(Subject to change)

Sixth Biennial Conference of the Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture

Building Communities, Changing Discourses

Crowne Plaza Minneapolis Northstar Downtown Hotel
27-29 October 2016

Thursday, Oct. 27

Friday, Oct. 28

Saturday, Oct. 29


THURSDAY, October 27

New Authors Reception, 4:30 – 6 pm

ASAC opening reception, recognizing new books published by ASAC presenters since our last meeting. Book sales and signing will be available, light refreshments to be served.

Book sales are organized through Moon Palace Books.

Dinner break, 6-7:30 pm on your own

Plenary Session—Keynote, 7:30 pm: Lorraine Dusky, author of Birthmark, the first memoir of relinquishing a child, and Hole in My Heart: A Memoir and Report from the Fault Lines of Adoption, “Reunion, Before and After”
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FRIDAY, October 28

Continental Breakfast 7:30 – 8:15

Concurrent Session 1, 8:15 – 9:30 am

A. Adoptees, Social Networking and Websites

Jena Heath, Journalism, St. Edward’s University, Texas, “Our China Stories”

LiLi Johnson, American Studies, Yale University, “Selfie Photography, Birth Parent Searches, and an Epistemology of the Self”

Melissa Ludtke, Transmedia Storytelling, Cambridge, MA, “China, Identity and Multicultural America: Global Learning with a Cinematic Edge”

Chair: Liz Raleigh, Sociology, Carleton College

B. Transracial and Indigenous Adoptions

Lori Askeland, English, Wittenberg University, “‘A Child Named Tanya’: Transracial Adoption in Louise Erdrich’s The Round House

Veromi Arsiradam, Philosophy, Western University, “Children and Rights to Culture in the Context of Adoption”

Shawyn Lee, Social Work, University of Minnesota Duluth, and Amanda Schaller, Social Work, St. Catherine University, “In Whose Best Interest: A History of Maternalist Social Work Practice”

Chair: Susan Harness, Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research, Colorado State University

Book sales are organized from 11-1 through Moon Palace Books.

Concurrent Session 2, 9:45 – 11:15 am

A. Roundtable on Kay Johnson’s China’s Hidden Children (2016)

Barbara Yngvesson, Anthropology, Hampshire College

Angela Gee, family therapist, Los Angeles

Deborah DeRosa, English, Northern Illinois University

LiLi Johnson, American Studies, Yale University

Kay Johnson, Critical Social Inquiry, Hampshire College

Chair: Margaret Homans, English and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, Yale University

B. Queering Adoption

Bruno Perreau, French Studies, MIT, “Adoption after Marriage Equality: The French Case”

Frances Latchford, Women’s Studies, York University, “Heterodox Love and the Girl Maverick: Simone de Beauvoir, Sylvie Le Bon, and Their Confounding Family Romance”

S. Moon Cassinelli, English, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, “Queer Kinship in Transnational Korean Adoption Narratives”

Lucy Curzon, Art History, University of Alabama, “Just Ordinary? Visualizing LGBT+ Families in the Photographs of Catherine Opie”

Chair:  Johanna Gondouin, Gender Studies, Stockholm University

C. Adoptive Parent Narratives and Perspectives

Katherine Wald, Social Work, St. Olaf College, “Adoptive Parents’ Influence on Identity in an Interracial Child”

Glenda Jones, English, University of Wisconsin, Stout, “‘Ain’t I A Mother’: The Validity of a Transracial Family Consisting of a Single Mother and Adopted Children”

Janie Victoria Ward, Education, Simmons College, and Ivy George, Sociology, Gordon College, “Social Consumption and Reproduction: White US Mothers of Chinese Daughters”

Elvira Loibl, Law, Maastricht University, “The Economy of Love: The Narratives German Parents Use to Decommodify the Intercountry Adoption Process”

Chair: E. Kay Trimberger, Sociology, Sonoma State University

Lunch Plenary Roundtable, 11:30 am – 1 pm
Archival Adoption Research: Adoption Collections at the Social Welfare History Archive at the University of Minnesota

Linnea Anderson, current archivist, University of Minnesota Social Welfare History Archive

David Klaassen, former archivist, University of Minnesota Social Welfare History Archive

Eleana Kim, Anthropology, University of California at Irvine

Stevie Larson, Sociology and Anthropology, Spelman College

Shawyn Lee, Social Work, University of Minnesota, Duluth

Kori Graves, History, University at Albany, SUNY

Chair: Linnea Anderson

Concurrent Session 3, 1:15 – 2:45 pm

A. History and Representation of Relinquishing and Other Mothers

Karen Balcom, History, McMaster University, “‘Of My Own Free Will’: Japanese Women Relinquishing Children to US Military Families in Japan, 1948-1953”

Hosu Kim, Sociology, College of Staten Island, CUNY, “Gendered Violence and Transnational Adoption”

John McLeod, English, University of Leeds, “From Constituency to Collective: Imagining Birth-Mother Community in Recent Adoption Discourse”

