Organized Panel Session
The panel explores various ways transnationality and the resultant formation of multiraciality affects South Korea and Japan. Lisa Lowe (2015) argues that Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas have always been intimately connected through colonialism, slavery, and trade. However, it is only in the past few decades that the issues of race, multiraciality, and multiculturalism have come to the fore in countries such as South Korea and Japan (Ha 2012, Kim and Kim 2014). The increasingly multiracial community and the interracial families/relationships in these countries challenge these country’s sense of nationhood, which are predicated on ethnic and racial homogeneity. Authors on this panel demonstrate the ways intimate interracial families/relationships involving Asians and non-Asians function as and through larger structures of nationalism, state power, racism, empire, and discourses of exoticism. We ask, how do these interracial relationships problematize assumptions of South Korea and Japan’s racial homogeneity? How are racial hierarchy, racism, and racial tension in the two countries different from or similar to that found elsewhere? To answer, panelists use interdisciplinary approaches from the studies of gender, Asian American diaspora, communication, and migration. Authors illustrate points of juxtaposition to US or Western theories on race relations, racial hierarchy, and interracial relationships by highlighting ways in which race, nationality, gender, and sexuality transnationally intersect in South Korea and Japan.