This panel, juxtaposing transpacific and transatlantic experiences and perspectives, will provide the empirical and conceptual groundings for rethinking the social and political life of racial meanings and the forms of organizational and structural power accompanying them. It attempts to interrogate the diverse contexts within which race and racism operate in their most visible and invisible modalities.
In spite of the massive literature, the study of race, racialization, and structural racism has tended to formulate its concepts and theories based on the experiences of the transatlantic world. In that context, prejudice and discrimination against racialized subordinates often target populations marked by highly visible phenotypic differences. In pluriethnic societies of Asia and the wider transpacific region, discrimination against “invisible races” has emerged as a problem. This phenomenon, manifested in Japan and elsewhere, is neglected in critical race studies, resulting in making Asian social contexts appear to be raceless. In reality, racialization exists but often in a manner that is largely unmarked, invisible, and silenced. A consciousness of racializing logics, however, has grown, as observed in the 2001 World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa. In the contemporary context, these modalities are being reconstituted by the accelerated and contradictory forces of globalization in which disparities in social relations, often directly or indirectly encoded as related to race, are widening. This process of differentiation is often invested with meanings expressed in terms of cultural fundamentalism. Juxtaposing transpacific and transatlantic experiences and perspectives, this panel will provide the empirical and conceptual groundings for rethinking the social and political life of racial meanings and the forms of organizational and structural power accompanying them. The panel underscores the analytical usefulness of the multifocal lenses of a world anthropologies approach in interrogating the diverse contexts within which race and racism operate in their most visible and invisible modalities. Tentative Program Session 1 (am May 17) Keynote lecture: Gyanendra Pandey (Emory U) Comments: Kristin Loftsdottir (U of Iceland) Akio Tanabe (Kyoto U) Session 2 (pm May 17) Ryuta Itagaki (Doshisha U) Dawn-Elissa Fischer (San Francisco State U) Gillian Cowlishaw (U of Sydney) Comments: Jun Ishibashi (U of Tokyo) Session 3 (pm May 17) Yasuko Takezawa (Kyoto U) Faye V. Harrison (U of Florida) Comments: Motoji Matsuda (Kyoto U) Petr Skalnik (University of Hradec Králové)