I’ve returned from the American Literature Association annual conference, held in San Francisco this year, with some really encouraging feedback from my presentation, “Cycling the US-Vietnam Landscapes: Mapping the Traumas of Catfish and Mandala” on the panel “Travel in Times of Travail,” organized by the Society for American Travel Writing. My fellow panelist, William Hardwig presented on the Post Civil War South, while my presentation was on contemporary Vietnam. Despite the obvious geographic and temporal differences in subject matter, there were some striking similarities and resonances between both presentations that were highlighted by our moderator Andy Vogel and a very supportive audience.
I saw some great presentations and talks, one panel on Pynchon’s California and another on Asian American Travel Writing were especially interesting and relevant to my own work. I would have loved to attend more talks, but alas, being in San Francisco meant I had obligations to family and friends. (Maybe I should take a page from Pham and not let anyone know I’m coming…)
In the coming weeks I’ll be posting slides and visualizations from my presentation, and I of course welcome comments and feedback.