CFP: Transnational Asia Graduate Student Conference, Rice University

Call for Papers

3rd Annual Transnational Asia Graduate Student Conference
February 10-11, 2012
Rice University Chao Center for Asian Studies

Architectures of Mobility: Structures, Circuits, Deformations

Keynote: Dr. Nayan Shah, Department of History, UC San Diego

Deadline: Please send abstracts of 250-300 words to* by November 28, 2011

Contemporary figurations of the transnational often invoke a language of flows and frictions to describe the increasingly ambiguous role of nation-states and their boundaries in the movement of goods, persons, and ideas. Without abandoning this view altogether, this conference invites participants to move beyond it in order to investigate the dynamics which have led to its promulgation–both as dominant metaphor in the thought of many scholars studying Asia and as lived analytic for individuals making sense of their vertiginous contemporaries and their legacies.

We aim to look at the structures which animate and render possible or hinder experiences of mobility, from those of subjectivity to the economy; the circuits that enable those mobilities, from local bus routes to the trajectories of migrant workers; and the deformations of these established systems that can generate both psychic violence and practices of agency alike. In short, this year’s Transnational Asia Graduate Student Conference envisions a cross-disciplinary approach to exploring the processes and effects of “transnationalism,” as well as the conditions supporting its conceptual coherence, in both the historical past and the emerging present. We invite interventions situated at all levels of analysis, from the micro-social to the geopolitical, utilizing a range of methodological approaches.

The above description of the themes of this conference ought to be taken as a heuristic for our discussion about transnationalism in Asia, rather than as a strict or exclusionary rule for the content of papers. Potential areas of focus include, but are not limited to:

  • Media and technology
  • Health and the body
  • Scientific collaboration
  • Language and linguistic practice
  • Activism and social movements
  • Theoretical approaches to transnationalism
  • The built environment and transportation
  • Environmental practices and the natural world
  • Religion and spiritual practices
  • Affect and emotional life
  • Political economy
  • Consumption practices

This conference is explicitly interdisciplinary in nature, and we invite participation from graduate students in ALL disciplines across the humanities, social sciences, architecture, planning, business, and natural sciences. Similarly, we strive to include research which represents the regional and national diversity of Asia. Presentations on work in progress or research utilizing experimental approaches are strongly encouraged. In addition to a stimulating theoretical discussion, this conference is intended to function in part as a workshop space, to allow graduate students to receive feedback from mentors and peers at any stage of their projects.

Please circulate freely.

Rice University
Chao Center for Asian Studies
6100 Main Street
Houston, Texas