Dismantling the Race Myth

Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University presents International Symposium.

"Race" still has social reality even though it has no biological reality. This symposium aims to dismantle the race myth by bringing together scholars in a wide range of disciplines from Japan and abroad. While race studies have hitherto been confined to trans-Atlantic experiences, we will shed lights on "invisibility," "ambiguity," and "in-between-ness" with special reference to Japanese and Asian experiences.


December 15-16, 2012


Kyoto International Conference Center, Kyoto



Day 1
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Part I. Invisibility: Representation of Invisible Race


- Takashi FUJITANI (Toronto University)
Appearances Can Be Deceiving: Tennosei, Global Modernity, and the Anxieties of Ocular-centric Racism

- Ayako SAITO (Meiji Gakuin University)
Note on the Film Representation of the "Hisabetsu Burakumin"

- Joong-Seop KIM (Gyeongsang National University)
The Formation of an Invisible Race: the case of the Korean "Paekjong"

- Ariela GROSS (University of Southern California)
Laws of Blood: The Science and Performance of Race in U.S. Courtrooms


Relay Talk and Poster Session by Junior Researchers

Social Hour
Day 2
Sunday, December 16m, 2012
Part II. Knowledge: Co-production of Science and Society


-Arnaud NANTA (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
Critique on the Idea of "Race" in French Anthropology, 1930s-1940s

-Wataru KUSAKA (Kyoto University)
American Colonial Public Health and the Leprosy Patients' Revolt: Discipline and Desire on Culion Island, Philippines

-Miho ISHII (Kyoto University)
Blood, Gifts, and "Community" in India: Betwixt and Between Marking and Anonymisation

-Yasuko TAKEZAWA (Kyoto University), Kazuto KATO (Osaka University), Hiroki OOTA (Kitazato University)
Population Descriptors in Genetic Studies and Biomedicine

Part III. Hybridity: Beyond the Politics of "Blood"


-Ryuichi NARITA (Japan Women's University)
Politics of "Mixed Race" in Modern Japan

-Mika KO (Rikkyo University)
Cinematic Representations of "Mixed-Race" People in 1930s Japanese Cinema: The Two Faces of Japan's Modernity

-Masako KUDO (Kyoto Women's University)
Border-crossing and Identity Construction by Children of Japanese-Pakistani Marriage

-Duncan WILLIAMS (University of Southern California)
Japan and Its Global Mixed Race History


All welcome.



To attend, please pre-register by e-mail, indicating the following information in your e-mail.

E-mail: : jinshu* (Please replace the * with @.)

  1. Your name
  2. Affiliation/Institution
  3. Your status: student or not
  4. Date of Participation: Dec 15, Dec 16 or Both
  5. Do you wish to participate in the Social Hour following the symposium on December 15?: Yes/No
  6. Do you need a headset for translation?: Yes/No

To reserve a book of abstracts and a headset for translation if necessary, and receive the discount rate for the Social Hour following the first day sessions, please register by November 30.

Fee for the social hour (dinner provided)

Before November 30: 3,000 yen (Student Rate: 2,000 yen)
After December 1: 4,000 yen (Student Rate: 3,000 yen)

Please pay the social hour fee in cash at the registration desk.

Related Link

For more detailed information, please visit our website.

This is part of a joint research project, a Japan-based Global Study of Racial Representations with Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (S). The organizers are grateful to Japan Society for the Promotion of Science for its sponsorship of this event. We are also thankful to Science Council of Japan for their support.