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[CFP] 2024 Situations International Conference: Asian Diaspora in the 21st Century (Nov. 22-23, 2024)

admin │ 2024-04-08



2024 Situations International Conference


22-23 November, 2024

Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea


Asian Diaspora in the 21st Century:

Transnational Hauntology and Affective Production



Scholars have extensively debated the meaning and significance of diaspora. At their inception, classic diaspora studies considered a racial or ethnic group’s dispersal caused by religious difference, the Jewish people being the archetype in understanding diaspora. The scope of modern diaspora studies has been expanded to embrace emancipatory politics and the exploration of various conditions of racial, ethnic, and political minoritiesContemporary diaspora is characterized by fragmentation, dislocation, and globalization, and these new features must be clearly redefined and analyzed. Non-European diaspora experience, Asian diaspora in particular, has not been extensively explored. Raising questions about the magnitude and the limited destinations of Korean migration being identified as a diaspora, Gerard Chaliand and Jean Pierre Rageau argue that “the total number of overseas Koreans lacks the massive proportions of a typical diaspora, such as the Irish case, in which more than half of the population emigrated from their homeland” (1995). Should we define an ethnic group’s diaspora through size or distance? Doesn’t the atypicality of the Korean diaspora call for a retheorization of diaspora today?


A small group of migrants may have felt themselves to be in a precarious situation in the 19th and 20th centuries, but in the 21st century, diasporic subjects have multiple ways of retaining contact with their communities of origin, thanks to advances in communication technology and frequent air travel. Contemporary diasporas in the 21st century can be characterized by varieties of diasporic experience that no longer necessitate a permanent break from one’s homeland. The consciousness of being a diasporic subject may no longer depend as much on a physical and geographic separation from a homeland. What does diasporic consciousness mean then in a world where contact and even return to the homeland is possible? And turning away from the attention of ethnicity or race on diaspora to the emotional experience of being unsettled, displaced, and haunted, may unveil a greater understanding of our being in the 21st century.


Playing on the concept of ontology and resonating with his lifelong project of deconstruction, Jacques Derrida suggests by the term, hauntology, how to engage ghosts and historical remnants from the past. (Hau)ntology is a neologism that reminds us that we are always displaced and unhomed. When diasporic subjects seek to break away from their past, it can always come back to haunt their present experience associated with mixed feelings of melancholia, rage, alienation, anomie, and hopefulness for a better future. The displaced subjects’ affective production transcending the limited ties of kinship and nation can mediate the deterritorialized humanity in the 21st century. Situations (Volume 18, No. 1, 2025) calls for papers that explore concepts of migration and diaspora in the 21st century and/or papers that examine literary and cultural content representing, mediatingor rearticulating the diasporic consciousness of Asian diaspora communities.


Possible topics:

·      Contemporary diasporas: North Korean defectors, the Zainichi community, the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia, and the South Asian diaspora in African and Arab states

·      diasporic consciousness: displacement and lost land, homeland and host land

·      language barriers and linguistic isolation

·      citizenship and sense of belonging

·      the myth and politics of return

·      refugee camps, resettlement, and national borders

·      gendered experience within diasporic communities

·      inter-Asian migration and politics of asylum

·      the problem of collective memory in diasporic communities

·      assimilation and de-assimilation in one’s adopted land

·      diaspora and the “blue humanities” centered on oceans and seas



Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

John Lie, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, U.C. Berkeley

So-young Kim, Professor of Cinema Studies, Korea National University of Arts



Early inquiries with 200-word abstracts are appreciated. By 3August 2024we would invite you to submit your 4,000-word Chicago-style conference presentation with its abstract and keywords (the acceptance of the presentation will be decided based on the 4,000-paper).


Each invited participant is then expected to turn his or her conference presentation into a finished 6,000-word paper for possible inclusion in a future issue of the SCOPUS-indexed journal, Situations: Cultural Studies in the Asian Context. All inquiries and submissions should be sent to both situations@yonsei.ac.kr and skrhee@yonsei.ac.kr.


Submissions should follow the Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.), using only endnotes.



We will pay for the hotel accommodation for those participants whose papers we accept. The presenters will share twin bedrooms.

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