Southeast Asia-focused Events @ MLA 2018

Southeast Asia-focused Events at the MLA 2018 Conference

There will be not one but *three* events at the 2018 Modern Language Association conference in New York City focused on Southeast Asian literature and culture. The first event is on Thursday January 4 and the other two on Saturday January 6. All three events will be at the Hilton Hotel. See below for more details.



#1. “Southeast Asia and Its Empires” (Roundtable)

Date/Time: Thursday 4 January 5:15 PM-6:30 PM

Location: Concourse B (Hilton)

From the Dutch in Indonesia to the British and Japanese in Malaya to the Americans in Vietnam and the Philippines, Southeast Asia has had long and deep histories of imperial presence. This session examines what literary and cultural productions from the Southeast Asian region can reveal about the workings of empire, past and ongoing imbalances of power, legacies of exploitation, and marginalized subjectivities.

* Presiding:

Joanne Leow (U of Saskatchewan)

Cheryl Narumi Naruse (Tulane U, New Orleans)

* Speakers:

Nadine Chan (U of Chicago, Chicago)

Usha Chandradas (Lasalle C of the Arts, Singapore)

Joanne Leow (U of Saskatchewan)

Su Fang Ng (Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State U)

Thy Phu (U of Western Ontario)



#2. “Southeast Asia as Method and Concept of World Literature” (Roundtable)

Date/Time: Saturday, 6 January 12:00 PM-1:15 PM

Location: Gramercy East (Hilton)

This session considers how Southeast Asian literature and scholarship’s ongoing efforts of deimperialization contest the boundaries of world literature. Participants focus on how the region’s literary and cultural production engages histories of imperialism, colonialism, and the Cold War, interrogating how Southeast Asia offers alternative methods and concepts for understanding the contributions and limitations of world literature.

* Presiding:

Ben Vu Tran (Vanderbilt U, Nashville)

* Speakers:

Rachel Harrison (SOAS, U of London)

Sheela Jane Menon (Dickinson C)

Vinh Nguyen (Harvard U, Cambridge)

E. K. Tan (Stony Brook U, State U of New York)


#3. “Narratives of Resistance and Resilience in Southeast Asian Security Regimes” (special session)

Date/Time: Saturday, 6 January 3:30 PM-4:45 PM

Location: Concourse B (Hilton)

* Presiding

Weihsin Gui (U of California, Riverside, Riverside)

For panel proposal and paper abstracts, please contact

* Presentations

1. Resilient Spaces and Sociality in Last Train From Tanjong Pagar, Weihsin Gui (U of California, Riverside)

2. Foreign Talent and the Specter of Foreign Workers in The Inlet, Michelle O’Brien (U of British Columbia)

3. Socialism’s Underworld: Crime and Gold, Ben Vu Tran (Vanderbilt U) 

4. Covert Videography, Undocumented Migration, Concealed Burmeseness, Brian Bernards (U of Southern California)