Fall 2014 Colloquium Series

The Department of Ethnic Studies is proud to bring together this diverse group of speakers who offer varied approaches to the study and politics of race, ethnicity, indigeneity, capitalism, politics, humanitarianism, diaspora, and black cultural studies and philosophy during the Fall 2014 semester.


September 10, 2014

Am I Black Enough For You?


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

7:00pm - 9:00pm

UH Mānoa, George Hall 227


Guest speaker: Dr. Anita Heiss


Writer and activist Anita Heiss is one of the leading Aboriginal Australians involved in a highly controversial legal case, in which she and others others successfully charged a conservative newspaper columnistwith breaching the Racial Discrimination Act when he called them "white Aboriginals" who chose to identify as Aboriginal only to further their careers. In this talk, Dr. Heiss, a well-known advocate for indigenous education, charts her story of growing up with an Aboriginal mother and Austrian father and explains the development of her activist consciousness.


To view the flyer, click here.



September 16, 2014

Sustaining Our Islands: The Role of Sacred Places and Practices


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

3:00pm - 4:00pm

UH Mānoa, George Hall 301


Guest speaker: Dr. Toby McLeod


Dr. Toby McLeod will discuss how the recognition and nurturing of sacred places in our Pacific Islands can ignite a broader consciousness about protecting biodiversity and sustaining the natural resources critical to life in our islands.


To view the flyer, click here.



September 30, 2014

From Race to Ethnicity in Hapanese American Experiences in Hawai'i


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

3:00pm - 4:15pm

UH Mānoa, George Hall 301


Guest speaker: Dr. Jonathan Okamura, UHM Ethnic Studies


Ethnic Studiesʻ own Dr. Johnathan Okamura is here to discuss his new book, From Race to Ethnicity: Interpreting Japanese American Experiences in Hawai'i. Join us as he discusses the transition from race to ethnicity as the dominant organizing principal of social relations.


Based on arguments in his new book, this transition was facilitated by the post-World War II labor movement and the ascension to power of the Democratic Party, both of which challenged Haole domination and thus the primacy of race. As the contemporary experiences, other arguments from the book concerning post-1986 Japanese American political power are applied to the 2014 Hawai'i elections.


Dr. Jonathan Okamura is a Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. He is the author of Ethnicity and Inequality in Hawai'i (2008). Published by Temple University Press. His most recent articles have been featured in Patterns of Prejudice, Amerasia Journal, Ethnic and Racial Studies, and Social Process in Hawai'i.



October 28, 2014

Research With, For and About Asian American Students and Racism: Connecting Asian American Studies and Psychology


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

3:00pm - 4:15pm

UH Mānoa, George Hall 301


Guest speaker: Dr. Karen Suyemoto, Professor of Psychology and Asian American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston


Dr. Suyemoto integrates the presentation of research findings, with discussion of teaching approaches that aim to train students to conduct research while empowering them through the process and content of this training. Dr. Suyemoto will overview a 10 year program of research focused on the needs and experiences of Asian American students and the impacts of Asian American studies at a public university in the Northeast, with particular focus on the relation of racialization and racism to mental health. Dr. Suyemoto will briefly review findings from various components of this research, including a needs assessment, a qualitative study of the impact of Asian American Studies courses on Asian American students, and a quantitative pre- and post-test design that yielded findings on the relation of racism to various aspects of mental health for Asian Americans, and on the way that Asian American Studies classes could act as a buffer against the detrimental effects of racism. All of these studies deliberately involve both undergraduate and graduate students from psychology and or Asian American Studies as collaborative researchers. Dr. Suyemoto will therefore discuss ways that involving students as researchers can, itself, be a means towards enacting empowerment and advocacy goals of Asian American Studies and critical psychology. Finally, Dr. Suyemoto discusses ways that the content and process of this research program involved bridging conceptual and methodological understandings from Asian American Studies and Clinical Psychology, disciplines that are frequently seen or experienced as disparate or even antithetical.


To view the flyer, click here.



November 13, 2014

Toxic Exposure: Philippine Environments and the Politics of Diaspora Giving


Thursday, November 13, 2014

3:00pm - 4:15pm

UH Mānoa, George Hall 301


Guest speaker: Dr. Joyce Mariano, UHM American Studies


Over twenty years have passed since the U.S. officially closed its military bases in the Philippines. Today, surrounding communities continue to live with the devastating effects from environmental waste and contaminants abandoned by the U.S. military. Dr. Joyce Mariano examines issues related to "diasporic responsibility" as practiced by U.S.-based environmental objects that sought to bring justice to affected Philippine communities on and near former U.S. military bases.


This organization illustrates the extent to which environments are transnational objects that draw in bodies that, though subjected to particular spaces in meaningful, even deadly, ways, are also remade and transformed through political and social organizing. Through the organization’s "exposure" trips to the Philippines, Filipino Americans have an opportunity to work with communities in the Philippines. They are prompted to imagine a "Filipino-ness" through anti-corporate exploitation and feminist anti-militarism connected to toxic waste in the Philippines. Dr. Mariano considers how the organization’s framing of environmental and health inequities in the Philippines expands traditional notions of both the environment and diaspora.


To view the flyer, click here.



November 20, 2014

My Bondage, My Freedom, Thinking Biopolitics


Thursday, November 20, 2014

3:00pm - 4:15pm

UH Mānoa, George Hall 301


Guest speaker: Dr. Jack Taylor, UHM English


Reading My Bondage, My Freedom, Dr. Taylor argues that My Bondage can be read as nothing short of a profound examination of biopolitics as it takes shape within the political institution of plantation slavery. What Taylor demonstrates is that Douglass anticipates or foreshadows biopolitical philosophy in his narrative. To that critical end, I argue and demonstrate that Douglassʻ understanding of slavery can and should be read in light of some of the major political concepts - power, the subject, discipline, bare life, the camp and the state of exception, and necropolitics - that have largely not been applied to the space of the plantation modalities of power.


To view the flyer, click here.