The Race/Solidarity: Transpacific Conversations series invites faculty and guest speakers to discuss the current racial reckoning at USC and beyond and start this conversation within a global context. This series provides a platform for faculty and students to engage with a host of social and cultural issues related to race and racism on both sides of the Pacific. Our aim is to help broaden and deepen the current discussion on race with global and historical perspectives, drawing in particular on the expertise and connections of our affiliated faculty and graduate students who have worked on these topics within diverse East Asian contexts and among Asian diasporic communities.

Past Events

Friday, October 29, 2021
In this session, USC Professor Bettine Birge invites Shao-yun Yang, Associate Professor of East Asian history and director of the East Asian Studies program at Denison University. Professor Yang proposes a new conceptual framework for analyzing imperial Chinese ethnic discourses and argue that certain discourses previously characterized as racist could be more usefully interpreted as two distinct but related traditions of foreign relations thinking that he terms “civilization-state discourse” and “Chinese supremacism.” He will also argue that “structural/systemic/institutional racism”—as understood by critical race theory (CRT) scholars in terms of institutionalized, legally enforced hierarchies of ethnic inequality within a state—did not exist in periods when the “Han” Chinese majority was dominant but did exist in some periods of minority (e.g., Mongol and Manchu) rule, albeit in a form mitigated by universalistic official rhetoric.

Race/Solidarity: Transpacific Conversation & Anthropology Colloquium Series present Uyghur Visions: Two Films by Mukkadas Mijit

Wednesday, September 15, 2021
The East Asian Studies Center presents filmmaker Dr. Mukaddas Mijit (via Zoom), in conversation with Professor Jenny Chio (East Asian Languages and Cultures/Anthropology)

In this event, filmmaker Dr. Mukaddas Mijit will share two short films that reflect upon contemporary Uyghur identity in light of both shifting personal relationships and the devastating political transformations that have upended life for Uyghur communities around the globe.

A person's shadow on the ground. Superimposed text reads

Thursday, April 1, 2021
In this session, Tiara Wilson, East Asian Area Studies MA student, has invited Jang Wook Huh, Assistant Professor of American Ethnic Studies at the University of Washington, to discuss the informal, or even homosocial, friendship between African American and Korean soldiers in the mid-1940s to consider how the act of developing intimate feelings can envision a form of solidarity, and its promises and liabilities.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Youtube Link
The East Asian Studies Center presents a reading of excerpts from the work of Velina Hasu Houston whose globally produced plays have been exploring racial perspectives of Asian identity and Blackness for decades. Directed by actress, director, and scholar Rena Heinrich, the event features excerpts from Houston’s new play Setting the Table, performed by professional actors. The readings are followed by a panel discussion moderated by Heinrich, featuring the playwright and performers.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Youtube Link
A panel of noteworthy professional playwrights will explore intersections of Asian and Black cultures reflecting upon their plays, theatre’s capacity to illuminate trans-cultural experience, and the impact of theatre on society. The playwrights will include Elizabeth Wong, Philip Kan Gotanda, and Velina Hasu Houston. The panel will be moderated by Snehal Desai, Producing Artistic Director of East West Players; and Eugene Lee, Artistic Director of the Black and Latino Playwrights Celebration.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020
In this webinar session, USC Professor and Director of USC Ito Center, Duncan Williams invites Deepa Iyer, the host of “Solidarity is This” podcast and author of We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future.

Race/Solidarity: Transpacific Conversations – Adrian De Leon with Dolly Li and Joey Yang

Thursday, October 29, 2020
Youtube Link
In this webinar session, USC Professor Adrian De Leon invites Dolly Li and Joey Yang, multimedia journalists and co-producers of Plum Radio, a weekly show interviewing people of the Asian diaspora about news, pop culture, politics, and community organizing. Join Li and Yang for a conversation framed around anti-Asian racism and contemporary social justice across the Pacific. This conversation will tie in with Prof. De Leon’s AMST 220: The Making of Asian America course.

Plum Radio logo

Tuesday, October 6, 2020
For the first talk of this series, USC Professor and Director of USC Ito Center, Duncan Williams invites Yuichiro Onishi, Associate Professor of African American and African Studies at UMN and author of Transpacific Antiracism: Afro-Asian Solidarity in 20th Century Black America, Japan, and Okinawa (NYU Press, 2013), to begin this conversation around the Black Lives Matter movement in Japan and delve into today’s Afro-Asian alliance.