Call for Papers: Asian American Worlds and Pacific Worlds – A Special Issue of The Popular Culture Studies Journal

Call for Papers: Asian American Worlds and Pacific Worlds:  From Symbolic Absence to Replacement (White Casting) to Representational Persistence (Disney-fication) – Asian American Representations and Cultural Politics in Popular Culture

A Special Issue of The Popular Culture Studies Journal (May 2019)

Guest Editor: Rona Tamiko Halualani, San Jose State University

Publication Date: Issue planned for May 2019 Issue

Due Date: March 1, 2018

With slow-to-change representational histories in mainstream American popular culture, Asian American representations and Pacific Islander representations have traversed the extremes of cultural reification with historically persistent stereotypes (emasculated, desexualized males, oversexualized; passive females, domesticated natives), absences (ala White casting), and adapted, dynamic forms of “authenticated” framings of their own cultural identities.  From representations like The Mindy ProjectFresh Off the Boat, and Master of None to the White casting in mainstream films like the Ghost in the Shell, Aloha, and Dr. Strange (and the new Mulan) and the deemed “cultural authentication” of Moana, critically examining the cultural politics around Asian American representations and Pacific Islander representations has become even more important.  Indeed, at this specific historical and political moment, there seems to be an uneven amount of Asian American and Pacific Islander representational material in dominant American popular culture as compared to other historical periods, to even critique in the first place.

In this special issue, we call for original manuscripts that critically analyze Asian American representations or Pacific Islander representations in popular culture in relation to the surrounding cultural politics framing these groups.  Several key questions that may guide these critiques could be (but are not limited to) the following:

*What are the specific framings of Asian American representations or Pacific Islander representations in popular culture today?  What specifically defines these representational framings in this particular historical/political moment?  How is this different from past historical/political moments?

*What are the representational patterns and habits with regard to such groups and in which forms?

*How does such representation speak to the larger governmental, economic, sociopolitical, and institutional framings of these groups and identities?

We especially welcome papers that engage historical, comparative, or global contexts using interdisciplinary approaches, theoretical perspectives, critical perspectives, innovative analytical methods, and original data.

Examples of potential topics are as follows (but are not limited to the following):

Framings of Asian American femininity and masculinity

Framings of Pacific Islander femininity and masculinity

Representations of LGBT Plus Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities

Asian American Representations (Popular Television, Music, Film, Social Media)

Pacific Islander Representations (Popular Television, Music, Film, Social Media)

Replacing Asians:  Shadow (or White) casting in Asian American films

Replacing Asians:  Whiteness and heroism in Asian contexts

Replacing Pacific Islanders and White casting

Hawai’i Five-O:  Tensions Across a Native Place With Asian America

Mediated Interracial Desire (The Big Sick, Sophie and the Rising Sun)

Representations Impacting Various Asian American Groups

Representations Impacting Various Pacific Islander Groups

Representations of Asian Americans in Specific Genres (Science Fiction, Reality TV, Horror, Comedy, Soap Operas, Action-Adventure)

Representations of Pacific Islanders in Specific Genres (Science Fiction, Reality TV, Horror, Comedy, Soap Operas, Action-Adventure)

Animated Representations


Submission Guidelines and Review Process:

An editorial review board will be created specifically for this special issue.  This review board will help decide which submissions should be included in the special issue.

The process is as follows:

  • Initial review of submitted papers by Dr. Halualani
  • Papers approved by the guest editor will then undergo blind peer review
  • Revision of accepted peer-reviewed papers and final submission


All correspondences should refer to “Asian American Representations and Cultural Politics in Popular Culture” in the subject line.

Please send inquiries to Dr. Rona Tamiko Halualani (

  • Title Page: A single title page must accompany the email, containing complete contact information (address, phone number, e-mail address).
  • Manuscript: On the first page of the manuscript, only include the article’s title, being sure not to include the author’s name. The journal employs a “blind review” process, meaning that a copy of the article will be sent to reviewers without revealing the author’s name. Please include the works cited with your manuscript.
  • Short Bio: On a separate document, please also include a short (100 words) bio. We will include this upon acceptance and publication.

Essays should range between 15-25 pages of double-spaced text in 12 pt. Times New Roman font, including all images, endnotes, and Works Cited pages. Please note that the 15-page minimum should be 15 pages of written article material. Less than 15 pages of written material will be rejected and the author asked to develop the article further. Essays should also be written in clear US English in the active voice and third person, in a style accessible to the broadest possible audience. Authors should be sensitive to the social implications of language and choose wording free of discriminatory overtones.

For documentation, The Popular Culture Studies Journal follows the Modern Language Association style, as articulated by Joseph Gibaldi and Walter S. Achtert in the paperback MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (New York: MLA), and in The MLA Style Manual (New York: MLA). The most current editions of both guides will be the requested editions for use. This style calls for a Works Cited list, with parenthetical author/page references in the text. This approach reduces the number of notes, which provide further references or explanation.

For punctuation, capitalization, hyphenation, and other matters of style, follow the MLA Handbook and the MLA Style Manual, supplemented as necessary by The Chicago Manual of Style (Chicago: University of Chicago Press). The most current edition of the guide will be the requested edition for use.

It is essential for authors to check, correct, and bring manuscripts up to date before final submission. Authors should verify facts, names of people, places, and dates, and double-check all direct quotations and entries in the Works Cited list. Manuscripts not in MLA style will be returned without review.

We are happy to receive digital artwork. Please save line artwork (vector graphics) as Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) and bitmap files (halftones or photographic images) as Tagged Image Format (TIFF), with a resolution of at least 300 dpi at final size. Do not send native file formats. Please contact the editor for discussion of including artwork.

Upon acceptance of a manuscript, authors are required to sign a form transferring the copyright from the author to the publisher. A copy will be sent to authors at the time of acceptance.

Before final submission, the author will be responsible for obtaining letters of permission for illustrations and for quotations that go beyond “fair use,” as defined by current copyright law.