Carol Singley, English, Rutgers University-Camden, “M (Other) to M (Other): Exploring Birth and Adoptive Mother Dynamics in Literature and Culture”

Chair: Kate Livingston, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Ohio State University

B. Adoption in Recent Young Adult Literature

Shannon Gibney, English, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, “Transracial Adoption in See No Color and Other Young Adult Fiction”

Meghan Gilbert-Hickey, English, St. John’s University, NY, “The Search for the Good, Real Mother: Depictions of Birth and Adoptive Mothers in Young Adult Dystopian Fiction”

Deborah DeRosa, English, Northern Illinois University, “Dangerous only because they speak the truth: The Traumatic Narrative in Gloria Whelan’s Chu Ju’s House

Marianne Novy, English, University of Pittsburgh, “Half a World Away and the Traumatized and Transnationally Adopted Child”

Chair: Claudia Nelson, English, Texas A & M University

C. Adoption and Social Engineering

Kori A. Graves, History, State University of New York at Albany, “Before It Was ‘A Practice of Genocide’: Transracial Adoption and African Americans in the 1950s and 1960s”

Matine Spence, History, University of Iowa, “Minnesota’s ‘Little Revolution’: The 1960s Beginning of Transracial Adoption for African-American Children”

Stevie Larson, Sociology and Anthropology, Spelman College, “Impermanency Planning: Uneven Geographies of the 1970s-1980s Child Welfare Insurgency”

Jean Marie Place, Physiology and Health Science, Ball State University, and John Horowitz, Economics, Ball State University, “A Perfect Storm: The Crisis of Infertility” [Jean Marie Place presenting]

Chair: E. Wayne Carp, History, Pacific Lutheran University

Concurrent Session 4, 3:00 – 4:15 pm

A. Roundtable on Adoption Pedagogy: Challenges, Implications, Practices

Jae Ran Kim, Social Work and Criminal Justice, University of Washington at Tacoma

Kim McKee, Liberal Studies, Grand Valley State University

Sarah Park Dahlen, Library and Information Science, St. Catherine University

Chair: Kim McKee

B. Germany’s Brown Babies, Their Media Representations, and Their Community Formation as Adults

Cynthia Callahan, English, Ohio State University-Mansfield, “Interracial Couples, ‘Brown Babies,’ and Black Families: The International Adoption of African American Children in the 1950s”

Film: Brown Babies: Germany’s Lost Children (director Michaela Kirst, 2011, 30 min.)

Rosemarie Peña, Childhood Studies, Rutgers University-Camden, “(Re) Presenting Black Germans in Documentary Film”

Chair: Kelly Condit-Shrestha, History, University of Minnesota

C. Adoption and Disability

Kimberly Leighton, Philosophy, American University, “Genetics Uncertain: American Eugenics and the Dangers of Adoption”

Sandy Sufian, Medical History, University of Illinois at Chicago Circle, “The Difference Between Waiting and Belonging: Adoption and Children with Disabilities Near the End of the Twentieth Century”

Emily Hipchen, English, University of West Georgia, “Christopher Reeve’s Superman as Supercrip Adoptee”

Chair: Marina Fedosik, Writing, Princeton University

Plenary Session, 4:30 – 6 pm: Staged readings tracing twenty years of adoption theater in the Twin Cities by Company Members of Mu Performing Arts

Dinner On Your Own

7 pm Readings of Adoption-Themed Creative Works at the Loft Literary Center
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SATURDAY, October 29

Continental Breakfast

Concurrent Session 5, 8:30 – 10 am

A. Adoption, Migration, Citizenship, and Multiculturalism

Daniel Drennan El Aawar, research and activist, Dunellen, NJ, formerly Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship, American University of Beirut.

Justice Hagan, English, Marquette University, “International Adoptee Narratives as Forced Migrant Literature”

Elizabeth Kopacz, Ethnic Studies, University of California at Riverside, “Revaluing the Transnational Asian Adoptee: Multiculturalism and Fresh Off the Boat

Chair: Karen Balcom, History, McMaster University

B. Adoption Memoirs Presented by the Memoirist

Catherine Becker, Communication, University of Hawaii, “Moving Between the Lines: An Adoptee’s Search Memoir as a Vehicle for Transformation”

Lisa Gaskill, Education, University of Alabama, “Dismantling Dixie: Race, Place, and the Politics of Belonging Through the Eyes of a Transnational Adoptee”

Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, English, St. Olaf College, “Myths to Have a Good Time”

Rosalie Purvis, Theater Studies, Cornell University, director and performer; Mee Ae Caughey, performer: “When I Heard My Child Cry in Babel’s Rubble: How Embodying Adoption Narratives Connects Experiences Across Cultures and Across the Adoption Triad*”

Chair: Emily Hipchen, English, University of West Georgia

C. Operating at the Intersections of Adoption Studies

Jae Ran Kim, Social Work, University of Washington at Tacoma, “Activist Scholarship and Adoption Studies: The Need for an Interdisciplinary Lens”

Liz Raleigh, Sociology, Carleton College, “Wither International Adoption? Implications for Adoption Researchers”

Kit Myers, Ethnic Studies, University of California, Merced, “Adoption, Family, or Kinship: What Gets Us Closer to Social Justice?”

