Monday, December 9, 2013

Journal Announcement: Verge: Studies in Global Asias


VERGE: Studies in Global Asias
Senior Editors, Tina Chen and Eric Hayot

Verge: Studies in Global Asias is a new journal that includes scholarship
from scholars in both Asian and Asian American Studies. These two fields
have traditionally defined themselves in opposition to one another, with
the former focused on an area-studies, nationally and politically oriented
approach, and the latter emphasizing epistemological categories, including
ethnicity and citizenship, that drew mainly on the history of the United
States.  The past decade however has seen a series of rapprochements in
which, for instance, categories “belonging”to Asian American Studies
(ethnicity, race, diaspora) have been applied with increasing success to
studies of Asia. For example Asian Studies has responded to the
postnational turn in the humanities and social sciences by becoming
increasingly open to rethinking its national and regional insularities,
and to work that pushes, often literally, on the boundaries of Asia as
both a place and a concept. At the same time, Asian American Studies has
become increasingly aware of the ongoing importance of Asia to the Asian
American experience, and thus more open to work that is transnational or
multilingual, as well as to forms of scholarship that challenge the
US-centrism of concepts governing the Asian diaspora.

Verge showcases scholarship on “Asian” topics from across the humanities
and humanistic social sciences, while recognizing that the changing scope
of “Asia” as a concept and method is today an object of vital critical
concern. Deeply transnational and transhistorical in scope, Verge
emphasizes thematic and conceptual links among the disciplines and
regional/area studies formations that address Asia in a variety of
particularist (national, subnational, individual) and generalist
(national, regional, global) modes  Responding to the ways in which
large-scale social, cultural, and economic concepts like the world, the
globe, or the universal (not to mention East Asian cousins like tianxia or
datong) are reshaping the ways we think about the present, the past and
the future, the journal publishes scholarship that occupies and enlarges
the proximities among disciplinary and historical fields, from the ancient
to the modern periods. The journal emphasizes multidisciplinary
engagement—a crossing and dialogue of the disciplines that does not erase
disciplinary differences, but uses them to make possible new conversations
and new models of critical thought.

For more information, please see our website:

Queries and Submissions should be sent to:

The history of scholarship on Asian America, when juxtaposed with the
fields of Asian Studies, reminds us how much nations, national movements,
and other forms of national development continue to exert powerful effects
on the world in which we live. Such movements also remind us of the
importance of inter-nationalism, of the kinds of networks that can spring
up between states and which can work to disrupt the smooth passage of the
planet into a utopian post-national future. The growing interest in the
global and the transnational across disciplines thus brings the various
Asia-oriented fields and disciplines—history and literature, Asia and
Asian America, East and South, modern and premodern—closer together. This
inaugural issue seeks to feature work that illustrates the diverse
engagements across disciplines (literature, history, sociology, art
history, political science, geography) and fields (Asian Studies and Asian
American Studies) that are possible once we begin thinking about the
possible convergences and divergences such divisions have traditionally
represented. We welcome a range of perspectives; featured contributors
include Dean Chan, Alexandra Chang, Catherine Asher, Catherine Ceniza
Choy, Magnus Fiskesjö, Pamela Kyle Crossley, Evelyn Hu-Dehart, Stephanie
DeBoer, Martin Svensson Ekstrom, Pika Ghosh, Yunte Huang, Suk-young Kim,
Joachim Kurtz, Meera Lee, Wei Li, Colleen Lye,Tak-wing Ngo, Haun Saussy,
David Palumbo-Liu, Sheldon Pollack, Eleanor Ty, and Jeffrey Wasserstrom.

Issue 2: COLLECTING (edited by Jonathan Abel and Charlotte Eubanks)
As a construct and product of powerful institutions from empires, to
nation-states, museums, to universities, Asia has long been formulated at
the level of the collection.  Whether through royal court poetry
compilations, colonial treasure hunters, art historians, bric a brac shop
keepers, or librarians of rare archives, the role of collecting and
classification has been deeply connected not only to definitions of what
counts as Asia and who can be considered Asian, but also to how Asia
continues to be configured and re-configured today.

