JAAS Call for Papers

Critical Pedagogy or Activist-Scholarship


JAAS is pleased to announce a new section devoted to two pressing areas within Asian American Studies: 1) critical pedagogy and 2) activist-scholarship. In creating a special category in each issue dedicated to these issues, we hope to highlight and share the important work of scholars/teachers/activists that remains a core part of our discipline. We welcome unique essays from those engaged in Asian American Studies and/or Asian American communities – as scholars, teachers, and/or activists – to share their innovative approaches, raise tough questions, and push the field to think in ever more critical and creative ways.

These papers should clearly articulate a central argument or address a specific question central to the field of Asian American Studies.

Critical Pedagogy: We are seeking original essays that critically engage pedagogical concerns and/or provide innovative solutions relevant to the field of Asian American Studies. More than a compilation of teaching strategies, critical pedagogy is an active tool of knowledge production that unsettles commonsense assumptions through its attentiveness to practices and experiences that have historically been denied. We encourage original analytical essays that incorporate and/or extend Asian American critique in the classroom and beyond.

Activist Scholarship: We welcome new analytical interventions on the political, ethical, and/or practical issues in producing scholarship for social justice in Asian American Studies. Just as there are myriad modes of forming activist scholarship, there are just as many dilemmas and challenges in engaging the seemingly impossible divide between theory and practice and researcher and the researched. Rather than a description of a particular organization or project, we seek analytical considerations that incorporate critical self-reflection that delve into complex questions of praxis, engage fundamental contradictions endemic to these efforts, and/or promote new innovations in activist scholarship within Asian American Studies.

Given the unique nature of these papers, they will undergo review distinct from other submissions. Each paper will be reviewed by the Journal Editor and one external reader; and will not be anonymous. Expected length is 3,000 words (excluding endnotes or other printed matter) and no abstract is required. Submissions cannot be previously published in print or online.

Submit articles online at mc.manuscriptcentral.com/asianam. Please identify “critical pedagogy”or “activist scholarship” in the title of your submission (e.g. Critical pedagogy: SUBMISSIONTITLE). Submissions are accepted on a rolling-basis. Queries can be directed to Dr. Diane C. Fujino ([email protected]) and Dr. Lisa Sun-Hee Park ([email protected]).


Special Issue

Dimensions of Violence, Resistance and Becoming: Asian Americans and the “Opening” of the COVID-era

Guest Editors: Eric Tang (UT Austin) and Lily Wong (American University)

It has been a year of exceptional violence and loss. For many Asian Americans, such violence and loss are tethered to a campaign of anti-Asian attacks that both reinforced and challenged what it means to be Asian in the United States. The violence was familiar and patterned; “we’ve seen this before,” so many of us noted. And yet so many of us felt completely thrown—unsure of what exactly was happening to us. Five decades of racial liberalism—its facts (demographic growth) and fictions (multicultural inclusion) will have that effect. As the U.S. and other wealthy nations enter the post-vaccinated age (of “opening back up”), and as a new U.S. presidential administration replaces an avowedly reactionary one, Asian Americans might be compelled to seek haven in the unfinished promise of racial liberalism—in a return to the “progress” we were making before the nation turned against us. And yet, if the pandemic and its attendant violences have taught us anything, it is that racial liberalism is an unreliable teller of time and a poor interpreter of loss. What it sells as progress has been repetition and foreclosure. What it narrowly determines to be racially violent obscures the multiple fronts on which Asian Americans have been disproportionately impacted during the pandemic. Nearly a third of the nurses who have died of coronavirus in the U.S. are Filipino, even though Filipino nurses make up just 4% of the nursing population nationwide. Over 1.2 million Asian American workers labor in food-related industries nationwide at farms, food processing factories, grocery stores, and restaurants, being placed at disproportionate risk of infection and mortality. As these workers returned to the workplace, so too did white, lone gunmen who, in the span of two months, murdered Asian Americans in Atlanta, Indianapolis, and San Jose (all of these victims “essential service workers”). Through it all, millions took to the streets to resist the relentless brutalization and murder of Black lives, reminding us that anti-Asian violence takes place in the time of slavery’s afterlife, and on the terrain of settler colonialism.

What, then, is the time and space in which Asian Americans now live as we “open back up”?  How might “moving on” be premature resolution, a preemptive form of foreclosure signaling, simply, a return “back to” what liberalism has to offer? We lost people. What are we to do with such trauma? How might we choose other dimensions of politics, life (being and becoming), or resistance (forming and reforming our politics) that is not limited to the false resolutions and dehistoricizations of liberal-humanist progress?  For indeed, liberal humanism may today be more the domain of Asian American conservatives who resist notions of racial justice and redress in favor of colorblind individualism.

This special issue of Journal of Asian American Studies seeks submissions from multiple academic disciplines, community activists/organizations, and public intellectuals who are thinking through the new dimension(s) of Asian America in a “post-”pandemic world. It reappropriates the post-pandemic notions of  “opening up” and “moving on” by asking what are the new dimensions we might open, and in which we might move, if we refuse to simply move on? Dimensions in which more challenging discussions can be had about cross-racial solidarities–conversations that make no assumptions of conflict and offer no guarantees of alliance? Dimensions in which new forms of organizing and coalition building are envisioned and enacted? Dimensions in which we can re-interpret the quantitative and qualitative data to tell us something more than whether or not we are making it?

We invite original and unpublished manuscript submissions of 5,000 to 7,500 words (including references) from interdisciplinary, research-based approaches, and community engaged perspectives. This special issue will aim to enact “different dimensions” of JAAS’s scholarly platform, juxtaposing and putting into dialogue scholarly articles, forums with activists, organizations, and public intellectuals.  
PROCEDURE for Submitting articles:

  • By August 1 2021, please submit a one-page, double-spaced abstract summarizing the article. The abstract should state the article’s central argument, its methodologies, and the research base (the data source/evidence) it draws upon. Email abstracts and a brief bio to: [email protected]
  • By September 1 2021, potential authors will be notified if they should submit a full-length version of their article for peer review.
  • The due date for full-length article submissions is December 15, 2021. The projected publication date is October 2022.