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Every other Thursday (starting 9/16), 7-8:30pm
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J-Town Action と Solidarity
Reading Group Syllabus (2021)

This syllabus is being developed and modified ad hoc to meet the interests and needs of the JAS 2021 Reading Group. Its general purpose is threefold:

1. To introduce participants to the history of the Asian Amerikan movement (its successes and eventual failure).

2. To explain the movement’s theoretical foundations and methods.

3. To offer new pathways for struggle.

This is a group for revolutionary study. That’s not hyperbole—we need to take seriously the question of how we overthrow the empire and establish a democratic, non-exploitative world. The longest journeys still start with a few basic steps. If we are to bring about revolution, we have to learn how to be revolutionaries. We all have to get used to asking questions, making criticisms, developing theories, and empowering each other to do the same. Remember: the revolutionary method will always be more important than any piece of revolutionary knowledge. So please, use this reading group as a space to practice revolutionary thought.
When reading a text, always keep a few questions in mind: What is the author’s argument? What concepts and ideas are important to their argument? Do you agree with their argument? Why or why not? Can you apply their argument to your own experiences?

It’s completely normal to feel confused or lost when reading. This group exists precisely because it’s difficult to read and study on our own. If you have trouble understanding something, bring it up to the group! Try and break your confusion down into parts. What context was missing? What phrasing was difficult to understand? What concept or term was unfamiliar? We can then use the group to tackle these questions.

Try and come to each session with at least one or two things that you’re interested in discussing.

These can be things you want clarified, things you want to challenge, questions on how we apply the knowledge—anything that gives us more opportunities to think together.

Google drive folder of readings 

Session 0:

J-Town Action と Solidarity. “Introduction to Studying Revolutionary Asian Amerika.”

Session 1:

J-Town Action と Solidarity. “Introduction to Studying Dialectical Materialism.”

Review: J-Town Action と Solidarity. “Introduction to Studying Revolutionary Asian Amerika.”

Session 2:

Ho, Fred. “Fists For Revolution: The Revolutionary History of I Wor Kuen/League of Revolutionary Struggle,” in Legacy to Liberation: Politics and Culture of Revolutionary Asian Pacific America.

Nishida, Moritsugu. Interview by Fred Ho, in Legacy to Liberation: Politics and Culture of Asian Revolutionary Pacific America

Session 3:

Lenin, V.I. What is to be Done? [Sections III C, E & IV C, D].

Session 4:

Mao Zedong. “Be Concerned with the Well-being of the Masses, Pay Attention to their Methods of Work.”

——. “Some Questions Concerning Methods of Leadership.”

——. “On Coalition Government” [Section V].

Session 5:

Mao Zedong. “On Contradiction” [Section III - End]

——. “On The Correct Handling of Contradictions Among The People” [Section I].

Session 6:

Hinton, William. Fanshen [Selections Forthcoming].

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