The Political World of Asian Americans: A UCLA Tribute to Don T. Nakanishi
LOS ANGELES (April 2, 2010) – “A Tribute to Don T. Nakanishi,” a commemorative 200+ page edition of Amerasia Journal, is now available for to learn about the scholarship and the career of the director of the renowned UCLA Asian American Studies Center.
Prof. Nakanishi recently stepped down after twenty years of leading the Center to its national and international prominence in research, teaching, publications, library, and community programming.
Nakanishi, as an undergraduate student at Yale in 1970, was the founding publisher and co-editor of Amerasia Journal. In the past four decades Amerasia has become the core interdisciplinary journal in the field of Asian American Studies with a diverse scholarly readership in North America, Asia, and Europe. Its 50,000 pages are also available online through colleges and universities.
Prof. Russell Leong, the long-time Amerasia Journal Editor, states that Nakanishi has broadened the definition of the “political world of Asian Americans revealing that Asian Americans have historically, and continue to play, a significant role on both the domestic and the international stages of war and peace, minority and constitutional rights, meshing both their local interests with transnational concerns.”
This issue gathers a number of Don T. Nakanishi ‘s most significant scholarship between the covers of one volume, including his seminal 1975 essay, “In Search of a New Paradigm: Minorities in the Context of International Politics,” which provides lessons for today about the relationship between minority groups within the American nation, and their linkages to their countries of origin.
Included here also is: “Asian American Politics: An Agenda for Research” (published in Amerasia in 1986) that is widely used as a teaching and research tool. In an additional essay, “Surviving Democracy’s ‘Mistake’: Japanese Americans & the Legacy of Executive Order 9066,” Nakanishi examines Japanese Americans after internment and draws upon other insights from the Holocaust and atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to analyze the “collective political and psychological experiences” of ethnic minorities across the globe.
For this issue, Amerasia invited scholars, journalists, and activists from across the nation to comment upon twenty-years of Asian American Studies at UCLA under the leadership of Don Nakanishi. These writers include: Profs. Tritia Toyota, Shirley Hune, Glenn Omatsu, James S. Lai, and Susie Ling, former U.S. assistant attorney general Bill Lann Lee, together with renowned lawyer Dale Minami, scholar Karen L. Ishizuka, and former staff and students at UCLA including Elsie Osajima, Mary Katayama, and Gann Matsuda. This commemorative issue is illustrated with rare family and archival photos from pre-World War II to the present and designed and produced by Mary Uyematsu Kao of the UCLA Asian American Studies Press. A unique life history profile is provided by Karen Ishizuka.
With the release of this issue and the current “Art, Activism, Access” UCLA Fowler Museum exhibit, the Center is sponsoring “Globalizing Asian American Politics 1971-2010: A Forum with Amerasia Journal’s Scholars, Activists, & Cultural Workers” on May 20, 2010 at the UCLA Fowler Museum. This event will bring together the scholars, activists and cultural workers who look at both the domestic and international dimensions of Asian American participation. It will be a unique opportunity to hear, see, and read about the globalized world of Asian American Politics first-hand.
Amerasia Journal will be available at the booksigning. Center Director David Yoo will open the event, followed by a panel with Shirley Hune, Tritia, Toyota, and Susie Ling. For more information, email: [email protected] or call 310-267-2474.