School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Pulau Pinang, Malaysia, 29-30 July 2020


The conference has shifted to a virtual platform due to COVID19 pandemic. However, all the previous deadlines for registration and full paper submission remain the same.

Conference Website:


Keynote Speaker:

Bill Ashcroft (School of the Arts & Media, UNSW Arts & Social Sciences Sydney, Australia)


Invited Speakers:

Giles Foden (The University of East Anglia, UK)

Md. Salleh Yaapar (Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia)


The literature of the Asian diasporic writers has constituted an important part of the burgeoning field of Ethnic Studies. The writings of award-winning diasporic authors from the continent has helped readers understand the world, other peoples’ ways of life and how societies are organized. In the last few decades, the seminal scholarly works of Edward Said, Homi Bhabha, Gayatri Spivak, Stuart Hall, and Paul Gilroy—to name but a notable few—have contributed greatly to our understanding of this important area of writing. Yet the recent changes in social, political, cultural and economic landscapes in the world have dramatically affected the contemporary experiences of Asian diaspora in local, national and global contexts, and pushed Asian diasporic literature beyond its primary focus on issues of nostalgia, melancholy, home and identity to an engagement with epistemological, ethical and political questions. By organizing the 2nd International Conference on Literature (ICL 2020), we want to explore the past, present and future experiences, contributions, issues, and concerns of Asian diasporic communities in relation to the contemporary era of globalization and increasing transnational mobility. By triggering a debate about the future of the discipline, the conference aims to reinvigorate and pioneer certain dimensions of the area. This two-day event, which will be held online due to COVID19 pandemic, seeks to provide a platform for those interested in interdisciplinary and/or cross-cultural approaches to push Asian diasporic literary studies into new domains to meet, discuss, and to explore contemporary debates, and to revisit the ‘classic’ issues to interrogate them. Topics to be addressed by the papers and sessions at the conference will cover a broad spectrum of research questions, but with a specific emphasis on contemporary and future challenges for Asian diasporic literature and theory.

We invite proposals for individual papers from academics in the humanities and social sciences to reassess the past, present and future of Asian diasporic literature and theory. Possible topics may include, but are NOT limited to:

The Legacy of the Asian Diaspora
Contexts, Forms, and Perspectives
Shifting Perspectives on Race and Gender
New Perspectives on Identity, Space, and Mobility
Region, Religion, Politics, and Culture
Migration, Diaspora, Hybridity, and Borders
Rethinking the Family, Class, and Ethnicity
Bioethics, Ecology, Ecocriticism, Health, and Wellness
War, Violence and Terror

Proposals of between 200-250 words should be sent by 15 December 2019 via online submission platform: . Notification of abstract acceptance will be sent by 30 December 2019.  For more information on abstract writing guidelines, please visit ( ). Should you have any questions or enquiries, please contact Conference Chair Moussa Pourya Asl at

We intend to produce a special issue for The Wenshan Review and an edited volume from the conference with a major academic publisher. Authors are encouraged to submit their full papers by 30 April 2020 to be considered for the journal’s June 2021 special issue.

This conference is organized by the School of Humanities (PPIK) at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).


Moussa Pourya Asl is a Senior Lecturer in literary studies at Universiti Sains Malaysia, where he also obtained his PhD (English Literature) from School of Humanities. Moussa is committed to researching about diasporic studies with a particular focus on micro-physics of power and formation of identities. His most recent articles have been on theories of governmentality and panoptic functioning of power in South Asian literary texts and Middle East life writings. His articles have appeared in journals such as Asian Ethnicity, American Studies in Scandinavia, International Journal of Arabic-English Studies, 3L, and GEMA Online.