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On the Politics of Presence: Afro-Asia in the Age of Black Lives Matter

with Dr. Marvin Sterling

Diandra Dwyer, UNC DAMES alumna and Tokyo-based filmmaker, Moderator

April 8th, 4pm

Marvin D. Sterling’s research centers on a range of Jamaican cultural expressions in Japan, including roots reggae, dancehall reggae, and Rastafari. He adopts several theoretical perspectives in this research. He uses performance studies, for instance, to ethnographically explore the dimensions of social power—such as gender, class and ethnic difference—that inform Japanese engagement with these cultural expressions. Japanese practitioners of these significantly Afrocentric cultural expressions afford analysis of how ideas of race and particularly blackness have been constructed and re-imagined in Japan and around the globe. In a more recent line of research, Sterling ethnographically explores the experiences of mixed-race peoples of Japanese and African descent as insight into the imagination of Japaneseness and blackness in Japan today. He is author of Babylon East: Performing Dancehall, Roots Reggae and Rastafari in Japan (Duke University Press, 2010).


Sponsored by the Department of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, and co-sponsored by the Carolina Asia Center.

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