I recently attended the AAAS (Association for Asian American Studies) conference in New Orleans, LA. This year’s conference theme was “Consuming Asian America,” which seemed appropriate for a conference held in New Orleans — a place with so much good food, culture, and history to consume. This theme, coupled with the recent boom of what I’ll call Food Studies in literature, led to a large number of papers and panels dealing with food in literature, life, and culture. It was a veritable buffet of mental morsels for me to take in, and also provided me with the healthy dose of inspiration I usually feel after a good conference.
Some highlights of this conference were readings by Juliet Kono, Ken Chen, and Karen Tei Yamashita (with a special guest appearance by R. Zamora Linmark!); papers by Joe Ponce, Cynthia Marasigan, Mary Talusan, Jeanne Sokolowski, Akihiko Hirose, Laura Fantone, Amie Parry, and Vivian Halloran; the awards ceremony (especially Elaine Kim’s acceptance speech); the Graduate Students Section Meeting; and the Saturday morning CIC Mentorship Reception.
There were so many amazing panels and papers that I had a hard time deciding which ones to attend — a wonderful problem to have at a conference! I felt welcomed by this community of scholars, and was glad to be a part of this amazing event. I can’t wait for next year’s conference….