Call for Chapters: When East is North and South. East Asia, Latin America, and the Decolonization of Trans-Pacific Studies

Editors: Chiara Olivieri & Jordi Serrano-Muñoz

Proposals Submission Deadline: July 15, 2020
Editors decision: July 30, 2020
Full Chapters Due: October 15, 2020

For the proposal, send an email to: olivieric@ugr.es and jordi.serranom@gmail.com containing:

  • Author Name and Affiliation
  • Chapter Title
  • Chapter Abstract (300-500 words)
  • Short bio (150 words)

Introduction:

In the last few years, a renewed interest for new approaches to East Asian and Latin-American studies has led to a significant enrichment and diversification of tools for understanding the different dimensions —historiographical, literary, socio-political, environmental— that condition the lives of the peoples who are geographically located in these territories. These studies have traditionally been pregnant with Eurocentric, Orientalist, and subalternizing narratives, both in their epistemological tools and their knowledge-production logics. This new generation of scholars is then faced with the challenge of “losing the North” This motto entails, among other things, a commitment to distancing from traditional academic constructions by both building on and problematizing relatively recent transformative research standpoints.

Objectives:

This project, which has the backing of a well-known publishing house, tries to provide devices for the common construction of an inter- and trans-disciplinary academic scenario that incorporates debates happening across the Global South. It defends the relevance of working on the establishment of epistemological bridges across the Pacific that can finally leave behind the constraints of treating the experiences of these regions merely as an “area studies” or a “peripheral” concern. These categories, imposed as conceptual watertight compartments, have systematically impeded a comparative approach that could bypass Western epistemological hegemony and logics of knowledge production. Experiences happening in Latin America and those happening in East Asia have been bound to a narrow and estranging mechanism of alienation from each other. The two shores of the Pacific have seldom been conceived as speaking to each other despite their wide range of connections and acute degree of interdependence. Migration flows, cultural exchange, trade, a shared history of colonial oppression: there are a myriad of elements tying each region to each other. This is not a new discovery, but a common approach to understanding these experiences has been to address them as region-locked paradigms. Their interpretation has unfortunately more often than not relied on an epistemological toolbox based exclusively on a Western-centric understanding of world phenomena and international relationships. This book will attempt to build on decolonial attempts of disassembling these conceptual and methodological scaffolds by encouraging what we consider is an underdeveloped debate: the Pacific as a space of exchange, mutual dialogue, and an arena for decolonial comparative studies.

Problematizing categories themselves is one of the principal axes of this book. We will analyze and re-signify the very definitions of “Latin America”, “East Asia,” and the shared space in-between of “Trans-Pacific”as well as regional, national, ethnic, religious, and cultural borders. There is no denying that episodes of confrontation resulting from extreme poverty, unemployment, environmental disasters, and methods of predatory resource extraction constitute a systemic threat. These sources of oppression range from religious fundamentalisms to the imposition of states of exception, just like the one we are currently experiencing across the globe due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with its untamed and unknown long-lasting effects on civil rights and liberties. Repression is, however, not horizontally distributed. While the Global North and the nation-state establishment have been seen as the carrier of “Western” and “modernizing” values, subaltern subjects have been silenced, expelled to the unofficial and non-scientific field of “memories.” Identity diversity represents, across the two shores of the Pacific, an element that is worth dignifying and drawing attention to.

Target Audience:

Due to the interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary nature of this book, this call is open for contributions of scholars and researchers from different backgrounds in the fields of History, Literature, Social Sciences, and Migration Studies. Additionally, the editors welcome contributions from scholars in relevant fields that include Human Geography, Anthropology, Environmental Sciences, International Relations, Arts, and Economy. Principally, the target audience can acquire further insights on how to use new approaches in research, academic fields, and analytical work. 

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