Organized by Stanley Thangaraj (City College, CUNY) and Angela Reyes (Hunter College and The Graduate Center, CUNY)
Cosponsored by MAANY (Mapping Asian American New York) CUNY Faculty Research Seminar and the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU.
With additional support from the Office of the Dean of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at City College and the Department of English at Hunter College, and with participation from Chong Chon-Smith on the selection committee
The recent increase in explicit acts of violence against Asian American and other racialized groups in the US is often interpreted in singular and essentialized terms. Instead of parsing anti-Black racism, Islamophobia, and other forms of discrimination into separate and distinct categories, this conference aims to push the politics of comparative and intimate racializations further. We understand comparative racialization as the social, political, and historical processes whereby racialized groups are created, managed, and challenged vis-à-vis other racialized groups. Thus various racial formations are always already relational phenomena that mutually constitute one another and structure the affinities and oppositions that characterize race relations. Centering on work by Asian Americanists at CUNY and in New York City, we, as the organizers and attendees of the conference, aim to discover and unravel the ways in which racializations work within Asian American populations in ways that simultaneously interpellate Black, Muslim, Latinx, Native American, and other racialized subjectivities. We also examine how whiteness and other categories of differentiation (e.g., gender, sexuality, class, labor) function in Asian American racial formations and the concurrent racial Othering of communities of color. While we hope to focus on scholarly research on these issues from within and across disciplinary fields, the conference is also an opportunity to see the work of activist Asian American organizations and Asian American Studies programs/departments. Bringing together Asian American scholars, activists, and organizers, this conference situates CUNY as the site for connections and collaborations within a larger NYC intellectual terrain. Some questions that govern this conference include:
- What interdisciplinary methods and theoretical paradigms complicate the terrain of comparative racializations in Asian America?
- What ways do Asian American identity, performance, and signification locate and substantiate blackness and Latinx-ness?
- What are the ways in which blackness depends on forms of Asian American-ness to navigate the racial and national terrain of belonging?
- How does Asian American activism draw affinities with other racialized communities?
- What are the similarities and contrasts of Asian American Studies, Black Studies, and Latinx Studies? What coalitional possibilities exist?
- What are the possibilities and critiques present in Afro-Asian and Latinx-Asian inquiry?
- How do mixed-race subjectivities complicate how we understand Asian American and other racialized communities?