For this forum, we asked scholars and artists based throughout the hemispheric Americas and Asia to reflect on how the framework of location affects or limits their work on Asian diasporas. Invitations were delivered to practitioners working in diverse parts of the world, as well as in various disciplines and on quite divergent topics. Undeniably, the notion of geography lends itself to an imagined mapamundi of hegemonies, yet individual processes reveal multiple possible positionings within set locations. It became abundantly evident that we would come upon not only peripheral voices in hegemonic centres but also hegemonic voices or practices still afoot in marginal locations. Hence, inquietude seems a key analogy for what has motivated and driven this roundtable. Inquietudes brings forth the notion of being in movement, of shuffling or shuttling between points of quietude, touching on them by turns and then continuing to others, bouncing here and there, between and among many. This analogy is less about an idealized and intentionally stabilizing discourse, like that of multiculturalism; rather, it is more concerned with new, polycentric praxes that do not idealize the conflation of diverse points in a stable combination. It prefers the “revolving optics” mode of analysis that engages multiple perspectives simultaneously, each with its turn as fulcrum, giving its particular lay of the land. The responses have been left in their original languages in order to preserve the multilingual and multi-sited relation of the local to the global. The polyphonic voices in this forum provide multiple perspectives on how one’s location and experience with mobility or diaspora may reveal the layered aspects of memory, globalization, capitalism, and migration.
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