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"Intersections: A Conversation Between African American and Asian American Studies"


University of Pennsylvania
McNeil Center for Early American Studies
3355 Woodland Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104

November 18-19, 2011"The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line, - the relation of the darker race of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea."
W.E.B. Du Bois 

In the past century, key political moments have brought together Africans, Asians, and members of their respective diasporas in the Americas. Events such as the Pan-African Conference of 1900, the Bandung Conference of 1955, and the American ethnic nationalist movements of the 1960s and 70s instigated a discourse on the generative potential of Afro-Asian and Afro-Asian American connections. In recent years, an increasing body of scholarship has addressed and theorized this history of contact, critically assessing as well as extending it to include events ranging from the antebellum debates over coolie labor to the 1992 LA riots.

As scholars in African American and Asian American studies, how might this comparativist trend inform the work we do within our respective disciplines? We intend to contribute to the critical conversations surrounding this question by opening a space to map out and create connections between African American and Asian American studies.

“Intersections” is sponsored by the Center for Africana Studies; SASGOV; the English Department; Asian American Studies; and Comparative Literature.

Conference Organizers: Marina Bilbija, Julius Fleming, Jr., and Sunny Yang