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Japanese Studies and Antiracist Pedagogy | Pedagogy for Solidarity: Teaching Japanese American Incarceration and Social Justice

Mika Kennedy, Visiting Assistant Professor of English, Kalamazoo College
Thursday, June 10, 2021
12:00-1:30 PM
Off Campus Location
Advance registration for this Zoom webinar is required:

Part of the Japanese Studies and Antiracist Pedagogy webinar series:

This webinar will focus on the "pedagogy" part of the series title, "Japanese Studies Antiracist Pedagogy." I invite us to think together about what antiracist course design entails, and how it can--and must--be baked into a course at every level, from its learning goals and structures to assignments, discussions, readings, and classroom policies. I will draw from my experiences teaching at a small U.S. Midwestern liberal arts college, for a 100-level course titled "Reading the World: Social Justice," my version of which is themed around narratives of Japanese American incarceration during World War II. The course explores these narratives as an active and enduring presence in the lives and politics of the present--in the United States, at its borders, and beyond them. My students and I consider Japanese American incarceration in conversation with Indigenous sovereignty and settler colonialism; the incarceration of Japanese Latin Americans; present-day activism around migrant detention at the U.S.-Mexico border; and the ongoing work of redress and repair with respect to structural/interpersonal racism and antiblackness in the United States.

I will discuss the writing and discussion prompts I use to engage students across different levels of familiarity with literary analysis/Japanese American studies/social justice, as well as my errors and successes in developing a classroom community that strives to be antiracist in its daily praxis; emphasizes experimentation over mastery; and scaffolds opportunities for students to bring the world into the classroom, and their learning into the world. The heart of this webinar is not mine alone: Several of my students have volunteered their experiments and reflections so that, as teachers and learners, we can see what the theory behind an antiracist syllabus creates in practice--what messy realities we might anticipate as part of the learning process, and how the seeds of a syllabus can be nurtured and extended through students' challenges, amendments, and additions.

Mika Kennedy is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Kalamazoo College. Her research examines narratives of Japanese American incarceration, and she is the curator of Exile to Motown: Japanese Americans in Detroit.

If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact us. Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: Off Campus Location
Location: Virtual
Event Type: Livestream / Virtual
Tags: Asia, Japanese Studies, Teaching
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Center for Japanese Studies, International Institute, Asian Languages and Cultures