This project is part of a larger aim to rethink educational practices and spaces in order to redress pervasive ideological and methodological biases in Japanese Studies. Engaging with students, faculty, and community partners across fields as co-creators of knowledge, this multidisciplinary project aims to holistically decolonize — rather than simply “repair” — Japanese Studies. In doing so, this project will build transdisciplinary knowledge communities adjacent to the field, wherein antiracist lessons from within Japanese Studies can be extracted, dispersed, and repurposed toward other spaces. This process can foster not just the production of new humanistic knowledge, but also supportive affiliations wherein joy and mutual thriving infuse our critical and creative work. Through this project, we aim to develop a range of creative, widely accessible conceptual and curricular tools.
These abiding inequities spark this project’s driving questions: How can we employ a black feminist framework to unpack the historical forces contributing to the particular racial formations that have congealed within Japanese cultures since the late medieval period, and within postwar Japanese Studies in its deep debt to U.S. imperialism and white supremacy? How have legacies of racism and anti-blackness in the academy hindered scholars of color in their work in Japanese studies? What new insights can be mined when marginalized members of academia gather to critically consider anti-racist curriculum and policies as they reimagine the humanities?