Y-Dang Troeung, who passed away at the end of 2022, was always attentive to her own construction as a scholar, writer, and public intellectual. For Y-Dang, these positions were deeply imbricated with her experiences as a refugee, daughter, and mother shaped by the difficult histories of war, genocide, displacement, and resettlement. Y-Dang consistently wove the personal, historical, and political into her wide-ranging work, which included scholarly writings, memoirs, and film. She left behind a small but impactful archive: the academic book Refugee Lifeworlds: the Afterlife of the Cold War in Cambodia (Temple University Press, 2022); the trade-press book of autotheory, Landbridge [life in fragments] (Knopf, 2023); the special issue in Canadian Literature, “Refugee Worldmaking: Canada and the Afterlives of the Vietnam War;” the exhibition “Remembering Cambodian Border Camps, 40 Years Later: An Exhibition at Bophana Audiovisual Center”; and the short film Easter Epic (2024).
This special issue of Canadian Literature, a publication Y-Dang served as associate editor, seeks to celebrate and engage with Y-Dang’s capacious thinking on themes of migration, memory, diaspora, family, autobiography, war, race, illness, and justice within diverse fields such as Canadian literature, transnational Asian literatures, critical refugee studies, transpacific Cold War studies, and critical disability studies, just to name a few. We are interested in intellectually stimulating engagements, reflections, and musings that are genre-fluid, pushing the boundaries of academic and creative writing in ways that reflect Y-Dang’s own desire to explore (and to create) various forms of genre expression. Pieces may directly take up concepts that Y-Dang developed or utilized (refugee lifeworlds / worldmaking, refugee supercrip, kemleang chet (strength of the heart), muteness and the Kapok Tree (dam-doeum-kor), refugee aphasia, minor anecdotes, fragments, autotheory / family memoir, Cold War episteme, race-ability, asylum, among others). They may also be inspired by the embodied methodologies and the fragmentary, anecdotal writing styles Y-Dang practiced. They may be ignited, more generally, by the spirit of her thought and her way of being.
We welcome works that “converse” with Y-Dang in the Latinate meanings of conversari, “to keep company with,” and versare, “to raise or hold suspended.” We seek to create a collection of pieces (3,000-5,000 words), a chorus dwelling in togetherness, suspended on the page. We welcome works about reading and teaching Y-Dang’s work. We welcome works that flout conventions. We welcome works that are generatively experimental. We welcome works that show how Y-Dang’s work makes possible other kinds of works.
In Landbridge, Y-Dang decribes the aftermath of war and displacement as a spiral, a swirling into a “lifeworld, a meditative, repetitious space of beauty, creativity, and regeneration” (258). We hope this special issue can move with this swirl that was Y-Dang’s life and works, and can open further ongoing conversations with her.
All submissions to Canadian Literature must be original, unpublished work. Essays should follow current MLA bibliographic format (MLA Handbook, 9th ed.).
Word length for articles is 3,000-5,000 words, which includes endnotes and works cited.
Please limit images accompanying the submission to those receiving substantial attention in the article. Note that contributors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce images in their article, and must pay any permission costs. The journal can provide a sample template for permission requests. Permissions must be cleared before publication. Please send low resolution images (small jpegs), in separate attachments. If the article is accepted, high quality images will be required.
Feel free to contact us to discuss ideas ahead of time:
Journal Editor: Christine Kim (email@example.com)
General Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org