Dream of the Water Children: The Black Pacific

Praxis in Transnational Mixed Race/Space Studies Conference – Success!

This weekend I presented on two panels at the conference:

Crossing Lines: Praxis in Mixed Race/Space Studies.

My first presentation on Friday gave an Overview of my family history connected to Pacific Amerasian identities and struggles.

I presented on this panel with two other tireless workers for social change in awareness and action.  Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu is one of the great leaders and one of the first seven to eight scholars who blazed the path for academic study on mixed-race peoples in the world, and specific mixed-Japanese.  Himself a mix of White-American and Japanese from the postwar period, living and working in both countries to this day, provides an experienced wisdom, grace and fortitude to the growing legitimacy of critical mixed race studies in the academy.

The other panelist was Yumi Wilson, an Afro-Japanese journalist and academic at San Francisco State University, who provided an intimate portrayal of identity formation and empowerment through questioning Japanese-ness and Blackness in Japan and the United States and how this moves in her own life.

On Saturday, I presented on Methodology in constructing a postcolonial autoethnography that works to present both content and structure in decolonizing form, always never completely successful and experimental.

The other presenter on this panel was PH.D student Aaron Allen from the University of Maryland, who provided an erudite and powerful critical overview of the concept of critical mixed race studies, with its challenges and differences between the new and the traditional forms in relation to dominant ethnic studies programs. Especially important from his talk were the investigation of discursive levels of dominance and resistance fraught with power struggles of maintenance and change on the level of discourse.

I presented an introductory video to my series on Black Pacific Memory and Dream of the Water Children in both of my presentations.

This conference was convened by TMABS (Transnational Mixed Asians In-Between Spaces). This organization was formed in response to Critical Mixed Race Studies conferences that provided a springboard for further discussions and to further investigation the notions of regional-spacial-cultural and national movements in formation of multiple/mixed-ness in identity and socio-political power struggles.

The TMABS conference organizers were UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies Department PH.D students and candidates: Eriko Ikehara, Kevin Escudero, Jessie Turner and Joina Hsiao.

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