Symposium explores ‘Japanese/America: Transpacific and Hemispheric’

Thursday, Feb 21, 2019
by Sarah Malone

On February 15, 2019, the Program in American Studies held a symposium, “Japanese/America: Transpacific and Hemispheric”. The afternoon and evening of programming was presented in Chancellor Green Rotunda and included lectures, discussion, and musical performance exploring the participation of people of Japanese descent in the societies and politics of the Pacific Rim and the Americas.

Photos, Background

Video: Presentations and Panel Discussion

Anne Cheng, professor of English and director of the Program in American Studies, welcomes participants and audience. Paul Nadal, symposium organizer and postdoctoral research associate in the Program in American Studies, who joins the Princeton faculty in summer 2019 as an assistant professor of English and American studies, introduces the presenters.

Andrew Way Leong, assistant professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, presents “The Queer Origins of Japanese American Literature.”

Iyko Day, associate professor of English and critical social thought at Mount Holyoke College and co-chair of the Five College Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program, presents “Settler Colonialism’s Hiroshima.”

Karen Umemoto, the Helen and Morgan Chu Endowed Director’s Chair of the Asian American Studies Center at UCLA, presents “Claiming Rights to the City: Japanese American Placemaking in L.A.’s Little Tokyo.”

Video: Keynote Address

Karen Tei Yamashita, professor emerita of creative writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz, presents “Japanese America and the Character of War.”

Video: No-No Boy Performance

No-No Boy is a multimedia concert performed by Julian Saporiti and Erin Aoyama. Taking inspiration from interviews with World War II Japanese internment camp survivors, his own family’s history living through the Vietnam War, and many other stories of Asian American experience, Saporiti has transformed his doctoral research at Brown University into folk songs. Aoyama’s family was held at one of the Japanese American internment camps during World War II. Her doctoral research at Brown examines connections between Japanese internment and the experience of African Americans in the Jim Crow South.