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Asymmetries: Race, Media and the Asia(s) (Online Panel)

GEM Lab Events

NOV. 18, 2020

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020, 4pm (Online Event)

Panelists: Michelle Cho (University of Toronto), Feng-Mei Heberer (NYU), Eng-Beng Lim (Dartmouth College), and Meenasarani Murugan (Fordham). Moderated by Joshua Neves (Concordia)


Introduction to Series

Joshua Neves

Asymmetries: Race, Media and the Asia(s)
Colonial Residues, Relational Racism (Panel 1) 

Michelle Cho and Eng-Beng Lim.

Platforms, Bodies, Place (Panel 2)
Meenasarani Murugan and Feng-Mei Heberer

Q&A Start

Q&A 1

Topics: Complexities and the ways in which critical race studies are deeply influenced by north American research traditions, how this affects our views of race in asia. Thinking about National Racism, shift from comparativism to relationality. The problem with comparativism is it’s fetishism of the local. The impasses of analogy. To come back to this question of the local issues and also the global, national and subnational issues.

Q&A 2

Topics: Alternatives to Binary Approaches, Atlantic / Pacific comparisons, etc. isn’t a question of a new approach necessarily. Historical schemas of racism usually involve at least three or more strata rather than binary hierarchies. So to what extent do we need to revisit the durability of those racial schemas? Or given the nature of racial capitalism now, are they fundamentally different then how they were established by racial science in the late 18th or early 19th century?

Q&A 3

Topics: Compulsory Civility, How Asian and North American transnational slavery histories are connected in a way, the temporary “humanness” given to the Asian workers in north America in history as a laudable minority. Can we think about the histories of colonial residues in relation to the modern issues of appropriations? And even more so to the platform workforces of modern internet technologies?

Q&A 4

Topics: Platforms are racializing technologies, the content moderation work / call centers, to what degree are these platforms specifically racializing, including in the sense of labor, to entangle and disentangle these elements.

How to talk about racial capitalism in relation to Asia, especially given Asia’s role in the global creation, distribution and consumption of media. That it is about anti relationality? The inability to connect critical race studies to asia, and whether this is also an aspect of racial capitalism?


Link to original event post.

Asymmetries features four provocations about race from the perspective of Asia and Asian media studies. Panelists will share examples from their current research, discuss the asymmetries of North American race and ethnic studies for understanding Asian racial dynamics, and address timely conceptual and methodological problems at the intersection of race/media/Asias. Examples include Filipina migrant workers in Taiwan and their use of Facebook, caste in diasporic South Asian television, Chinese privilege in Singapore, and the conflict between a decades-long media narrative of Black-Korean antagonism and the more recent one of K-pop's antiracist politics.

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