Representations of East Asian Migrants and Settlers in the Western United States ca. 1850-1929

Call for Papers

Representations of East Asian Migrants and Settlers in the Western United States ca. 1850-1929

Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman, MT — 26-28 September 2024

This amazing conference funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art builds on recent scholarly trends by ascertaining how Asian and European artists who journeyed through or resided in the American West between 1850 and 1929 contributed to a rich array of representations of Asian sojourners and settlers in different genres (e.g. documentary, picturesque, academic, expressive, illustrative, satirical) that promoted a range of views (e.g. ethnographic, nationalistic, empathetic, propagandistic, associational, filial, ethnic, gendered). The organizing scholars, Professors Hua Li and Todd Larkin, welcome paper proposals that illuminate not only how Euro-American artists imposed naturalized, stereotyped, racist, and other identities but also how Asian American artists and individuals deflected, contested, or rejected such images to constitute their own identities.

In the first half of the conference, “Daily Life in the West,” participants will discuss images of Asian migrants and immigrants in contexts of work, leisure, worship, or celebration; in the second half of the program, “Contested Claims,” participants will discuss representations of Asians in contexts of discrimination, scapegoating, and violence as well as strategies employed to overcome these circumstances in the form of community organization, public protest, and legal application. On the last day, “Modern and Contemporary Artists,” scholars will reveal how the earliest migrants and settlers constructed identities to negotiate their new surroundings and Asian American artists will share how they have engaged with, referenced, or distanced the past from their unique experiences as generational, transnational, expressive, and/or activist individuals.

The deadline for proposals is 15 October 2023. For information about the eight chairs and their sessions, click here –>

With best wishes for a productive academic year,

Hua Li, Professor of Chinese Language & Culture
Todd Larkin, Professor of European & American Art

C/O Dept. of Art History – School of Art
Montana State University
213 Haynes Hall
Bozeman, MT 59717
(406) 994-6449
(406) 994-2720