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Environmental Entanglements in Asian America

Journal of Asian American Studies Special Issue Call for Papers
Environmental Entanglements in Asian America | Due: January 27, 2023
Guest Editors: Simi Kang (University of Victoria, BC) and Lisa Sun-Hee Park (UC Santa Barbara)

In the face of unprecedented heat waves, annual 500-year storms, grossly accelerated species extinction, and the capital extraction that produces the same, what can Asian American Studies offer?  This special issue is an opportunity to grapple with the environmental entanglements—past and present—of diasporic Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Indigenous communities.  Within Asian American Studies, we are seeing burgeoning scholarship that is pushing our understanding of the environment and the possibilities of a just future. Key terms such as environmental racism, restorative environmental justice, climate migration, racial ecologies, and environmental privilege are increasingly present in the lexicon of Asian American Studies. In this special issue, we are interested in how such areas of engagement (and the multi-species communities and ecologies they are in relationship with) can be articulated alongside and through Asian American Studies. We ask what Asian American Studies has done and can do to expand, deepen, collaborate with, and critique ongoing theoretical and engaged environmental in/justice work, and, further, what the humanities and social sciences can accomplish in conversation with Asian American Studies. 

For this special issue, we approach environmental justice as also an engagement with racial justice and decolonial struggle, and encourage research-based scholarship and creative work that explore the various, multiple and intertwined problems of environmental harm and/or the possibilities of its restoration. Environmental and climate justice is more critical than ever and yet the efforts of Asian American and Pacific Islanders remain largely unrecognized. How do we contend with these erasures, and who is our audience in this pursuit? What traditional, ancestral, and collaborative knowledges can we bring to bear on our present concerns? How can we mobilize our communities and fields of study to give name and shape to environmental injustices that are historically overlooked, silenced, and/or misrepresented?

This issue encourages submissions from scholars and practitioners who think from within or alongside human and multispecies communities and ecosystems that are made expendable to environmental injustices. In addition to empirically-based research studies, we welcome artistic work, including poetry and prose, visual art, performance, music, and multi-media work that can easily be rendered in the 2-dimensional format of the journal. We are open to Asian Americanist engagements with environmental and/or ecological studies that emerge from multiple perspectives, including:

  • Indigenous, Pacific Islander, Central Asian, and West Asian knowledges
  • Queer and/or trans ecologies
  • Disability justice and crip of color critique
  • Critical feminist praxis
  • Abolitionist, anti-carceral, and anti-capitalist response and repair work
  • Multispecies, cross-species, and more-than-human scholarship and practice
  • Environmental racism, restorative environmental justice, racial ecologies, climate migration, environmental health, and/or environmental privilege
  • Community- and ecosystem-engaged interventions 

Submission Details: 

  • Submit articles online at mc.manuscriptcentral.com/asianam.
  • Original and unpublished manuscripts of 5,000 to 8,000 words (including references) 
  • Personal narrative, fiction, poetry or other creative format (500 to 2,000 words) 
  • Optional – a one-page, double-spaced abstract prior to the full submission deadline is welcome but not required.  The abstract should include the central argument and methods of the research paper; or brief description of a creative work.  

Email to: [email protected]

Anticipated Deadlines & Publication Date

  • Full submissions due: January 27, 2023 
  • Internal review by guest editors: February 2023
  • External review reports: April – May 2023
  • Revision due: June 2023
  • Publication in October 2023

For questions and inquiries, please email special issue editors: [email protected].