Southeast Asia-related panels & talks @ MLA2019

Our Southeast Asia & Southeast Asia Diasporic forum in the Modern Language Association will have 3 panels at the January 2019 Chicago MLA conference. I’m also giving a 2nd talk on Sonny Liew’s earlier work (Frankie & Poo) in a special session on postcolonial graphic narratives. Details below.

If you’re giving an MLA talk that’s related to SEAsia (even if the panel isn’t focused on SEAsia) & would like to spread the word, please send me a message ( & I’ll add it to this list.



Race, Nation, and Empire in Southeast Asian Life Writing”

Thursday, 3 January 7:00 PM-8:15 PM, Columbus H (Hyatt Regency)

Presiding: John David Zuern (U of Hawai‘i, Mānoa)


1. ‘The Malays Are the Malaise’: Racialism in the Life Writing of Hugh Clifford and Munsyi Abdullah, Nazry Bahrawi (Singapore U of Tech. and Design)

2. Biofiction and Singapore’s Histories in Sonny Liew’s Graphic Narratives, Weihsin Gui (U of California, Riverside)

3. Nation and Migration in Tash Aw’s The Face: Strangers on a Pier (2015), Sheela Jane Menon (Dickinson C)



Diasporas, Aesthetics, and Southeast Asia”

Sat 5 Jan 8:30 AM-9:45 AM, Colorado (Sheraton Grand)

Sponsoring Entity: CLCS Southeast Asian and Southeast Asian Diasporic

Presiding: Cheryl Narumi Naruse (Tulane U)


1. Decolonizing History at Iowa, Paul Nadal (Princeton U)

2. Intersectionality of Anti-Catholicism, Anticolonialism, and Anti-Confucianism in Three Graphic Novels from the Francophone Vietnamese Diaspora, Henri-Simon Blanc-Hoang (Defense Language Inst.)

3. One or Several Tigers: A Space Opera of Diasporic Proportions, Shao-ling Ma (Yale-NUS C)

4. Writing Backward: Landscapes and/as Discourses in Contemporary Sinophone and Anglophone Mahua Literature, Song Han (Hong Kong U of Science and Tech.)



Southeast Asian Textual Translations and Transactions”

Sun 6 Jan 1:45 PM-3:00 PM, Ohio (Sheraton Grand)

Sponsoring Entity: CLCS Southeast Asian and Southeast Asian Diasporic

Presiding: Brian Bernards (U of Southern California)


1. A Thai Winter Sonata: Cinematic Adaptation, Inter-Asian Tourism, and K-Drama Desire in Hello Stranger, Brian Bernards (U of Southern California)

2. Grotesque Postcoloniality in Modern Southeast Asian Drama and Theater, Elisabeth Arti Wulandari (Universitas Sanata Dharma)

3. Beasts of the Indian Ocean: The Arab-Malay Poetics of Hikayat Kalilah dan Dimnah, Nazry Bahrawi (Singapore U of Tech. and Design)

4. Legitimating Visions: Melodrama and the Nanyang Imaginary in Contemporary Southeast Asian Cinema, Adrian Ellis Alarilla (U of Washington, Seattle)

Aesthetics, Politics, and the Postcolonial Graphic Narrative”

Sun 6 Jan 1:45 PM-3:00 PM, Gold Coast (Hyatt Regency)


1. Comic-Chronotope in Postcolonial Graphic Narratives: Contextualizing Clandestine Immigration, Susmitha Udayan (U of New Mexico, Albuquerque)

2. Human Rights in the Postcolonial Islamic Graphic Novel , Esra Mirze Santesso (U of Georgia)

3. Graphic Narrative and the Aesthetics of Complicity, Muhib Nabulsi (U of Queensland)

4. Graphic Narratives, Transnational Aesthetics, and Political Critique in Singapore: Sonny Liew’s Frankie and Poo, Weihsin Gui (U of California, Riverside)