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Sunday Radical Roundup: From The Sublime To The Ridiculous

April 18, 2010, 9:17 pm

OK, it’s senior honors thesis week, so you cannot really expect much. Thanks to the East of California List Serve I have some real news, and the rest is just grab-bag city.

Fabulous In All Ways: CFP of the Week. “Consuming Asian America,” 2011 Association for Asian American Studies Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, May 18-21, 2011.

The theme for the 2011 AAAS conference “Consuming Asian America” is inspired, in part, by the site of the conference itself—New Orleans, the city that measures the success of its Mardi Gras celebration by weighing the garbage collected the morning after and whose shopping and nightclub district for locals is called “Fat City.” We invite proposals to engage with all aspects of consumption, such as excess (after all, New Orlean’s tradition of Mardi Gras suggests an excess of consumption), labor material culture, technology, marketing, identity, assimilation, gender, popular culture, religion, music, or tourism.

The title “Consuming Asian America” has a double sense, referring both to the consumption performed by Asian Americans and the consumption of objects, people, and practices that are marked as Asian American. We are interested in the material practices, actions, and cultures of different versions of the consumer, such as eating, buying, viewing, as well as the larger metaphor of consumption.

For example, proposals might examine the material reality of food and its cultivation, production, labor, and marketing: agribusiness, the restaurant industry, our current fascination with television food shows or “authentic” ethnic eating. Others might examine consumption, purchasing, and power by examining chains of production, from the unseen labor of overseas and domestic Asian workers to how the advertising of various products specifically employs or ignores Asian and Asian American bodies. This topic also encompasses the widespread consumption of goods and services identified as Asian or Asian American. These might include religious iconography, such as Mehndi and the Buddha, artistic traditions such as haiku, martial arts, or manga), or language and writing, such as Chinese writing in keychains, home decor, and body art. Consumption also can be thought of as a means of absorbing, reformulating, or challenging culture through various technologies: how images of Asians, from the yellow peril to the model minority have been circulated and consumed by a multi-racial America, and how one might control or resist the consumption of Asian America.

This is the first time AAAS will meet in New Orleans. Accordingly, we are interested in the ways in which New Orleans (and the Gulf Coast more broadly) has been the object of consumption post-Katrina, as well as the relative invisibility of Asian Americans in the public attention following the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. How might this conference steer us away from being unthinking consumers of New Orleans culture and instead engage us with the possibilities of critical activism?

Submissions due by Monday, November 1, 2010: submit online here Hat tip.

Job of the Week: Who says the job season is over? “The 4th Psychological Operations Group is seeking highly qualified applicants for a two-year (renewable for up to 3 years) Intelligence Analyst position focused on the eastern Black Sea/ South Caucasus region. Work with other civilian specialists conducting research and writing 20-40 page studies, work closely with U.S. and possibly foreign military personnel, travel within the United States and abroad in order to conduct research and support military operations. A strong background in study and research of the history, politics, and culture of the region of specialization is required. Prior residence in the region of specialization is extremely desirable.” Must be a U.S. citizen and be able to obtain and keep a SECRET level security clearance.” Oh yes — must speak Armenian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Kurdish, or Turkish. Russian is acceptable, but only if you are really, really good.

Otherwise, there are really no jobs this week.

Hip-Hop Artists Of The Week: Have you ever wondered what it would be like for a Tea Party Rally to feature a white, anti-tax rap group? Thanks to We Are Respectable Negroes now you know!

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