International Conference

Anti-Asian Racism: History, Theory, Cultural Representations and Antiracist Movements




Fürstenzimmer of Schloss Hohentübingen, Burgsteige 11, 72070 Tübingen, Germany

Friday, 07.07.2023 − Saturday, 08.07.2023

Dr. Kien Nghi Ha and Prof. Dr. You Jae Lee

Required for limited seats: Write to koreanistikspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de

Access is free of charge

Conference Report by Sander Diederich for H-Soz-Kult, 06.09.2023


P r o g r a m

Friday, 07.07.2023

14:30 – 14:45        Arrival, registration and coffee
14:45 – 15:00 Welcome and Introduction
Kien Nghi Ha and You Jae Lee
15:00 – 16:00

Keynote: History

Lok Siu, Professor of Asian American Studies, University of California (Berkeley)
Making Asians Foreign: Methods of Exclusion and Contingent Belonging

Chair: Bernd-Stefan Grewe, Professor of History, University of Tübingen

16:00 – 17:00

Panel: History

You Jae Lee, Professor of Korean Studies, University of Tübingen
Discrimination, Resistance, and Meritocracy. Korean Guest Workers in Germany

Kien Nghi Ha, Postdoc Cultural Scientist, University of Tübingen
The Pogrom in Rostock-Lichtenhagen as Institutional Racism

Chair: Jee-Un Kim, Managing Director of “korientation – Network for Asian German Perspectives”

17:00 – 17:30       Coffee Break
17:30 – 18:30

Keynote: Theory

Rotem Kowner, Professor of Japanese Studies, University of Haifa
The Intersections between European Racial Constructions and Modern Colonialism: Theoretical Issues and the Place of Asia

Chair: Anthony Pattahu, Habilitation Candidate at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Tübingen

18:30 – 19:30

Panel: Theory

Lucas Poy, Assistant Professor in Global Economic and Social History, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Socialists and Anti-Asian Sentiment in the Era of Mass Migration (1880- 1930)

Cuso Ehrich, Graduate Student, Institute of Sociology, Justus Liebig University Gießen
Abolitionist Perspectives on Demands of Asian-German Formations

Chair: Bani Gill, Junior Professor of Sociology, University of Tübingen

Saturday, 08.07.2023

09:00 – 10:00                 

Keynote: Cultural Representations

Qinna Shen, Associate Professor of German Studies, Bryn Mawr College
Racialized Screen in Early German Cinema: What Asian German Studies Can Address

Chair: Fei Huang, Professor of Chinese Studies, University of Tübingen

10:00 – 11:00                  

Panel: Cultural Representations

Feng-Mei Heberer, Assistant Professor for Cinema Studies, New York University
Anti-Asian Racism and the Politics of Asian Self-Representation in Germany: the Asian Film Festival Berlin

Anno Dederichs, Postdoc Sociologist at China Center, University of Tübingen
Opportunity and Threat: Ambivalent Reporting on China in Der Spiegel, 1947-2023

Chair: Zach Ramon Fitzpatrick, Assistant Professor of German Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (from fall 2023)

11:00 – 11:30

Coffee Break

11:30 – 12:30

Panel: Antiracist Movements

Sara Djahim, Independent Researcher, Asian and International Development Studies & Tae Jun Kim, Sociologist at German Center for Integration and Migration Research (DeZIM), Berlin
“Take Off Your Masks“: The Invisibility and Visibility of Anti-Asian Racism in Germany

Ya-han Chuang, Postdoc Sociologist at the Institut national d'études démographiques (Ined), Sciences Po Paris
Yellow is the new Black? Emergence and Development of Asian Antiracist Activism in France

Chair: Yewon Lee, Junior Professor of Korean Studies, University of Tübingen

12:30 – 13:00    Round Table: Challenging Anti-Asian Racism in Society and Academia
Panelists: Qinna Shen, Lok Siu, Rotem Kowner, You Jae Lee
Chair: Kien Nghi Ha

Information as PDF [for download] with abstracts

Supported by the Platform Global Encounters of the University of Tübingen.
Funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Ministry of Science Baden-Württemberg within the framework of the Excellence Strategy of the German Federal and State Governments.
Additional funding provided by the Academy of Korean Studies.

