Southeast Asia and Australia: Literary and Cultural Connections (Weihsin Gui and Brenda Machosky, 2020 MLA Conference ,Seattle.)

Although there are numerous monographs and essay anthologies on the ties between Southeast Asia and Australia (and the wider region of Oceania) in the social sciences, with one exception there has not been a recent substantive study of literary and cultural productions that arise because of such connections. In Tseen Khoo’s Banana-Bending: Asian-Australian and AsianCanadian Literatures (2003), Alice Pung’s edited anthology Growing Up Asian in Australia (2008), Amerasia journal’s 2010 special issue comparing Asian Australia and Asian America, and more recently the Journal of Postcolonial Writing’s 2016 special issue on Asian Australian writing, most of the work discussed is by authors of East Asian and South Asian descent, although there is some attention given to writing by a few authors of Southeast Asian ancestry.

We take our lead for this collaborative session from José Wendell Capili’s recent literary history, Migrations and Mediation (2017), which traces the emergence and growth of Southeast Asian diasporic writing in Australia from the 1970s to the present day. Thus, we welcome papers on authors such as Hsu-ming Teo, Lau Siew Mei, Simone Lazaroo, Julie Koh, Dewi Anggraeni, Nam Le, Hoa Pham, Merlinda Bobis, Arlene Chai, and others. We also invite papers that focus on exchanges and collaborations between Southeast Asian and Indigenous authors and artists. Topics of interest include (but are not limited to): colonialism and race/multiculturalism, nationalism and national culture, migration and diaspora, critical refugee studies, transnationalism and globalization.

Attach Files: