A Statement of Solidarity with Palestine from the UIC Global Asian Studies Program

Our statement of solidarity with Palestine:

May 17, 2021

The Global Asian Studies Program at the University of Illinois Chicago stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people and the various statements of solidarity issued by our colleagues in the Palestinian Feminist Collectivethe Gender Studies Departments in Solidarity with Palestinian Feminist Collective, the Palestine and Praxis: Scholars for Palestinian Freedom. We denounce the violence that the settler colonial state power of Israel is exercising against Palestinians that have resulted in the continuing forced displacement of residents of Sheikh Jarrah, raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the bombing of Gaza. Israeli military forces were deployed in the West Bank and Gaza seven days ago, and as of today, hundreds of Palestinians have been killed, thousands have been injured, over 38,000 people in Gaza have been displaced, and at least 500 homes have been destroyed.

We uplift the determination of the Palestinian people. We call for the end of the Israeli military occupation of Palestine, which has resulted in the mass expulsion –Nakba – of over 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland between 1947-1949 and the continued displacement of what is now over 7 million Palestinian refugees. And we call for the Palestinian people’s right of return.

As educators of Global Asian Studies, an academic unit that emphasizes the study of Asian and Asian American histories, cultures, and politics, and shifts in US racial formations including Islamaphobia, new Orientalisms, and anti Arab/South Asian/Muslim racisms, our intellectual projects are anchored by a commitment to understanding and historicizing the social inequalities that face our communities. Our curriculum focuses on pedagogies that reflect decolonizing, intersectional, anti-racist, and anti-capitalist frameworks that are committed to understanding “Global Asia” in relation to and connected with Black, Indigeneous, Arab American, Latinx communities. Our analyses of power and resistance, our engagement with communities, and our work in forging critical solidarities is premised on these frameworks.

We uplift and uphold the legacy of solidarity that has existed between Asian/Asian American communities and Arab/Arab American communities….

Read the rest of our statement here.

The Harada House Story in Preservation Magazine

The National Trust for Historic Preservation‘s Preservation Magazine features a new article about the Harada House, an endangered historic landmark in California. Included in the story is my historical perspective on the Asian exclusion movement in the United States and the implications of California’s alien land laws:

https://savingplaces.org/stories/you-can-throw-me-in-the-sea-and-i-wont-sell-the-story-of-the-harada-house

COVID-19 AND ANTI-ASIAN RACISM IN NORTH AMERICA: JAPAN ON THE RECORD PODCAST

In this week’s Japan on the Record episode, I join the host Tristan Grunow of the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University and Vivian Shaw, a College Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Harvard University and Lead Researcher of the AAPI COVID-19 Project, to talk about the increase in anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 pandemic and the longer history of anti-Asian xenophobia in North America.

To listen to the episode, please visit Japan on the Record.

SOLIDARITY STATEMENT FROM UIC’S ASIAN/ASIAN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES

Artwork by GLAS Visual Artist Intern Hana Rafee

A MESSAGE OF SOLIDARITY FROM UIC GLOBAL ASIAN STUDIES PROGRAM AND ITS ASIAN & ASIAN AMERICAN CAMPUS PARTNERS:

As faculty, staff, and students who represent the diverse Asian and Asian American communities on campus, we stand in solidarity with the Black community, our colleagues, our community partners, and comrades in the fight for racial and economic justice. We condemn and denounce the violence that has taken the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, Sean Reed, Ahmaud Arbery, Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd, Laquan McDonald, among a devastatingly long list of Black individuals.  We recognize that these murders stem from a long colonial legacy of systemic state-sanctioned violence that is rooted in ideals of white supremacy, racial capitalism, heteropatriarchy, militarism, and supported by a carceral state which has targeted Black, Indigenous, and other people of color. These forms of violence have only been magnified over the course of the past six months by the global pandemic; a pandemic where Black communities have been markedly and disproportionately affected, as evidenced by the fact that more than 20,000 African Americans or one in every 2000 African Americans have died from COVID-19. These realities are only too familiar to many of us who live and work in Chicago, where a legacy of anti-Black structural racism conspires with the neoliberal state and ongoing crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic to deny Black livelihoods, joy, and life. This lesson is further underlined for us as students and educators in the University of Illinois system, a land-grant institution intended to democratize education even as it was founded on Native American dispossession and remained almost exclusively white until well into the 20th century.

As educators and students of Global Asian Studies, a Program that emphasizes the study of Asian and Asian American histories, cultures, and politics, and shifts in US racial formations including Islamaphobia, new Orientalisms, and anti Arab/South Asian/Muslim racisms, our intellectual projects are anchored by a commitment to understanding and historicizing the inequalities that face our communities, engaging in dialogue about power and resistance, creating pedagogical spaces that are transformative and engaged with the communities that surround us, and working toward forging solidarities to address social injustices. This is a commitment informed by a genealogy of resistance that can be traced through Black power and liberation movements and the coalitional praxis of the Third World Liberation Front.

Read the rest of the statement here.

TEACHING AGAINST RACISM

Printed by Forbes Co. Boston circa 1880s, this ad endorsed a poison made from arsenic and coal, which was developed and marketed by chemist and druggist Ephraim Wells.

I am working with my colleagues Anna Guevarra and Gayatri Reddy in the UIC Global Asian Studies Program to develop an open access syllabus focusing on “COVID-19 and Anti-Asian Racism.” A working document listing teaching resources that include scholarly sources, news articles, grassroots initiatives, media resources, and pedagogical strategies can be found here.