2016 Ethnic Studies Conference

On November 3-4, 2016, the Yale Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration and the Asian American Cultural Center at Yale (AACC) will host an Ethnic Studies conference in honor of Don Nakanishi ‘71, a Yale alumnus and pioneering academic. Learn more about Professor Nakanishi here.

The conference is co-sponsored by La Casa Cultural Julia de Burgos,  the Native American Cultural Center (NACC), the Afro-American Cultural Center, the Department of African American Studies, the Department of American Studies, and Timothy Dwight College.

Building from the legacies of Professor Nakanishi, the RITM Conference on Ethnic Studies foregrounds the work of Yale alumni and affiliates in Ethnic Studies fields. 

Registration is free but required. Please follow the link below to tell us you are coming!

To honor the memory of Don Nakanishi, the Asian American Cultural Center will be compiling a memory book that will include reflections, notes, and photographs from students, alums, faculty, and staff. Please submit your contributions by October 26, 2016. Thank you!

November 3, 2016

LOCATION: Yale Law School, Room 127, 127 Wall St.


Keynote address: “Race and Politics from Don Nakanishi to Donald Trump”

Janelle Wong ‘01 Ph.D., Professor of American Studies; Director of the Asian American Studies Program, University of Maryland

November 4, 2016

LOCATION: All of the events on November 4 will take place in Loria 351 (Loria Center, 190 York St.) unless otherwise noted.


Stephen J. Pitti ‘91, Professor of History and American Studies and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration


Moderator: Sunny Xiang, Assistant Professor of English, Yale University

  • Migration and Marginality in Prewar Seattle
    Megan Asaka ‘14 Ph.D., Assistant Professor of History, University of California, Riverside
  • On National Culture, Revisited
    Gary Y. Okihiro, Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University; Visiting Professor of Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, Yale University
  • Soldiering through Empire: Race and the Making of the Decolonizing Pacific
    Simeon Man ‘12 Ph.D., Assistant Professor of History, University of California, San Diego
  • Memories of Migration: Vietnamese Boat People and Critical Refugee Studies
    Quan T. Tran ‘16 Ph.D., Lecturer in American Studies and in Ethnicity, Race & Migration, Yale University

Moderator: Dixa Ramírez, Assistant Professor of Latina/o Literature in American Studies and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, Yale University

  • The Other American Dreamers: Latinx Youth Narratives of Illegality
    Marta Caminero-Santangelo ‘88, Professor of English, University of Kansas
  • Subjects in Uniform: Observations on the Intersection of Militarism, Race, and Contemporary US Latina/o History & Culture
    Irene Garza ‘02, Visiting Assistant Professor of History, Oberlin College & Conservatory
  • The People’s Field: Race and Claims to the City from the Parking Lot
    Priscilla Leiva ‘07, Assistant Professor of Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies and History, Cal State Los Angeles
  • A Global Vision: Dr. Ana Livia Cordero and the Puerto Rican Liberation Struggle, 1931-1992
    Sandy Placido ‘08, Provost’s Predoctoral Fellow for Excellence Through Diversity, University of Pennsylvania; Doctoral candidate, Harvard University

Moderator: Ned Blackhawk, Professor of History and American Studies, Yale University

  • Language and the Intersections of Contemporary Indigenous Life
    Jenny L. Davis, Assistant Professor of Anthropology; Director of the Native American and Indigenous Languages Lab (NAIL), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Native Anthropology and the Future of Anthropological Research in Indigenous Communities
    Kelly Fayard, Assistant Dean of Yale College and Director of the Native American Cultural Center, Yale University
  • Settler Colonial Blues: Methodology on the Margins of Black and Indigenous Histories
    Khalil A. Johnson, Jr. ‘16 Ph.D., Assistant Professor of African American Studies, Wesleyan University
  • Visible through Violence: Indigenous Unfreedom in Settler Colonial New England
    Tyler Rogers, Doctoral Candidate in American Studies, Yale University

Moderator: Alice Young ‘71, Founder and Principal at Alice Young Advisory LLC

Participants will include Carlos Moreno ‘70, David Yoo ‘94 Ph.D.,
Thomas Nakanishi ‘05, Marsha Hirano-Nakanishi, and Saveena Dhall


Timothy Dwight College House, 345 Temple St.