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Mixed "Race" in Southeast Asia?: Racial Theories in Competing Empires

Sawyer Seminar V

What were the various racial ideologies of competing colonial empires in Southeast Asia and how have they impacted postcolonial nations in the region? Does inter-Asian mixing, such as Japanese-Vietnamese, Chinese-Filipino, or Indian-Malay, count as "mixed race" and mixed-race studies, or is mixed-race studies limited to "Eurasian" models? Why, why not, and what are the stakes?

USC Conference Convenors: Duncan WilliamsBrian C. Bernards, and Velina Hasu Houston


“Construction Process of the ‘Japanese Filipino Children’ Category and Beyond: What It Means to be Born from a Japanese-Filipino Couple in Japan”
Frédéric Roustan

Hitotsubashi University, JSPS Post-doc and Tokyo University of Science, Lecturer; Ph.D. from Osaka University of Foreign Studies and Ecole des hautes etudes en science sociales, Paris; Ph.D. diss., Français, Japonais et société colonial du Tonkin, 1880-1956.

“Fraternization Revisited: Post-War Legacies of Japanese-Dutch Unions”
Eveline Buchheim
Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD) Researcher; author of ”Hide and Seek: Children of Japanese Fathers and Indies European Mothers,” (2007); Passie en missie. Huwelijken van Europeanen in Nederlands-Indië en Indonesië 1920-1958 (2009), and “Changing Loyalties, Shifting Identities” (2010).

Respondent: Duncan Williams, USC


"Making Race in Colonial Malaya and Contemporary Malaysia: Racial Ideology and Census Categories"
Charles Hirschman
University of Washington, Professor of Sociology; author of "Population and Society in Southeast Asia," in Demography of Southeast Asia (2012), "Ethnic Diversity and Change in Southeast Asia," in Population, Ethnicity and Nation Building (1995), and "The Making of Race in Colonial Malaya: Political Economy and Racial Ideology," Sociological Forum (1986).

"On the Edge: Intersections of Race, Sexuality, and Age among Mixed-Race Children in Colonial Hanoi"
Christina Firpo
Cal-Poly (California Polytechnic), Assistant Professor of History; author of “Shades of Whiteness: Petits-Blancs and the Politics of Military Allocations Distribution in World War I Colonial Cochinchina,” French Historical Studies (2011) and “Crisis of Whiteness and Empire in Colonial Indochina: The Removal of Eurasian Children from the Vietnamese Milieu, 1890-1956,” Journal of Social History (2010).

Respondent: Brian Bernards, USC

**Please e-mail Kana Yoshida at to preregister, and if you would like to receive advanced copies of presenter papers for this seminar (highly encouraged!).

Presented by the Center for Japanese Religions and Culture's "Critical Mixed-Race Studies: A Transpacific Approach" Andrew W. Mellon Foundation John E. Sawyer Seminars Series at the University of Southern California.