Chair: Shannon Gibney, English, Minneapolis Community and Technical College

Plenary Session—Keynote, 10:15 – 11:30 am: Margaret Jacobs, Chancellor’s Professor of History at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and author of A Generation Removed: The Fostering and Adoption of Indigenous Children in the Postwar World, “From Triangles to Stars: How Indigenous Adoptions Expand the Adoption Triad”

Lunch on your own

Book sales are organized from 11-1 through Moon Palace Books.

ASAC annual business meeting, 11:30 am – 1 pm

Concurrent Session 6, 1:15 – 2:45 pm

A. Analyzing Adoption Memoirs

Margaret Homans, English and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, Yale University, “Reunions with Siblings in Search Memoirs Across Cultures”

E. Kay Trimberger, Sociology, Sonoma State University, “Bringing Adoptive Parents’ Voices Out of the Closet: Memoirs by Adoptive Parents of Adoptees Who Are Adults”

Eric Walker, English, Florida State University, “Literary Community and Adoptive Fatherhood in Edward Hirsch’s Gabriel

Chair: John McLeod, English, University of Leeds

B. Adoption in Popular Culture

Marina Fedosik, Writing, Princeton University, “Adoption in Stephen Spielberg’s A.I.: Kinship in the Posthuman Context”

Anne Morey and Claudia Nelson, English, Texas A&M University, “Cross-Species Kinship Dilemmas: Adoption and Dinosaurs in Jurassic World

Emily N. Bartz, English, Texas A&M University, “‘I can turn into anything as long as it’s me’: Loki, Agent of Asgard and the God of Lies and Goddess of Stories”

Chair: Jenny Wills, English, University of Winnipeg

C. Transnational Adoption and Surrogacy Discourse in High Adoption Society in Sweden, Denmark, and Minnesota

Kim Park Nelson, American Multicultural Studies, Minnesota State University at Moorhead, “Scandinavian Roots of Transnational Adoption Culture in Minnesota”

Johanna Gondouin, Gender Studies, Stockholm University, “Transnational Adoption in the Age of ARTS: Kinship and Ethics in Swedish Media Debates on Surrogacy and Assisted Reproduction”

Lene Myong, Gender Studies, University of Stavanger, “Meeting the New Parents: Examining Danish Media Coverage of Transnational Adoption”

Chair: Lene Myong

Concurrent Session 7, 3 – 4:30 pm

A. Adoption and Narratives

Jacki Fitzpatrick and Erin Kostina-Richey, Human Development and Family Studies, Texas Tech University, “Is There Truth in Fiction? Content Analysis of Stories Written by Adoptive Family Members” [Fitzpatrick presenting]

Patricia Sawin, American Studies, University of North Carolina, “‘Are You Her Mommy?’ ‘Yes, Yes, I Am!’: Negotiating Belonging in Mothers’ Stories of Adoptive Family Formation”

Joyce Maguire Pavao, All Adoption Consulting and Training, “How the Story Heals the Storyteller: Narrative Therapy in Adoption”

Martha Satz, English, Southern Methodist University, “‘You are my real mother. I will never belong’: Questions of Family in the Israeli Documentary Probation Time

Chair: Barbara Yngvesson, Anthropology, Hampshire College

B. Strategies and Venues for Educating About Adoption

Amanda Baden, Counselor Education, Montclair State University, “Adoption Competence Training in Graduate Clinical Education”

Liana Maneese, social practice artist, founder, Adopting Identity, “Adopting Identity as Community Education”

Marianne Novy, English, University of Pittsburgh, “Educating about Adoption in Community and University”

Lorraine Dusky, memoirist, blogger, journalist, New York, “Writing Blogs and Memoirs”

Chair: Rosemarie Peña, Childhood Studies, Rutgers University-Camden

C. Representing Transnational Adoption in Literature and Museums

Jenny Wills, English, University of Winnipeg, “Fictions of Asian Adoption: The Hundred-Year Flood and Bitter in the Mouth

Elisabeth Wesseling, Gender Studies, Maastricht University, “Remembering and Forgetting Child Displacement in Postcolonial Dutch Children’s Literature (1950-1990)”

Kira Donnell, Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley, “Collections and Counternarratives: The Politics of Museums and Adoptee Agency”

Chair: Margaret Homans, English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Yale Universit

5:30 Banquet (Preregistration required; first come, first served)
Shuttle bus to dinner begins at 5 pm

Shuttle bus to film (same location) from hotel begins at 7 pm

Plenary Session—7:30 pm: Deann Borshay Liem will screen edited scenes from her upcoming film, Geographies of Kinship, and discuss the new film as the latest in her trilogy of Korean adoption films, including First Person Plural (2000) and In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee (2010). Geographies of Kinship connects the global histories and politics of transnational adoption to Korean adoptees from the US and Europe on their journeys to reconnect with their birth country and piece together their pasts.
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