With this in mind, this special issue of Verge seeks to collect papers on
the history, finance, psychology, politics and aesthetics of collecting
Asia in Asia and beyond.  This collection hopes not only to bring into
relief how “Asia” has been created but also to promote new definitions of
Asia. What, for instance, are the historical implications of
government-sponsored poetry anthologies in Mughal India, Heian-era Japan,
or 20th century North Korea? What do the contents of treasure-houses -- at
Angkor Wat, Yasukuni Shrine, or Vishwanath -- tell us about evolving
concepts of art and of the elasticity of cultural and national contours?
When did Japan become a geographical base for the collection of Asia?  Who
collects Chinese books? How has Indian art been defined by curatorial
practices?  Why did South Korea begin to collect oral histories in the
1990s?  What politics lie behind the exhibition of mainland Chinese
posters in Taiwan?  How much money do cultural foundations spend on
maintaining collections? Where are the limits of Asian collections in
geographical and diasporic terms?  How do constructions of these
collections impact our views of the collective, whether of Tibetan exiles
in Dharamsala, Japanese internment camps in Indonesia, global Chinatowns,
or adherents of new Asian religions in the Americas and former Soviet

This issue is interested in the various cultures of collecting Asia and
collecting Asians, in the many politics of collecting, in the odd
financial restrictions on collectors, in the psychology of collecting, in
the anthropology of how communities form around collected objects, and in
the sociology around collective histories.

(edited by Madhuri Desai and Shuang Shen)
In the contemporary age of globalization, the city has gained new
importance and attention as a center of information industry, a node of
transnational and translocal networks, and a significant site of capital,
labor migration and culture (Saskia Sassen, Manuel Castells and David
Harvey). While this renewed interest in the city both perpetuates and
revises theories of the city as a metaphor of modernity (Walter Benjamin,
Georg Simmel), it also opens up questions regarding the uniqueness and
relevance of earlier cities and their experience of urbanization. When we
move us away from Eurocentric understandings of modernity and time, it
becomes increasingly possible to study non-European urbanisms in the past
and at present with theoretical rigor and historical specificity. For this
special issue, we invite submissions (around 8000 words) that explore
urbanism as a site of comparison and connection among various Asian
locales and beyond. We are interested in not just studies of Asian cities
and their urban experience but also how “Asia” has been imagined both
historically and contemporaneously, through urbanism and urbanization, and
how “Asia” as a term of travel is registered in the urban space. This
special issue will draw attention to the following questions: As cities
become increasingly connected and similar to each other, how do they
express their distinct identities as well as articulate their unique
histories? Besides circulation, movement, and networks that have been much
emphasized in contemporary studies of the city, how do borders,
checkpoints, and passwords function in urban contexts? How does the city
articulate connections between the local, the national, and the
transnational? How does the Asian experience of urbanization and ideas
surrounding Asian urbanism revise, rethink, and in some cases revive
Asia’s colonial past? What does the Western perspective on some Asian
cities as unprecedented and futuristic tells us about the imagination of
Asia in the global context? How do migrant and ethnic communities
negotiate with and redefine the public space of the city? How is the urban
public shared or fragmented by co-existing ethnic and religious
communities? How is the rising cosmopolitanism of these cities challenged
through migration and sharply defined ethnic and religious identities? We
invite submissions that address these questions within the context of
Early modern, colonial and contemporary urbanisms and urbanizations.

Issue 4: ASIAN EMPIRES & IMPERIALISM (edited by On-cho Ng and Erica Brindley)
The nature of Asian empires in the past, as well as the definition of
imperialism in contemporary times, is a topic of ongoing discussion among
scholars from a wide range of fields. In this special issue of Verge, we
will explore a cluster of issues concerning the mechanics and influence of
empires, imperial authority, and imperial types of influence over
indigenous cultures and frontiers in Asia, as well as their diasporas
abroad and in the USA. We invite submissions that address one or some of
the following questions: How did various imperial efforts interact with
local concerns to shape the history of cross-cultural interactions in this
region? How did imperial regimes propose to solve the issue of a
multi-ethnic empire? What were the roles of specific geographic and
economic spheres in Asia (such as those of nomadic, agricultural,
maritime, high altitude or lowland, and far-flung/diasporic cultures) in
contributing to the distinctive quality of certain empires? How do certain
characteristics of imperial administration and control in Asia compare to
those of imperial states in other regions of the world? In addition to
questions concerning the long history of Asian imperialism and comparisons
with other empires, we also solicit submissions that speak to questions
concerning contemporary Asian diasporas and their reactions to various
forms of imperialism in the modern age. Questions might address such
topics as “Yellow Peril” fears about Asian cultural imperialism; Japanese
internment camps as a US response to Japanese imperial expansion in the
Pacific; the Tibetan diaspora in South Asia and the Americas as a reaction
to contemporary Chinese imperialism; Vietnamese responses to French,
Chinese, or American imperialisms, and the treatment of Japanese-Americans
in Hawaii in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor.

Charlotte Diane Eubanks
Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, Japanese & Asian Studies
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Asian Studies
Associate Editor, Verge

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