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Transpacific Anti-Imperialism: Asian Migrant Activists and the Question of Solidarity

November 20, 2019 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

This talk explores how the multilingual archives of transpacific anti-imperial activists help us to more fully understand the complexity of prewar Asian American and migrant history. In the 1910s and 1920s, Japanese and Koreans crossed the Pacific and entered the United States as “non-immigrants,” including students, journalists, and political exiles, when the government was imposing anti-Asian immigration restrictions. Their experiences as intellectuals, workers, and racialized groups encouraged some migrants to imagine and radicalize interracial and interethnic coalitions in and beyond the United States. However, their critiques of global capitalism, American racism, and Japanese imperialism revealed both a point of solidarity and the difficulty of developing broader coalitions, as these activists often held conflicting views of colonialism. Scattered Asian and Asian American primary sources illuminate the scope of their border-crossing struggles.

Hiroaki Matsusaka is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies, UCLA


November 20, 2019
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm