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Viral Racisms

Journal of Asian American Studies Special Issue Call for Papers

Viral Racisms: Asians/Americans and Pacific Islanders Respond to COVID-19

Guest Editors

Professors Aggie J. Yellow Horse, Karen Kuo, and Karen J. Leong
Asian Pacific American Studies at Arizona State University

Anticipated Publication Timeline

May 1First full submission
June 1Receive the comments from reviewers
July 1Revision due
July 30Receive comments from board of editors, editor-in-chief, original reviewers
August 30Final submission (second and final revision due)
October 1*Publish in October 2020 Issue (*subject to change)

Submission Requirements

  • Manuscript (5,000 to 7,500 words including the references)
  • Personal narrative, fiction, poetry or other creative format (500 to 2,000 words)

From the first reports of the “coronavirus disease 2019” (COVID-19) outbreak in Wuhan, China in December, 2019 and the World Health Organization (WHO)’s declaration of COVID-19 as pandemic on March 11, 2020, xenophobic and anti-Asian rhetoric has exacerbated in the United States and globally. The U.S. president unapologetically insists on referring to COVID-19 as “the Chinese virus.” Consequently but not surprisingly, the increase of such racially-charged and scientifically incorrect rhetoric has been accompanied by the increase in microaggressions, discrimination, violence and hate crimes related to COVID-19 against Asian/American individuals, families and communities within the US and in the greater Asian diaspora (U.K., Canada, Italy, Australia, Brazil, etc.). Although the nature of the pandemic itself is ever shifting, it is critically important to bring the voices and experiences of Asians/Americans, Pacific Islanders, and allies to the center of the discourse from the periphery.

This urgent call for submissions recognizes the need for timely and informed documentation of and response to the effects of this pandemic on Asians/Americans, Pacific Islanders and groups that ally and/or identify with AA/PI (e.g., West Asians, Muslim/Americans, multiracials, etc.) individuals and communities. This special issue of Journal of Asian American Studies seeks submissions from multiple academic disciplines, community activists/organizations, and creative arts in an effort to address holistically the multiple dimensions of this pandemic through interdisciplinary and community engaged perspectives. We thus welcome individual and collaborative submissions from interdisciplinary and multiple disciplinary approaches including, but not limited to, Asian American Studies, ethnic studies, American studies, Asian Studies, transnational studies, Oceania Studies, history, literature, sociology, psychology, social work, public health, education, policy, political science, cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies.

We invite original and unpublished manuscript submissions of 5,000 to 7,500 words (including references) from multiple disciplinary perspectives, as well as shorter personal narratives, fiction, poetry or other creative formats (500 to 2,000 words; pictures must be 1200 dpi pixels). We particularly encourage community organization and or activist (individual or collaborative) contributions describing on the ground responses to the multiple impacts this crisis is having on our diverse communities; these contributions may take the form of short reports, creative expression, or white papers of appropriate length.

Possible Topics

  • Historical issues of contagion, disease and xenophobia for Asian/Americans, Pacific Islanders, Muslim/Americans and others
  • Perspectives about pandemics from virgin soil epidemics to measles outbreaks and COVID-19 as related to settler colonialism
  • Logistical analyses of global supply chains of biopolitical care, in relation to Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) manufactured in China and the technologies of production and treatment developed in Asian nations
  • Comparative analyses of necropolitics and surveillance deployed globally and locally to control certain populations at this particular moment. The differential impacts of COVID-19 responses on diverse Asian/American, Pacific Islander, multiracial and/or similarly situated communities and individuals in the US and/or the diaspora
  • How AA/PI individuals and communities have experienced and/or resisted racialization of the pandemic and produced counter narratives to combat COVID-19
  • Media representations of COVID-19 and xenophobia of AA/PI individuals and/or communities
  • The relationship between White supremacy, interracial xenophobia, microaggressions, and anti-Asian discrimination from non-whites, and/or anti-Blackness expressed by Asian/Americans
  • Historical stereotypes of Yellow Peril and its consequences (within US and/or international and transnational)
  • How international and US responses to the 2019 measles outbreak in the Pacific Islands relate to international and US responses to COVID-19
  • Interpersonal and structural racial discrimination and hate crime against AA/PIs
  • Best practices for working with AA/PI communities during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Implications of travel bans for transnational AA/PI families
  • Relevant COVID-19 related issues for AA/PI families and communities: e.g., disproportionate burden on elderly care and child care; increased uneven gender division of labor within the household; social distancing and multi-generational families; how Chinese/Asian/Pacific Islander restaurants and businesses are impacted, etc.
  • How to advocate for social cohesion among AA/PIs and across different groups
  • Mental health and AA/PI communities during this pandemic
  • Diagnosis and treatment seeking behaviors of AA/PIs in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic
  • How political and policy responses to the pandemic perpetuate inequalities at the intersection of race, class, gender, geographic location, citizenship, age and other factors
  • Best practices for policy makers based on relational analyses of pandemics and impacts on communities marginalized by stigmatization
  • Comparative analysis of specific government and community responses to international anti-Asian sentiment

Submission Guidelines and Review Process

Please submit your paper at If in need of extension, please contact the special editors to discuss timeline.

All submissions will undergo a double-blind review process. Manuscripts should follow the documentary note-style, as specified in the latest edition of the CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE. All texts and notes must be double-spaced and with Times New Roman font size 12 on 8.5×11 inch document. Text should be left justified with all margins one inch around. Only use endnotes (no in-text notes accepted) and italicize book titles (no underline or boldface). Insert page numbers on the upper right corner. You may cite your own work but do not use wording that identifies you as the manuscript’s editor. Your name should only appear on the title page. Articles should not exceed 7,500 words (including notes and references). Please include a 50-100 word abstract following the title page. You will receive email acknowledgement of receipt of your manuscript. The journal does not allow multiple submissions of manuscripts (some exceptions may apply: e.g., two poems); if in question, please contact the special issue editors. Detailed information about manuscript submission may be found in the Journal of Asian American StudiesAuthor Guidelines.

All correspondence should be directed to

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