Pacific Ocean Thematic: Blackness and the Asian Century

Nahum Dimitri Chandler
African American Studies
UC Irvine

Across the past quarter century and more, many have referred to an impending “Asian Century,” referencing the sense that population, industry, and agricultural productivity were centered in Asia until 1800 or so. The present recrudescence has invigorated a reimagining of the borders of Asian Studies, for a global intellectual community. Yet there remains a crucial spot of myopia in new scholarly visions of Asia: the place of the problem of “race” in the thinking—indeed, the very making—of Asia. This Multi-Campus Faculty Working Group centered on two objectives: 1) the creation of a critical vocabulary to discuss the past, present, and future of “Blackness” in Asia—an integral endeavors to the study of Asia – Asian Studies in general within the context of a global horizon, and 2) the creation of the groundwork to establish the University of California as the intellectual center for the study of matters of “Blackness” and the question of “race” in Asia.