We usually meet on Fridays from 3:30 to 5, but feel free to arrive late or leave early as your schedule permits. While we encourage everyone to participate in the conversation, you are more than welcome to simply hang out and listen!
Many of our events discuss a pre-circulated paper, but don't be afraid to turn up even if you haven't had a chance to read it. When available, links to download the paper should be clearly visible beneath the abstract.
“Atmo-Orientalism: Race, Atmosphere, and Environmental Health” considers the process of “environmental exclusion” that comes hand-in-hand with deodorization by constructing a genealogy of discourses that racialize Chinese spaces as atmospheric health threats. Reading a range of legal and cultural discourses conflating the Chinese with bad air, this paper argues that representations of the Chinese as diseased and toxic manifest in the (apparently “race-blind”) form of atmospheric difference. The paper concludes by considering how Asian diasporic texts–from Sui Sin Far’s Mrs. Spring Fragrance (1912) to the work of contemporary olfactory artist and Anicka Yi (who sampled scents from Manhattan’s Koreatown and Chinatown in Life is Cheap (2017)—respond to atmo-orientalism by underscoring how noxious air is sustained by air conditioning at both urban and transnational scales.