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A/P/A Graduate Student Working Group Workshop & Social

Organizer: A/P/A Institute at NYU
Venue: 20 Cooper Square, 3rd floor
Add to Calendar 10/27/2023 01:00 PM 10/27/2023 03:30 PM America/New_York A/P/A Graduate Student Working Group Workshop & Social More detail: https://apa.nyu.edu/event/a-p-a-graduate-student-working-group-workshop-social/

Hosted by the A/P/A Graduate Student Working Group. Sponsored by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU.

REGISTER (open to NYU graduate students)

Join the A/P/A Graduate Student Working Group for its first gathering of the fall semester! Meet and connect with other students from across NYU interested in and working on Asian/Pacific/American issues and communities.

From 1:00-2:30 p.m., graduate students Dang Weiyu (GSAS) and Ayami Hatanaka (GSAS) will present their research. Weiyu will present a paper titled “In Search of a ‘Back Door’ to China: Wartime US Missions to Northwest China and the Global Frontier of US Anti-Imperialism,” and Hatanaka will present her paper titled Being Made Visible: Surveillance and Mapping Family Policing Institutions in New York City.” Following the workshop session, there will be a social from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Food and drink will be provided at both the workshop and social.

The A/P/A Graduate Student Working Group is an interdepartmental and interdisciplinary working group for graduate students interested in and/or working on Asian/Pacific/American Studies broadly defined.


Abstract for “In Search of a “Back Door” to China: Wartime US Missions to Northwest China and the Global Frontier of US Anti-Imperialism” by Dang Weiyu

This paper explores two US missions to China during World War II, one by defeated Republican presidential candidate Wendell Willkie in 1942 and another by Democratic vice-president Henry Wallace in 1944. As Japan expanded its empire into the Pacific, the US faced a new challenge in dealing with China’s northwest borderlands. Willkie and Wallace’s journeys promoted a progressive, internationalist U.S. that advocated for global unity, post-war reconstruction, and cooperative investment through indictments of imperialism and racism. While historians frequently frame wartime liberal internationalisms as naïve or tragic idealism, I argue that Willkie’s concept of a “back door to China” and Wallace’s vision of the “Century of the Common Man” were not entirely alternatives to the Cold War’s security-focused political geography. Rather, I theorize that they were pivotal to its articulation as Willkie and Wallace’s borderland journeys mark an era in which the US frontier went global as visions of a boundless American century in Asia came into view. Amid proclamations of unity, there was nevertheless a belief that defeating fascism and reconstructing a post-war peace world was the duty of the US citizenry and government. What impassioned US expansionists both liberal and reactionary was the prospect of new frontiers remade by US “know-how” and “goodwill” that drove racialized peoples cast in the image of settlers and pioneers aspiring toward liberal freedom. While wartime China is often lost from this accounting of the American century’s influence, missions such as Willkie and Wallace’s paved the way for a US internationalism that could pacify an imperial frontier desire through the rhetoric of solidarity, cooperation, and internationalism.


Abstract for “Being Made Visible: Surveillance and Mapping Family Policing Institutions in New York City” by Ayami Hatanaka
The study of the family regulation and policing system (also known as the child welfare system) has long existed at the edges of fields researching policing and carcerality. However, this presentation brings family regulation and policing into the center of the conversation through understanding the “home visit” as a technology for surveillance and how the narrative of child protection is utilized to carry out punishment, confinement, and separation at the local level in New York City. What might mapping the locations of investigative and preventive agency offices in New York City reveal about how surveillance is carried out by the family policing or child welfare system? How might a Black feminist geographic analysis reveal this surveillance and policing as reifying a race-making process? This work takes up Saidiya Hartman’s assertion that “(To be visible was to be targeted for uplift or punishment, confinement or violence.)” By utilizing ArcGIS Online mapping to visualize the geographic location of Administration for Children’s Services offices and preventive services agency offices, this project considers the spatial relationship between the surveillance of families through reporting professionals and the locations of investigative and preventive agencies and considers how this process results in families being made visible and thus targeted for punishment, confinement, or violence by the family regulation and policing system.


Accessibility note: This venue has an elevator and is accessible for wheelchair users. There are single-stall, all gender restrooms available. If you have any access needs, please email apa.rsvp@nyu.edu.

Image created with (left) photo by Ayami Hatanaka and (right) photograph of Henry Wallace in Lanzhou, 1944. Folder “Wallace, Henry,” Box 46, Indusco Inc. records, 1938-1985, Rare Books and Manuscript Library, Columbia University.