Equality and Nationality: How To Classify Humanity

When and Where

Friday, September 04, 2020 11:00 am to 12:30 pm
Online Event


Naoki Sakai, Distinguished Lecturer
Takashi Fujitani, Respondent
Elizabeth Wijaya, Moderator


Professor Naoki Sakai’s Distinguished Lecture on “Equality and Nationality: How to Classify Humanity” is the inaugural event for the JHI-UTM Seminar for 2020-2021 on “Mediating Race, Reimagining Geopolitics.” The respondent is Professor Takashi Fujitani from the University of Toronto.

“Mediating Race, Reimagining Geopolitics” proposes a series of lectures and film screenings featuring scholars and creators of cinema and media in order to investigate how moving image media contribute to formations of race, racism, and racialization from global perspectives. In a time when racist politics and racial capitalism pose increasing physical and psychical dangers to communities across the world, it is critical to examine the histories, theories and role of cinema and media in shaping the geopolitical imagination of the relations between people and nation-states from micro and macro scales.

“Mediating Race, Reimagining Geopolitics” aims to create a sustaining conversation among junior, senior scholars and film creators across disciplines, institutions and geographical locations.

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Naoki Sakai teaches in the departments of Comparative Literature and Asian Studies and is a member of the graduate field of History at Cornell University. He has published in a number of languages in the fields of comparative literature, intellectual history, translation studies, the studies of racism and nationalism, and the histories of semiotic and literary multitude – speech, writing, corporeal expressions, calligraphic regimes, and phonographic traditions.

Takashi Fujitani is the Dr. David Chu Professor and Director in Asia Pacific Studies. His research focuses especially on modern and contemporary Japanese history, East Asian history, Asian American history, and transnational history (primarily U.S./Japan and Asia Pacific). Much of his past and current research has centred on the intersections of nationalism, colonialism, war, memory, racism, ethnicity, and gender, as well as the disciplinary and area studies boundaries that have figured our ways of studying these issues.

Elizabeth Wijaya works at the intersection of cinema, philosophy, and area studies. She is especially interested in the material and symbolic entanglements between East Asia and Southeast Asia cinema. Her work emphasizes a multimethodological approach, which is attentive to media forms, ethnographic detail, material realities, archival practices, international networks, and interdisciplinary modes of theorization. For 2020-2021, she is the convenor of “Mediating Race, Reimagining Geopolitics,” JHI-UTM Seminar.

Contact Information

Dasha Kuznetsova


Asian Institute, Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, Department of Visual Studies, Jackman Humanities Institute, UTM Collaborative Digital Research Space