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Statement Against Anti-Asian Racism from Members of UC Berkeley’s Department of History of Art

We condemn the horrific anti-Asian racist murders, assaults, and hate speech taking place in the Bay Area and across the country and stand in solidarity with Asian American Pacific Islander and Asian families, communities, students, scholars, activists, and leaders. Although these attacks come in a period of abhorrent xenophobic policy and rhetoric, they are part of a long, brutal history of white supremacist anti-Asian hate and violence in California and the United States, perpetrated through exclusionary laws and policies, mob violence and murder, forced expulsion and incarceration, misogyny and sexual violence, economic exploitation, as well as U.S. colonialism, war, and military occupation in Asia.

The struggle for safety, equality, and justice for Asian communities, just as it is for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous peoples, takes place not only in communities of color, on the streets, in the courts, and in state legislatures and Congress but also on our campus and in our department and discipline. We commit with others to take action as scholars, teachers, and staff to directly expose and oppose white-supremacy and settler colonialism within the formation and practice of art history, including racist representation of Asian peoples and cultures and marginalization of Asian and Asian diaspora scholars and fields.

We call upon UC Berkeley’s Chancellor Carol Christ, Jeffrey Mackie-Mason, University Librarian, Anthony Cascardi, Dean of Arts and Humanities, and Raka Ray, Dean of Social Sciences, to go beyond public statements supporting the Asian American community by acting in this moment of loss and trauma in bold material ways to demonstrate commitment to Berkeley’s distinguished history and ongoing contributions to Asian and Asian American and Diaspora Studies. Two actions would immediately signal such commitment: 1) The authorization of a cluster hire in Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies in order to advance teaching and research in the histories and broad range of issues affecting this diverse population; education is key to transforming the conditions and systems that perpetuate anti-Asian racism; and 2) the identification of permanent facilities and secure funding for the South and Southeast Asia Library, thereby protecting this unique collection and space of research and community, which is vital to an equal and inclusive campus.

Greg Levine, Professor and Chair

Anneka Lenssen, Associate Professor and Vice Chair

Todd Olson, Professor

Stephanie M. Hohlios, Ph.D. Candidate

Claire Ittner

Jun Hu

Rebecca Levitan

Ariana Pemberton

Imogen Hart

Grace Kuipers

Lisa Pieraccini, Lecturer

Tausif Noor, Graduate Student

Eve Letendre

Joseph M. Albanese

Shivani Sud, Ph.D. Candidate

Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, Professor

Julia Bryan-Wilson

Aglaya Glebova, Associate Professor

Ellen C. Feiss

Ivy Mills, Lecturer

Jess Bailey

Lesdi Goussen Robleto, Ph.D. Candidate

Kwi Jeong Lee, Lecturer

Andrea Jung-An Liu, Ph.D. Student

Katie Robertson, Financial Analyst

Jon Soriano, Ph.D. Candidate

Whitney Davis, Professor

Heather Reilly

Ty Vanover, Ph.D. Candidate

Joel Thielen, Ph.D. Candidate

Diliana Angelova, Associate Professor

Atreyee Gupta, Assistant Professor, Co-Director, The South Asian Art Initiative, UC Berkeley

Sugata Ray, Associate Professor, History of Art and South & Southeast Asian Studies

Ramón de Santiago

Julie A. Wolf

Christine Theunissen, Ph.D. Student

Angela Pastorelli-Sosa, Ph.D. Student

Henrike Lange, Assistant Professor

Yessica Porrass, Ph.D. Candidate

Susan Eberhard

Michele D’Aurizio

Riad Kherdeen, Ph.D. Candidate

Laure Kroiz, Associate Professor

Patricia J. Yu


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