Some intellectual dialogues can be realized only at the intersections of research
and arguments that have previously been e√ectively segregated into their re-
spectively concealed corners of mutual unfamiliarity. Yet, in the wake of such
an encounter, it becomes frankly incomprehensible to fathom how such a
dialogue could ever have been so elusive, how such palpable comparisons and
pertinent analogies could have been so sorely neglected, and how such fields of
scholarly inquiry and exchange could ever have been so thoroughly obstructed
and, by all appearances, systematically partitioned. It has been my precious
opportunity and rare privilege to be able to facilitate the advancement of such a
seemingly counterintuitive but desperately needed intersection—that between
Latino and Asian American studies. The scholars whose work I have been
fortunate to coordinate here are contributing in fundamental ways, through
their boldly creative research and conceptual practice, to the larger ongoing
project of subverting the veritable balkanization of the various ethnic studies
fields that together have played such vital but often disjointed, if not divergent,
roles in problematizing and critiquing the centrality of white supremacy in the
historical and contemporary constitution of the United States as a nation-state
and social formation.
Like many other edited collections, this one is a result of the intellectual
excitement and synergy originally generated by an academic conference. This
book grew out of the conference of roughly the same title that took place
on 1–2 March 2002, which I organized for the Center for the Study of Ethnic-
ity and Race at Columbia University, with the cosponsorship of the Asian/
Pacific/American Institute at New York University and the Centro de Estu-
dios Puertorriqueños/Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Latin American and
Caribbean Studies Program, and Asian American Studies Program at Hunter
College of the City University of New York. Gary Okihiro, the director of the
Center at Columbia, deserves a special note of appreciation for having origi-
nally suggested the thematic focus for the gathering and for having thus en-
trusted me with the responsibility for making the event happen. The actual
conference that eventually ensued was incredibly memorable, owing to the
impressive originality and intelligence of everyone who presented papers (in-
cluding six of those included as chapters of this book) as well as the passionate
Previous Page Next Page