Session Abstract: The panel explores various ways transnationality and the resultant formation of multiraciality affects in East Asia, especially among Koreans and Japanese. Lisa Lowe (2015) argues that Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas have always been intimately connected through colonialism, slavery, and trade. However, it is only in the past few decades that the issues of race and multiculturalism have come to the fore in the region (Ha 2012, Kim and Kim 2014). The increasingly multiracial community and the interracial families/relationships challenge the sense of nationhood, which are predicated on ethnic and racial homogeneity. Authors on this panel demonstrate the ways intimate interracial families/relationships involving Asians and non-Asians function as and through larger structures of nationalism, state power, racism, and discourses of exoticism and victimhood. The first two presentations by Min Joo Lee and Paul Capobianco demonstrate frictions of racial homogeneity that white women tourists in South Korea and African families in Japan uncover. The last two presentations by Sohoon Yi and Eunyoung Choi focus on gendered perspectives to contest narratives of humanitarian rescue that persist in dominant understandings of battered migrant wives in South Korea and North Korean women in China. The panelists use interdisciplinary approaches from the studies of gender, geopolitics, communication, and migration. In doing so, the authors explore the “Asian approaches” to race and racialization, offering points of juxtaposition to US or Western theories on race relations, racial hierarchy, racialized victimhood, and interracial relationships.
Paper Presenter: Alex Lee – Rice University
Paper Presenter: Min Joo Lee – Wellesley College
Paper Presenter: Paul Capobianco – Lingnan University
Paper Presenter: Sohoon Yi – Kyungpook National University