Afro/Asian Connections in the Local/Global South

Date: November 29, 2018 -November 30, 2018
Time: 5:00pm - 6:15pm
Location: Ahmadieh Family Lecture Hall | C105, Bay 4, Smith Warehouse

Afro/Asian Connections in the Local/Global South:

Duke Asian American Studies Program (AASP) Inaugural Conference

This conference invites scholars and activists in and outside of Asian American Studies for an open dialogue on how to envision Asian American Studies at Duke and the American South. Since its origins in San Francisco State University at the height of the civil rights and antiwar movements of the global sixties, Asian American Studies has its roots in intersectional community and coalition building with allied social movements such as civil rights, women’s rights, and third world decolonization. On Duke campus, Asian American activism also has strong ties to African American Studies and Middle Eastern Studies. However, these communities have faced challenges in building coalitions for common goals, institutionally siloed into competing enclaves for resources and visibility. This conference attempts to explore how a program focused on Asians in America, a diverse constituency traditionally invisible in US national culture, both faces obstacles and is particularly germane in the south, where race has historically been hypervisible. Afro/Asian Connections looks back at common histories and looks ahead at how to harness that energy as we begin the hard work of building new communities and coalitions, toward a program that is at once grounded in the local South and globally engaged with the global South.


Thursday (Nov 29): 5:00PM – 6:15PM

5:00PM: Welcome – Nayoung Aimee Kwon (Duke, Asian American Studies Program and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies), Ranjana Khanna (Duke, Franklin Humanities Institute)
5:15PM – 6:45PM: Keynote 1 – Claire Kim (UC Irvine) "Are Asians the New Blacks? Affirmative Action, Antiblackness, and the ‘Sociometry’ of Race"
Moderator: Esther Kim Lee (Theater, Duke)
6:45PM: Dinner Reception (All Welcome)

Friday (Nov 30): 9:00AM – 6:15PM

9:00AM: Breakfast
9:30AM: Welcome
9:45AM – 11:00AM: Race, Labor, and Capitalism in Asian/American Studies
Moderator: Ryan Ku (English/AASP, Duke)

  • Iyko Day (Mount Holyoke) "Settler Colonial Racial Capitalism and Asian American Studies"
  • Moon-Ho Jung (University of Washington) "Coolies," Racial Capitalism, and the Critical Stakes of Asian American Studies
  • Discussion
11:00AM – 12:30PM: Panel 2: Asian/American Studies and the Local/Global South Moderator: Mark Anthony Neal (AAAS, Duke)
  • Nikhil Pal Singh (NYU) "The Problem of Race and Comparison"
  • Ben Tran (Vanderbilt) "New South, Global South, and Postsocialism"
  • Josephine Lee (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)  "The Shared Spaces of Blackface and Yellowface on the Southern Vaudeville Circuit"
  • Discussion
12:30PM – 1:30PM: Lunch (RSVP Qualtrics)
1:30PM – 2:45PM: A Decade+ of Student Activism at Duke
Moderator: Leo Ching (ICS/AMES, Duke)
  • Christina Hsu Azene (Class of ’03)
  • Stanley Yuan (Class of ’16)
  • Christine Lee (Class of ’18)
  • Helen Yang (Class of ’19)
2:45PM – 4:00PM: Program and Coalition Building Panel I
  • Moderator: Sarah Deutsch (History, Duke)
  • Featuring Sucheta Mazumdar and Selina Lai Henderson, Eng-Beng Lim, Adriane Lentz-Smith, Priscilla Wald

4:00PM – 4:20PM: Break

4:20PM – 5:30PM: Program and Coalition Building II

  • Moderator: Eileen Chow (AMES, Duke) 
  • Featuring Rey Chow, Jennifer Ho, Ryan Ku, Omid Safi, Lee Baker, Wahneema Lubiano
5:30pm – 6:15PM: Roundtable Discussion
Moderator: Nayoung Aimee Kwon

Co-Sponsored by Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI) and Humanities Futures, Dean of Humanities, Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (AMES), English, History, Cultural Anthropology, Program in Arts of the Moving Image (AMI), Theater Studies, Literature.