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Dealing with the Distance between the Hispanic World and Asia

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Organizer: Miaowei Weng

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It took the Manila Galleon, also known as “El Nao de China,” more than three months to travel westward from New Spain to Philippines; and the eastward passage was even longer. While western geography maps “Far” East by its spatial distance from the west, Asian geography marks off the rest of the world by labeling it “external.” "Far" and “external,” as different statements of the same fact, lie underneath all discussions of Asian-Hispanic relations. Even as the physical distance has now greatly diminished via modern transportation, telecommunication and immigration, the presumptive difference undeniably remains and the distance manifests itself more in ethics and ethnicity, politics and poetics, identity and identification. The distance corresponds via various modes of manifestation to felt differences between and in-between the Hispanic world and Asia.    Dealing with the distance, we think beyond the asserted simplicity toward more satisfyingly in-depth explorations of the relation between both parties. We welcome any papers that explore the distance – in every sense of the word – between the two seemingly distant cultures. We invite proposals for 20-minute presentations; and the languages of the seminar will be Spanish and English. 

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