Monthly Archives: June 2008

Call for Papers: Religion and Globalization in Asia International Conference (San Francisco)

Call for Papers

“Religion and Globalization in Asia: Prospects, Patterns, and Problems for the Coming Decade”
International Conference
University of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA (USA)
13-14 March 2009

Few scholars or policy makers twenty years ago could have imagined that the first decades of the 21st century would be a time of explosive and wide-spread religiosity. As modernity progressed and societies became more secular and democratic, religion was supposed to loosen its hold on the ways men and women envisioned their place in the world. On the contrary, the dynamics of globalization—such as communication technologies, immigration and migration, capital flows, transnationalism, and identity politics—have contributed to social conditions in which religious belief and practice not only survive but prosper and proliferate.

A growing body of scholarship and reportage has documented this phenomenon in the western hemisphere, but are these patterns applicable to Asia as well? With an estimated 300 million religious adherents in China (home also to the world’s fastest growing Christian population), the world’s largest and most diverse concentration of Muslims in Indonesia, and the rise of a more assertive and nationalistic Hinduism among India’s 1.3 billion people, the role of religion in globalizing processes in Asia requires sustained analysis and elucidation rather than a mention in passing.

The objective of this conference is to muster the intellectual resources and research of experts in a variety of fields to better understand the prospects, patterns, and problems of religion and globalization in Asian societies in the near future. As noted in the recent edited volume Religions/Globalizations, how can we better understand the dialectical tension of codependence and codeterminism between religion and globalization? With a focus on the populations of South and East Asia–densely concentrated, increasingly well-informed and technologically-sophisticated–the conference participants and its keynote speakers will reference and address the following questions and themes:

– How can religious pluralism and tolerance be promoted and practiced?
– What social, economic, and political scenarios contribute to peaceful religious proliferation in Asia? – Can global trends and dynamics increase the range of choices for individuals to determine their own religious and cultural identities?

– Are there identifiable characteristics for situations where religion is (or could become) a strategic political resource in Asian nations?
– How can we better understanding the codependent and codeterminative dynamics and patterns of religion and globalization?
– Does religious conservatism always compromise the more positive characteristics of globalization that are egalitarian, diverse, hybrid, and cosmopolitan?

– Are there substantial differences in how we regard religious fundamentalism in Asia and in western nations, especially concerning the belligerent kind that resorts to violence?
– Does the globalizing character of religion impede human rights in Asia?
– Are there regional conflicts that, aided by globalizing forces and religious ideologies, might grow into large-scale wars?

Conference Structure
Friday, the conference will start with a keynote lecture, then break for paper sessions. After lunch, a second paper session will follow, with a concluding lecture preceding a general reception.
Saturday will start with paper sessions, then conclude with a final lecture before lunch and adjournment.

The end result of the conference will be a strategically edited volume that will appeal to courses in history, religious studies, political science, sociology, anthropology, and cultural studies. We will also develop a website that summarizes the conference proceedings, details the key contributors and their work, and provides links to organizations and institutions that promote the study of globalization.

Keynote speakers
Mark Juergensmeyer (UC Santa Barbara)
Sassia Sasken (Columbia)
Nayan Chanda (Yale)

If you wish to present a paper, please submit a 200 word abstract and brief CV to John Nelson no later than August 30, 2008.

Each presenter will be awarded an honorarium of $350 to help defray travel and conference expenses.

Open registration for the conference will begin August 15 and end November 30, 2008. The total number of conference participants is limited to 120.


John Nelson, Conference Chair
Department of Theology and Religious Studies
University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
Phone: +1 (415) 422-5093
Fax: +1 (415) 422-5356

Call for papers: The Voice of Southeast Asian Diaspora (Boston, February 26-March 1, 2009)

NeMLA 2009 Convention: The Voice of Southeast Asian Diaspora (2/26-3/1,  2009, Boston, MA)

This panel invites papers discussing the literature written by and about  Southeast Asian diaspora, including Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians,  Hmongs, Thais, and Burmese. We will be discussing how these diasporic  groups inscribe their North American experiences and sociopolitical  issues. Any disciplines and approaches are welcome: literary studies,  cultural studies, anthropology, history, sociology, psychology, and the  like.

Please send an abstract of 500 words and a brief bio in doc. or pdf.  format to Brian Guan-rong Chen at

Deadline: September 10, 2008

Please include with your abstract: Name and Affiliation, Email address,  Postal address, Telephone number, A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling  fee)

The complete Call for Papers for the 2009 Convention will be posted in  June: Interested participants may submit abstracts to more  than one NeMLA panel; however panelists can only present one paper.  Convention participants may present a paper at a panel or seminar and also  present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable.

Brian Guan-rong Chen
University of Texas at Arlington
English Department
503 W. Third St., Carlisle Hall #203
Arlington, TX 76019
TEL: 817-272-0966

Call for Papers: 2008 East of California Conference (Connecticut)

2008 East of California Conference:  A Movement to Look Back To
October 31, 2008 – November 1, 2008
The University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut

ABSTRACTS DUE: Monday, June 30, 2008

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

•    Transnationalism & Cosmopolitanism
•    Demographic Shifts
•    Border studies
•    Cross-ethnic/racial collaborations and coalitions
•    Multi-disciplinary/inter-disciplinary collaborations and coalitions
•    Scholar-activist work, within and outside the academy
•    Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, before and after 9/11
•    Teaching in the 21st century
•    The state of “Asian America”
•    Asian American methodologies and epistemologies
•    Asian American visual cultures
•    The Asian American archive: what is it and where is it?

Requirements for Submission:

•    Roundtable: 1 page curriculum vitae; 1 page outline for 5-7 minute remarks
•    Panel:  1 page curriculum vitae per participant; 1 page panel abstract (500 words)
•    Individual paper:  1 page curriculum vitae; 1 page panel abstract (250 words)

Please send electronic copies of all materials to both Cathy Schlund-Vials ( and Jennifer Ho ( by June 30, 2008.

* * *

In 1993, the East of California Conference was hosted by the recently formed Asian American Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut. Fifteen years later, the EOC conference returns to UConn. As the Asian American Studies Institute celebrates its fifteenth anniversary, the field of Asian American Studies also celebrates a significant moment in 2008. The title for this year’s conference, “A Movement to Look Back To,” signals the fortieth anniversary of the San Francisco State strike, which facilitated the emergence of Ethnic Studies and Asian American Studies on the higher education landscape. The nature and tenor of Asian American Studies has altered dramatically, and the field is increasingly marked by multidisciplinary methodologies and interdisciplinary collaborations between Ethnic Studies programs and departments.
Mindful that Asian American Studies emerged out of an atmosphere of social justice and founded on both theory and practice, the conference organizers encourage individual papers, panel submissions and roundtable proposals that acknowledge the extent to which the field continues to grow and expand, both within and outside the institution of the academy and particularly East of California. Concomitantly, given the variegated nature of Asian American Studies, the conference organizers welcome proposals that actively engage contemporary considerations of Asian American cultural production, identity formation, aesthetics, and politics. The conference will be hosted by the Asian American Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, and will take place October 31 – November 1, 2008.