Deadline for submissions: September 30, 2018

Full name/name of organization: Tina Powell, Concord University
Contact email:

Transnational Spaces of the Americas


Writing on the formation of Vietnamese refugee space in Orange County, CA, sociologist Karen Aguilar-San Juan emphasizes the importance of place — “The platial aspects of community involve its location, its physical or ‘built’ form, and the narratives or identities that surround and generate place itself” – in examining the complex negotiations immigrants make upon resettlement.  As people migrate, they face the need to create a stable space within a disconcertingly unfamiliar environment. This experience of creating new spaces opens opportunities for positive transcultural connections, but can also facilitate the disciplining of the migrant body.  This panel will focus on the movement of bodies in transnational communities and the formation of domestic spaces that provide respite from migratory paths, negotiate transnational relationships, or establish a new home.  In doing so, this panel seeks to explore literary texts that question, challenge, and deepen our understanding of the experience of migration through their use of space and place.




We are looking for papers that explore communal and domestic spaces in the Americas or for Americans abroad and explore how those spaces are used to negotiate, create, or revise transnational flows of people.  This panel – which is open to scholars working within or across different national literary traditions – seeks to examine the myriad ways that transnational space and its ties to the Americas are constructed in literature.


The panel is open to papers on literature from non-English texts but those texts must be grounded in the flow of people within, between, or to and from the Americas.


Broad topics for consideration include, but are not limited to:


  • Negotiation of space in travel literature
  • Construction of “home” by refugees in host country, refugee camps, or on return to homeland
  • Multigenerational stories of migration
  • Communal and domestic spaces in borderlands
  • Multilinguistic texts and creation of a liminal narrative
  • Movement of transnational bodies through national space



Please submit abstracts of 300-500 words to the NEMLA website by 9/30/2018.  You do not need to be a member of NEMLA to submit an abstract, but you will need to become a member if accepted to the panel:


Contact Tina Powell ( with any questions.