Fulbright Conferences: Narratives of Free Trade 2009 - From South China to North America 2010 - Tale of Ten Cities 2011

Frame by Frame and Across the Gutters: Asian American Graphic Narratives

Asian American studies is grounded in the visual, from its work on representations of Asian Americans in prose and on screen to discussions of race, in which scholars probe its physical traces and what they mean to both self and others. The recent introduction of graphic narratives to the field presents yet another fruitful angle for investigating the enduring appeal of images, imagination, and visibility. This appeal is the foundation for an HKU spring 2012 colloquium. It will inquire not into a definitions of graphic narratives—questions already well trammeled and framed—but rather how to theorize Asian American graphic narratives. Do they demand new theories of interpretation? In what ways do graphic narrative authors and artists use space strategically with and against prose to visually represent race, nation, individuality, ideology? To what reading responses and affect? How do graphic narratives allow us to re-imagine historical or cultural events now common to the field—Asian immigration, Japanese American internment, U.S. militarism in the east—in other ways? What new insights do they enable and how? How do we read them? How does the genre expand the field’s borders?

The conference brings together scholars from across various disciplines, nationalities, and institutions. Possible topic areas include, but are not limited to, exploring the relationship between early comics and current graphic narratives to map the influence of predecessors and innovative directions; reading Asian American graphic narratives with and against other ethnic American graphic narratives; investigating the influence of Japanese manga and anime on the genre; discussing the pedagogical possibilities of graphic narratives in the classroom; reading a prose text against its graphic cousin; mapping emerging directions in the field of Asian American studies through the genre’s themes.

When and Where:
The Hong Kong University, Hong Kong, 17-19 May, 2012.

Session Format:
The colloquium will consist of one-hour sessions during which participants will discuss their essays in progress with the group. Colloquium participants will submit a draft of their papers in English by 15 April 2012 (to monica.chiu@unh.edu). The essays will be electronically distributed to fellow participants before the colloquium convenes.

We intend to publish the colloquium proceedings, in English, as a book collection that might be translated into Chinese and Japanese. Contributors will be asked to submit their final essays for purposes of publication by 2014.

For submitting a draft of the paper for distribution to colloquium participants: 20 April 2012.

Poster: http://www.amstudy.hku.hk/news/graphic2012/images/20120517.pdf

Contact Person:
Please correspond with Monica Chiu at monica.chiu@unh.edu
For details about public transportation to HKU and hotels, please contact Christy Ho (chhristy@hku.hk)