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Reimagining Asian-Hispanic Synergies in Literature, Culture, and Film

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Organizer: Miaowei Weng

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The dynamic interplay between Asian and Hispanic cultures has yielded a rich tapestry of shared experiences, cultural exchanges, and historical dialogues. This panel, titled "Reimagining Asian-Hispanic Synergies in Literature, Culture, and Film," explores the intricate narratives that have emerged from direct encounters and indirect relationships between these two diverse yet interconnected regions.

During the era of European overseas exploration, the predominant powers of Spain and Portugal established a profound presence in Asia. The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries bore witness to Spanish and Portuguese writers crafting some of the earliest Western accounts of Asian territories. Simultaneously, Asian chroniclers documented their perspectives on the Spanish and Portuguese presence. Of particular significance is the vibrant exchange facilitated by the international trade route between the Spanish-American Empire and Asia, notably through Manila, serving as a prelude to the phenomenon of globalization. This exchange catalyzed an ongoing discourse of mutual representation that has persisted since the sixteenth century.

Furthermore, as we traverse the expanse of time, our inquiry extends to encompass not only the most recent wave of Asian immigrants and their impactful cultural contributions within the Hispanic world, but also the travel and travelogues of Hispanic individuals about Asia. These multifaceted interactions infuse the historical narrative with a kaleidoscope of perspectives and voices, showcasing the ever-evolving nature of the Asian-Hispanic connection.

Beyond the realm of direct interactions, both continents have weathered shared experiences of colonialism, mass migration, modernization, civil upheaval, transitions from authoritarianism to democracy, and the intricately woven tapestries of historical memory. By artfully juxtaposing the trajectories of East/Asia and West/Hispanic world, this panel reveals the underlying commonalities in their journeys, extracting insights from one through the perceptive lens of the other. This comprehensive and nuanced approach seeks to not only illuminate the bedrock of history but also to cast a luminous glow on the contemporary vitality of the ongoing cultural dialogues that continue to shape the realms of literature, culture, and film.

We envision this seminar not only as a platform for advancing the field of Asian-Hispanic studies but also as an occasion to foster further Asian-Hispanic synergies in Montreal from March 14-17, 2024. We extend an invitation for all inquiries encompassing Asian-Hispanic literary, cultural, and cinematic studies across a spectrum of perspectives. We invite proposals for 20-minute presentations in both Spanish and English, facilitating a multilingual dialogue within the seminar.

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