Call for Papers for the International Conference
"Anti-Asian Racism: History, Theory and Case Studies"


Venue: Schloss Hohentübingen at the University of Tübingen, Germany
Date: 07.07. - 08.07.2023, hybrid conference
Conveners: Dr. Kien Nghi Ha and Prof. Dr. You Jae Lee
Institutional Affiliation: Department of Korean Studies, Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies at the University of Tübingen
Deadline for Submissions: 15.03.2023. Abstract (approx. 300 words) and short CV
Notification: 31.03.2023
Contact: nghi.haspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de
More Information: https://uni-tuebingen.de/en/219396 
Conference proceedings: planned for 2024 by an international academic publisher

Information as PDF [for download]


Thematic Focus and Issues

In the transnational Corona pandemic, Asian-related racism became common headlines in the media of many Western immigration societies. In the course of this development, the term as well as the topic of “anti-Asian racism” became more prominent – in Germany for the very first time. Although anti-Asian projections and its accompanying colonial-racist constructions have been a constitutive component of Western modernity, they have hardly been perceived as a relevant topic in many European nations. This is also the case in German-speaking countries and its political, cultural and educational institutions. Thus, the academic research on the history and complexities of Asian German Diaspora, the subjectivities and needs of Asian immigrant communities is still largely marginalized and mostly deemed as unimportant. This is especially true for academic researches that centers the rich history of anti-Asian discourses and stereotypes as well as related contemporary practices, immigration policies and movements in Germany and other European countries.

To tackles this, the workshop aims at strengthening local cooperation as well as transnational networking. We like to invite scholars from all academic disciplines to contribute. Inquiries from the Humanities including but not limited to Asian German Studies, Asian Diasporic Studies, Asian American Studies, Asian Studies, European Studies, German Studies, Anthropology, Media Studies, History and Social Sciences in general as well as other fields of expertise are welcome. Through the inclusion of multidisciplinary exchanges and insights we seek to broaden our perspectives and understanding. We encourage especially scholars of Color and young academics to apply, who aims to explore this field of research in the German context.


The conference is divided into three sections:

1) The section “History” discuss historical backgrounds of the origin of Asian diasporas in Western societies. In addition to legal frameworks and political practices, the attitudes and reactions of the White mainstream are also relevant. Travel routes, work, housing, language, and gender differences and other social and spatial dimensions are also of great importance for the structure of Asian diasporic communities. Likewise, modes of response to racism, self-organization, and community building are also important for the arrival and settlement processes. In this context, a comparative perspective allows for inferences not only about local, regional, and national, but also about transnational analogies and differences.

2) The section “Theory” deals with approaches that historically reconstruct, define, and analytically classify anti-Asian racism and its various manifestations. In addition to the functioning of structural exclusions and institutionalized discriminations, the construction and meanings of cultural stereotypes in popular culture or media can also be examined. Intersectional relations to other forms of racism and social categories such as class, gender and sexuality are also of great interest.

3) The section “Case Studies” narrows down the object of study and, with its inductive approach, allows for a change of perspective that highlights interesting aspects that are easily overlooked in the macro view. Possible formats include historical, political, cultura events, but also individual cases, smaller-scale thematic aspects, biographical analyses, exemplary reception histories of cultural artifacts, and so on, which are also significant through their detailed view.


Practical informations

Due to budget restrictions, we can only provide a limited travel reimbursement (up to 200€), hotel accomodation for one night in Tübingen and meals, snacks and soft drinks for selected submissions. Online presentation is possible in order to give overseas scholars the chance to participate. Please send proposals (approx. 300 words) and a short CV (up to 150 words) to the organizers. Please pass this CFP along to anyone else who might be interested. Thank you for your interest!