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Speaker & Event Series

The Decolonizing Humanities Event Series offers the community at William & Mary to learn from, interact with, and collaborate with academics, artist, musicians, performers, journalists, intellectuals, activists, public figures and community organizers. We invite people, locally, nationally, and internationally, doing work on decoloniality in a myriad of different ways.

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Past Event Highlights:


Decolonize Poetry: Poets Azad Ashim Sharma (UK), Juana Iris Goergen (Puerto Rico) and Oscar Guardiola-Rivera (Colombia) with Silvia Tandeciarz and Emily Wilcox:
Found on the Decolonizing Humanities Project Youtube Channel:


China’s Gray Zone: Non-Confrontational Activism on the Social Web

October 1, 2018
Professor Jing Wang

Jing Wang

Prof. Jing Wang, S.C. Fang Chair of Chinese Studies at MIT and founder of MIT New Media Action Lab spoke to AMES and the university community about organizing, civil society and new media in China. She offered a perspective on organizing within authoritarian countries that decanters the model of organizing and social action within “liberal societies.” Her project is both practical and theoretical, where she presented on her activism within China and the challenges, successes and promises of grassroots and local organizing around, for example, environmental and labor issues outside of major metropolitan areas in China.

Amateur Riot: Dissent in the Era of Radiation

November 12, 2018
Frank Lopez

Conspiracy to Riot: The Case of the J20 Resistance on a webpage

Frank Lopez, radical journalist, videographer and documentarian, spoke to AMES and the university community about the rise of new forms of social and political activism in Japan after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster in 2011. In addition to discussing the appearance of a new generation of anti-nuclear and radical activists in Japan, he also talked about new forms of anti-fascist and anti-racist organizing in Greece and elsewhere, highlighting the flourishing of autonomous communities that seek alternative forms of economy based on radical democracy and mutual aid.

Great W&M Asia Cook Off!

December 3, 2018
Chef Katsuya Fukushima & Yama Jewayni

{{youtube:medium:right|ikXvzmLxwsY}}Chef Katsuya Fukushima, celebrity chef, and nationally acclaimed restaurateur Yama Jewayni from the award winning DC restaurants Daikaya-Izakaya, Bantam King and Haikan, were guest judges at the Great W&M Asia Cook Off. Their visit and this event was organized by and a part of Prof. Stephen Sheehi's courses "The Culture of Arab Food" (ARAB 150) and "The AMES East Asia Student Think Tank" (AMES 385). The students had to research and prepare one dish, using eggplant, to present to the judges, telling us stories of the food’s social history, cultural relevance, political economy and national political origins.

After, Chef Fukushima and two of his chefs from Daikaya-Izakaya and Bantam King did a cooking demonstration, presenting on an array of ways eggplant is prepared from Morocco to Japan. Chef Fukushima, in real time, allowed students to experience what hybridizing food looks like in a kitchen that is able to combine a series of techniques, ingredients and culinary histories. 

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Celebrity Chef Katsuya Fukushima and Team Cooks for Students

December 3, 2018
Chef Katsuya Fukushima

Chef Katsuya Fukushima and team cook for students in SadlerChef Katsuya Fukushima, celebrity chef, along with is team cooked for more than one thousand students at Sadler’s Center Court. Chef Fukushima served students a masterful dish of authentic ramen, a hybridize Japanese-American wagyu smashed burger and roasted cauliflower with Middle Eastern inspired dipping sauces at lunch time.

Chef Fukushima is currently Executive Chef and partner with renowned and award winning restaurateurs Yama Jewayni and Daisuki Utuagawa of the nationally-acclaimed Washington DC restaurants Daikaya-Izakaya, Bantam King, Haikan, and Hatoba (opening Spring, 2019).



David Eng: (Gay) Panic Attack: Coming out in a Colorblind Age


April 22, 2019
5:15pm - 7pm
                                                                                           David Eng, Richard L. Fisher Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania
                                                        David Eng, Richard L. Fisher Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania

David Eng, the Richard L. Fisher Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania is the Distinguished Keynote Lecturer for the 2019 AMES and APIA Capstone Conference. Prof. Eng is the author of The Feeling of Kinship: Queer Liberalism and the Racialization of Intimacy (Duke, 2010) and the pioneering Racial Castration: Managing Masculinity in Asian America (Duke, 2001). He is co-editor with David Kazanjian of Loss: The Politics of Mourning (California, 2003) and co-editor with Alice Y. Hom of Q & A: Queer in Asian America (Temple University Press, 1998 and winner of a Lambda Literary Award and Association of Asian American Studies Book Award).

Drawing from his forthcoming book, Racial Melancholia, Racial Dissociation: On the Social and Psychic Lives of Asian Americans (Duke University Press), co-authored with psychotherapist Shinhee Han, Professor David Eng explores the changing history of the (racial) subject in relation to the subject of (racial) history over the course of 20 years. For Eng and Han, the spaces of the classroom and clinic have allowed them to witness first-hand the shifting demographics, as well as remarkable psychic transformations, of their Asian American students and patients from Generation X to Generation Y, in an era defined by the politics of colorblindness in U.S. society and by a rising Asia under neoliberalism and globalization.

"(Gay) Panic Attack" presents a series of case histories and commentaries on academically accomplished "parachute children" (children who migrate from different parts of Asia to countries in the West for educational opportunities), all of whom are male and identify as gay. What is striking about their life narratives is not just the self-determination that motivates them but also their common goal of living freely - however they define it - as gay men in the West. Yet what remains perplexing in the case histories of these driven undergraduate and graduate students is the fact that sexuality remains largely tangential to their self-understandings of their psychic predicaments. All sought therapy because of debilitating panic attacks - high levels of anxiety and stress that rendered them incapacitated, depressed, and dissociated. While they view sexual orientation as key factor in their desires to immigrate, they do not regard homophobia - or racism - as significant sites of conflict or related to their panic attacks. What, then, is all the panic about? To answer this question, this talk explores among other issues the psychic structures of colorblindness among millennials today.