Statement from the Department of East Asian Studies and Program in East Asian Studies
April 5, 2021
To students, colleagues, alumni, and friends of East Asian Studies,
In the face of rising incidents of violence against the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community in recent months, including the horrific murders in Atlanta, we are writing to express our solidarity with the AAPI community here at Princeton and beyond, and to condemn the anti-Asian racism that has become increasingly pervasive in U.S. society in the past few years. Our hearts go out to the victims, family, and friends of those affected by this ongoing violence. Many members of the Princeton East Asian Studies community have witnessed and personally experienced the pain of racist behavior and systems; we must stand up together against racism in all its forms. In addition to the statements issued by President Eisgruber, by other members of the administration, and by other departments, the university has been actively promoting panel discussions and offering opportunities for conversation across campus, and we urge you to explore these resources to learn more. The Association for Asian Studies and other scholarly organizations have also launched educational opportunities and called upon leaders to do more to address this crisis.
But it is not enough simply to respond to the disturbing churn of the news cycle. As students and scholars of East Asian cultures, we are redoubling our own efforts to teach the broader community—in and out of the classroom—about East Asia, and to promote greater awareness of the history of anti-Asian racism, which is linked to other forms of racism, violence, and injustice. Solidarity is a necessary starting point, and education is our shared goal. Beyond the current resources offered at Princeton and by organizations such as the AAS, we hope to promote opportunities within the community to understand and oppose this wave of racism and xenophobia. We encourage you to reach out to us with questions, concerns, and proposals for action.
On behalf of the Department of East Asian Studies
Anna M. Shields
Gordon S. Wu ’58 Professor of Chinese Studies
Chair, Department of East Asian Studies
On behalf of the Program in East Asian Studies
Stephen F. Teiser
D. T. Suzuki Professor in Buddhist Studies, Department of Religion
Director, Program in East Asian Studies