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October 26, 2020/ 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Webinar Social Perceptions and Academic Studies of Race and Racism in Japan
with Professor Yasuko Takezawa, Kyoto University
The Black Lives Matter political and social global movement in 2020 activated conversations on racism in Japan in both the media and academia. The persistent misconception that ‘race’ refers to only phenotypically classified categories, and therefore that ‘racism’ does not exist in Japan, has long caused the stagnation of studies of discrimination against minoritized groups such as Zainichi Koreans and Burakumin, phenotypically invisible groups, from the perspective of race studies. This talk first briefly reviews recent literature on race and racism published in Japan, and follows with my own argument that studies of these phenotypically invisible groups in Japan can make a global contribution, in particular, to the Trans-Atlantic centered race studies.
About the Speaker
Yasuko I. Takezawa is Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the Institute for Research in the Humanities of Kyoto University. She has consecutively conducted one of the largest-scale collaborative projects in the humanities in Japan, out of which she has edited or co-edited over a dozen of anthologies and journal special issues, including Racial Representations in Asia and Trans-Pacific Japanese American Studies (co-edited with Gary Y. Okihiro). Her other publications include Breaking the Silence: Redress and Japanese American Ethnicity, and most recently “Racialization and Discourses of ‘Privileges’ in the Middle Ages: Jews, ‘Gypsies’, and Kawaramono,” in Ethnic and Racial Studies.
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