Third Symposium on Asians in the Americas
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ

The Community Church of New York
28 E. 35th Street
New York, NY 10016

June 14, 2013

The Jerusalem Fund
2425 Virginia Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20037

March 23, 2013

San Jose Peace and Justice Center
(between Santa Clara and San Fernando)
48 South 7th Street
San Jose, CA

2012 has been a breakthrough year for Enemy Alien as well as for Life or Liberty's next project, the Tule Lake Documentary.

ENEMY ALIEN at Rutgers University

Third Symposium on Asians in the Americas
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ

Third Symposium on Asians in the Americas

This symposium aims to explore the multifaceted lives and representations of Asians in the Americas, past and present, and their intersections with borders, race, gender, nationality, geopolitical power, homeland, identity, and culture. We emphasize the presence of Asians in the Americas since at least the sixteenth century and their relevance for contemporary diaspora, globalization, and transnational studies.


Encounters: Co-locating Historical Narratives of People of Asian Descent in the Americas—West Asia/East Asia

Roshni Rustomji-Kerns Writer and Professor Emerita, Sonoma State University) with Konrad Aderer

Konrad Aderer’s Enemy Alien (2011) is a prize winning Asian United Statesian documentary presented in the format of multi-interviews about the fight to free Farouk Abdel-Muhti, a Palestinian-born human rights activist detained in a post-9/11 sweep of Muslim immigrants. Transferred from jail to jail, beaten and interrogated but never charged with a crime, Farouk organizes other immigration detainees in a hunger strike. Resistance brings consequences as Farouk is transferred into solitary confinement and Aderer’s documentary itself is obstructed and investigated by counterterrorism officials. Told mainly through the eyes and words of Konrad Aderer, the grandson of Japanese Americans interned during World War II, the two stories take the take the form of what Roshni Rustomji-Kerns calls an important “geo-historical co-location”. She will introduce and discuss the documentary film in the context of questions and ideas generated during the last two Symposiums on Asians in the Americas.

The Third Symposium on Asians in the Americas builds on conversations and cutting-edge work presented in previous symposiums at Southeast Missouri State University in 2012 and Pepperdine University in 2013. Paper presentations will focus on Asians in the Americas from multidisciplinary perspectives such as history, anthropology, sociology, religion, art, education, literature, film, music, and popular culture. To date, scholarship in Asian American Studies has focused on East Asians—more so than South, Southeast, Central, and Western Asians—in North America. We especially encourage work-in-progress, new perspectives, and comparative and connective approaches that can bring research on Asians in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean into dialogue. While topics may focus on a specific group, country, or region, they will provide a general context to the hemisphere as a whole.

The events, free and open to the public, will take place at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswick over three days: a film screening/discussion on Wednesday, October 1 from 6-8 p.m. (Livingston Student Center) and the academic symposium on Thursday, October 2 and Friday, October 3 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (Alexander Library Teleconference/Lecture Hall).

Presented by the Departments of American Studies and Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies


Asian American Cultural Center
Center for Latin American Studies
Center for Latino Arts and Culture
Center for Race and Ethnicity
Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs (GAIA Centers)
Collective for Asian American Studies
Critical Caribbean Studies
Department of American Studies
Department of Asian Languages and Cultures
Department of History
Department of Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies
Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Rutgers University Libraries
SAS Office of the Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Kathleen López, Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies / History, Rutgers University (

Rick H. Lee, Rutgers University (
Zelideth María Rivas, Marshall University (
Alejandro Lee, Central Washington University (