Congratulations to Recipients of the 2022 Shirley Graham and W.E.B Du Bois Award!

Freedom Lab is thrilled to announce the following 9 recipients of the 2022 Shirley Graham and W.E.B. Du Bois Award. The Award (5000 rmb per recipient) will help with our DKU juniors on their Signature Work projects, including book purchasing, art installations, photo printing and exhibits, archival research, and field work.

Congratulations to all! Continue reading “Congratulations to Recipients of the 2022 Shirley Graham and W.E.B Du Bois Award!”

The Citizenship Lab Presents: Bicultural approaches to extractivism in the Río de la Plata Basin

Date & Time: Wednesday, May 25, 2022 @ 9AM China Time
Speaker: Alejandro Meitin
Zoom ID: 933 1519 3947


The Río de la Plata Basin is China’s primary source of soy, and the world’s largest site of soy production. The Basin has become a laboratory to observe the social and ecological consequences of extractive industry, including the spawning of new political and ecological alliances and forms of resistance. Many local artists have focused their work on these urgent issues, asking a series of linked questions: On what territorial imaginaries does monoculture rest? What exercises of political imagination should we perform to move beyond monoculture? How might this lead us to reconceive the relationship between the cultural and the biological?

Speaker Bio:

He is an artist, lawyer, social innovator, and founder of the art collective Ala Plástica (1991-2016) based in the city of La Plata, Argentina. More recently, he founded Casa Río Power to Do Lab, collaborating with youth, farmers, artists, activists, architects, local authorities, and pollution control experts to create international alliances and proposals for wetlands management.

Freedom Lab: Call for Faculty Research Projects

The Freedom Lab is excited to announce that it will support two to four faculty-student research projects. All faculty members are welcome to apply.

Research projects should relate very broadly to the Lab’s theme of “freedom” and “unfreedom.” Please see the Freedom Lab Website for a sense of the kind of work the lab does All research projects must include student researchers, as the funding will be primarily allocated in the form of student research assistantships. Apart from maintaining their research agendas, Faculty and student RA’s must actively participate in the lab’s activities.

To apply, please send a one-page proposal briefly describing your project, the kind of research it requires, and the kind of work student RAs will do.

Proposals can be sent to Selina Lai Henderson ( and Jesse Olsavsky ( by Monday, April 25th.  

So far, the Freedom Lab has funded four faculty projects and eight student RA’s, leading to conference presentations, student Signature Work projects, and publications. We hope to continue this support of student and faculty research!

The Citizenship Lab Presents: The Shortest History of Democracy

Speaker: John Keane (Professor of Politics at University of Sydney and the WZB)
Date & Time: April 8, 9am China time
Meeting ID: 980 8284 0378

Abstract: In a time of grave uncertainty about the future of our planet, the radical potential of democracy is more important than ever. From its beginnings in Syria-Mesopotamia – and not Athens – to its role in fomenting revolutionary fervour in France and America, democracy has subverted fixed ways of deciding who should enjoy power and privilege, and why. For democracy encourages people to do something radical: to come together as equals, to determine their own lives and futures. In tracing democracy’s byzantine history, John Keane gives new reasons why democracy is a precious global ideal, and shows that as the world has come to be shaped by democracy, it has grown more worldly. In an age of cascading crises, we need the radical potential of democracy more than ever. Does it have a future, or will the demagogues and despots win? We are about to find out.

More about The Citizenship Lab

Freedom Lab Calls for Student Signature Work

Freedom Lab is excited to announce the W.E.B. and Shirley Graham Du Bois Award to DKU juniors whose Signature Work projects examine themes related to Freedom Lab. The Lab will fund up to ten projects, 5000rmb each, in order for students to explore their work in the spirit of WEB Du Bois and his wife, Shirley Graham Du Bois—two of the most consequential figures of US history who had left behind a legacy of human freedom and justice across the globe.

Students who pursue projects in relation to notions of freedom and unfreedom on any of the topics below are encouraged to apply: Continue reading “Freedom Lab Calls for Student Signature Work”

The Citizenship Lab Presents: Planetary Health and the Biopolitics of Home

You are cordially invited to join Miguel Vatter on his talk on “Planetary Health and the Biopolitics of Home.”

Tuesday, March 1,  10am-11:30am BJT
Zoom ID: 969 4153 4843

Speaker Bio: Professor of politics at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalization at Deakin University. His areas of research are history of political thought, especially Machiavelli; biopolitics and neoliberalism; political theology. His most recent books are: Divine Democracy. Political Theology After Carl Schmitt (Oxford UP 2020) and Living Law. Jewish Political Theology from Hermann Cohen to Hannah Arendt (Oxford UP 2021)

This event is co-hosted by the Office of Undergraduate Studies, the Cultures and Movements Major, and the HRC Citizenship Lab.

Translating Blackness―A Brief History of African American Literature in Post-WWII Japan

The recording is now available here:

Presented by HRC Freedom Lab

February 22, 2022 @ 10am Beijing Time
Join Zoom

Speaker: Michio Arimitsu (Keio University)


For the publishers, translators, and general readers of kokujin bungaku [black literature] in post-WWII Japan, African American struggle for freedom and autonomy and their resilient cultural production have served as a provocative mirror, a self-reflexive textual space through which they have explored the interrelated questions of race and national identity. This talk will examine the historical and cultural significance of the formation of the Association of Negro Studies [the A. N. S., now renamed as Japan Black Studies Association] in the Western port city of Kobe in 1954 and the compilation and publication of the 13-volume Kokujin bungaku zenshu [The Complete Anthology of Black Literature] in Tokyo from 1961 to 63.

Continue reading “Translating Blackness―A Brief History of African American Literature in Post-WWII Japan”