CFP: Transforming Lives: Hmong Women, Gender and Power

Call for papers: Transforming Lives: Hmong Women, Gender and Power
An edited volume of essays
Abstract Deadline: January 31, 2012

Chia Youyee Vang, Faith Nibbs, and Ma Vang, Editors

In the limited popular and academic narratives about Hmong refugees/Americans, discussions about Hmong women often associate them with the family, which reinforces a link with domesticity and reproduction. Hmong women are also portrayed as victims of their patriarchal society. These representations can underscore perceptions of Hmong culture as hindering womens assimilation into American society and perpetuating violence against women. The few monographs that have been published about Hmong women view them within the limited framework of tradition versus modernity and also interpret Hmong culture as oppressive to women. Existing scholarship thus misses the opportunity to explain the complexity of Hmong American women in the context of globalization, and to situate them within the growing body of scholarship that highlights the troublesome place of Asian women at the intersection of racial difference and productive worker to emphasize ways they empower their lives and communities. We propose a collection of essays that goes beyond portrayals of victimhood in war, violence, and displacement to foreground ways in which Hmong (refugee) women exert agency and transform both their own lives and those of others. This volume will interrogate the racial and gendered logics of displacement and migration, as well as the paradigms of culture and patriarchy.

As the first edited volume focusing on Hmong women, this project demands an innovative interdisciplinary approach in which we borrow from different theoretical frameworks to generate a materially rich and conceptually rigorous dialogue. Therefore, we seek essays that explore myriad perspectives and involve a range of disciplinary approaches. These include critical race theory, diasporic and transnational frameworks, gender and migration studies, feminist critique, media studies, and ethnography. We are also open to other perspectives and methods.

We invite contributions on Hmong women and empowerment that engage with but are not limited to the following topics: history, politics, education, community organizing/activism, religion, motherhood, ritual performance, gender and sexuality, business, media, culture, race relations, development, and artistic expression. We are in conversation with the University of Minnesota Press about publishing this edited book.

Please send a 250-300 word abstract and one page CV by January 31, 2012 via email to Chia Youyee Vang at Selected abstracts will be notified by February 29, 2012.

Chia Youyee Vang, Associate Professor
Department of History
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
324 Holton Hall
P.0. Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53201
Phone: (414) 229-1101
Fax: (414) 229-2435