International Symposium on Diaspora and Ethnic Studies

June  16-17, 2007

Sponsored by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature,

National Sun Yat-sen University and Ministry of Education on Taiwan

The symposium will explore the intersection of ethnic studies with diaspora studies and how they connect and how they diverge in the trans-Pacific context. At the intersection of ethnic studies with Asian diaspora, Native American diaspora, African diaspora, Irish diaspora, and Queer diaspora lie not only profound tensions but also creative possibilities. The symposium will examine diaspora/ethnic texts and reassess current theoretical and methodological issues in the field.
Exploring a wide range of visual, literary and artist forms by diasporic and ethnic authors, this symposium will seek to transnationalize Diaspora Studies and encourage dialogues among those dedicated to this field. Bringing together scholars from the U.S., Japan, Korea and Taiwan, it will provide a forum for globally/locally diverse approaches.  Contextualizing these approaches in different historical and cultural backgrounds, the symposium will thus investigate a variety of diasporic and ethnic literary and cultural issues, both thematically and methodologically. The symposium will specifically examine the ways in which contemporary ethnic visual, literary, and performing arts address the formation of cultural identity/ies within shifting geographical, political, cultural, artistic, disciplinary frameworks. Questions that the speakers’ approaches will address include, but are not limited to, the following: As one moves across national boundaries, does one become less a ‘national'( than an ‘ethnic’?)  Where does one draw the line?  Is it possible, or, feasible, for us to draw the line between the ‘national’, the ‘diasporic’, the ‘ethnic’ or the ‘cosmopolitan’?  On the other hand, the migrancy of identities and desires also initiates a crisis in cultural transmission and transcultural communicability.  How should, that is to say, the two generations, within the diasporic generations, address and comprehend each other?  How does the diaspora negotiate with the melancholia of ethnicity, in what political stance and with what narrative strategies?
Diaspora and Ethnic Studies will allow students and scholars to exchange views on the above questions, plus a whole range of theoretical, critical, and pedagogical issues that are pertinent to the studies of ethnic/diasporic literature as an emergent academic field.
This two-day symposium will include invited speeches given by acclaimed scholars, Dr. Yu-cheng Lee, Philip Deloria, David Eng, Joni Adamson, Kun Jong Lee, and Shin Yamamoto, among others, and roundtable discussions participated by leading scholars both at home and abroad.

For further details, please contact
Fu-jen Chen,
Associate Professor
Department of Foreign Languages and Literature
National Sun Yat-sen University
Kaohsiung, Taiwan

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