Fugitive Planning and Potentials for Study: Lessons from the Japanese Studies and Antiracist Pedagogy Project (JSAP)

What should an antiracist practice entail within the context of Japanese studies? What conceptual, political, and interpersonal tools might hinder or support such a project? And what pitfalls and possibilities should be avoided or embraced in pursuing better ways of learning and living? Given the racist origins and supremacist legacies of Japanese studies, approaching this field through an antiracist lens can seem fraught, if not doomed. Nevertheless, our Japanese Studies and Antiracist Pedagogy Project (JSAP) represents an experiment that attempted to do just this. As part of this project, we taught a mixed undergraduate/graduate course in the Winter semester of 2021, “Antiracism and Japanese Culture,” which entailed teaching and learning a number of lessons about “Japan,” analytical tools, politics, and the various intellectual and institutional constraints that shape our understanding. This webinar features presentations and reflections on the JSAP enterprise by the project’s co-organizers, Sophie Hasuo, Reginald Jackson, and Rachel Willis. In addition to explaining the course’s specific pedagogical underpinnings, goals, and organization, we will also discuss various philosophical and pragmatic aspects of developing such a collaborative project. Influenced by Moten and Harney’s notion of fugitive planning in The Undercommons, we outline lessons learned from working together to imagine how best to study and thrive within and beyond the ivory tower.

View the Webinar Recording here