical depth and identitarian legacy, can be difficult to plumb, even when the ties between people, land, and identity may be especially snug.

In this special issue, we are interested in charting the interactions between notions of indigeneity and Asian-ness. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: conversations between Asian American and First Nations peoples, and tensions between identity, land, and language; indigenous activism in response to climate change and international development (whether in the Himalayan region, the Gobi desert, or the littoral zones of Pacific islands); the place of indigenous cultural production vis-a-vis the/a State (e.g. the circulation or suppression of Chukchee literature in Eastern Siberia, the questions of ownership over cultural property in Vanuatu, the display of native artifacts in national museums, and so on); practices of resistance and policies of assimilation, both historical and contemporary (Ainu in Japan and Eastern Russia, aboriginal groups in Taiwan, the Orang Asli in peninsular Malaysia, designated ‘national minorities’ in the PRC, the Dravidian/Aryan divide in South Asia, etc); historical encounters of indigenous groups with expanding states and empires; the many problematics, demographic and otherwise, of categorizing Pacific Islanders with Asian Americans; practices of indigenous knowledge in Asia and Asian America; the human geography of settler and indigenous communities (i.e. the displacement of Hawaiians by Asian settlers, the legal rubric and social position of ‘Asians’ in East Africa and ‘overseas Chinese’ in South-East Asia vis-a-vis ‘local’ communities, claims to biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand); the creation of land reservations for indigenous peoples (in the Philippines, for instance); the international politics of indigenous rights; archeology and the deep histories of indigenous artwork and artefacts; the digitalization of indigenous ‘ways of knowing’; and so forth.  

We welcome approaches from across the qualitative social sciences and the humanities and especially encourage papers grounded in a particular discipline, time, and place but which speak to questions, concerns, and topics of debate that are of relevance to a wide range of scholars.  

Submission deadline: June 15, 2017


Issue 5.1

OPEN ISSUE

Submission Deadline: December 1, 2017

 

Issue 5.2

Forgetting Wars

Edited by Tina Chen (Penn State), Josephine Park (UPenn), and We Jung Yi (Penn State)

Historian Bruce Cumings notes that the Korean War was first branded the Forgotten War "in 1951, two years before the war ended." In the decades since, scholars and policymakers alike have come to affirm diplomat Charles Bohlen's assertion that "[i]t was the Korean War and not World War II that made the United States a world military-political power." Forgotten wars are thus not doomed to be inconsequential. Yet so much of war studies has been devoted to what historian Carol Gluck has termed the "operations of memory," its material and psychic modes of production and consumption in public and private realms extended all the way to postmemory. War memories are products of amnesias both selective and vast, but the political and psychic work of forgetting is more than the other to commemoration. What of the significant omissions that have not only been neglected by projects of recovery or redress but, in fact, have been disabled or made impossible by such efforts? What are the operations of forgetting wars?

This special issue invites essays on forgotten wars, whether those military exercises were deemed "small wars" or obscured conflicts within "great wars." We welcome scholarship devoted to the myriad forgotten wars within the Asia-Pacific region as well as those that have shaped US-Asian relations, and we are interested in the ways in which regional and transpacific skirmishes are erased, neglected, or otherwise rendered illegible. We also encourage interdisciplinary theorization of the possibilities and limits of cultural amnesia as a response to atrocity and conflict; critical attention to the dynamics between individual and social forgetting; and sustained engagement with the ethical and moral implications of forgetting in relation to memory and counter-memory. In addition to the politics of forgetting within local and transnational contexts, we invite contributions that explore the manipulation and representation of cultural and aesthetic artifacts in these wars, as well as the effacement or trace of such materials in their aftermaths. We seek to examine forgetting as a means toward comprehending operations of war that remain untouched within the dominant frame of memory; to this end, we are interested in accounts of forgotten wars of differing scales, alignments, and implications.

Submission Deadline: June 1, 2018

 

 

Issue 6.1

Displaced Subjects: Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Critical Refugee Studies

Edited by Tina Chen (Penn State) and Cathy Schlund-Vials (University of CT-Storrs)

 

This special issue – focused on global human rights and international humanitarianism – is from the outset guided by what sociologist/cultural critic Yên Lê Espiritu has productively characterized as a connected and connective frame of academic inquiry: critical refugee studies. As Espiritu’s strategic nomenclature suggests, “critical refugee studies” takes seriously displaced subjectivity, nationless bodies, and statelessness. The layered contemplation of critical refugee studies deliberately moves beyond the acknowledgement of stateless figures and nationless subjects to methodologically engage what Espiritu has concomitantly defined as integral to this emergent interdiscipline: critical juxtapositioning. Such comparative analyses, which anticipate this issue’s contents and themes, encompass a dialogic situating of ostensibly opposing disciplines (for instance, sociology, education, performance studies, and literature) and seemingly incompatible spaces (for example, military bases, libraries, art galleries, digital platforms, activist workshops, and secondary education classrooms). In so doing, contributors will collectively address the wide-ranging conditions which brought such displaced subjects “into being.”

Equally significantly, these “before” assessments make necessary multivalent and multidisciplinary explorations of wartime aftermaths, which more often than not include involuntary relocations, resistive articulations, imaginative personhoods, and alternative subjectivities. Correspondingly, this scholarly discussion of displaced subjects seeks to move refugees from the periphery to the center of rights-oriented debates involving (non)personhood, (non)selfhood, and (non)nationhood.  We welcome critical studies of forced migration on global and intimate scales; the development of alternative analytical frames for understanding displacement and relocation; theoretical treatment of the inter-relationship of militarism and imperialism; multivalent investigation of the varied sites of refugee life; and focused attention to the cultural, aesthetic, and affective dimensions of displaced subjectivity. Integral to this issue’s refugee-centric recalibrations is the extent to which “displaced subjects” render urgently discernible unreconciled histories of global human rights violations as well as the ongoing failures of international humanitarianism.

 

Submission deadline: December 1, 2018