Diane C. Fujino


Office Location

HSSB 5034


Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Asian American social movement history, Japanese American radical history 1940s-1970s, Black Power studies and the Black Radical Tradition, Afro-Asian solidarities, and activist-scholarship research and pedagogies.


Diane Fujino is professor of Asian American Studies and former director of the Center for Black Studies Research at UC Santa Barbara.  Her research examines Japanese and Asian American activist history within an Asian American Radical Tradition as shaped by Black Power and Third World decolonization. 

She is author of Heartbeat of Struggle: The Revolutionary Life of Yuri Kochiyama (Minnesota Press, 2005); Samurai Among Panthers: Richard Aoki on Race, Resistance and a Paradoxical Life (Minnesota Press, 2012); and editor of Wicked Theory, Naked Practice: A Fred Ho Reader (Minnesota Press, 2009).  Fujino argues for a racialized gendered analysis of Yuri Kochiyama’s leadership, situated as “centerperson leadership” in Want to Start a Revolution: Radical Women in the Black Freedom Struggle.  

Her co-edited book, Black Power Afterlives: The Enduring Significance of the Black Panther Party, examines the continuing impact of the Black Panthers on today’s activist struggles (forthcoming), and includes her writings on Emory Douglas, Akinsanya Kambon, and Hank Jones and interviews with Ericka Huggins and Mary Hooks.  She is co-editor (with Robyn Rodriguez) of a special issue of Amerasia Journal on Asian American activism (forthcoming).  She co-convened (with Robyn Rodriquez) a national activist-scholar symposium on Asian American Activism, which brought Asian American organizers and scholars to UCSB in January 2019 to offer public talks and closed-door discussions on Asian American Movement building.  The participants are developing an anthology emerging from the symposium.

Her current book project examines Japanese American activism in the early Cold War, arguing that alternative pathways existed to the rise of the model minority trope that disciplined Black militancy and decolonial movements abroad—activist struggles that created possibilities for “deep solidarities” and radical democracy.  Based in this project, her articles on the Nisei Progressives appear in the Journal of Asian American Studies and on the Japanese American struggle around the McCarran-Walter Act in Pacific Historical Review.  Fujino (with Shirley Lim, Cherrie Moraga, and Hedi Yamada Mouchard) is working to publish a chapbook of Mitsuye Yamada’s poetry.  She continues to study the Asian American Movement of the 1960s-70s. 

Fujino offers a historiography of Asian American Movement studies (Journal of Asian American Studies) and has also published in American Quarterly, Pacific Historical ReviewAmerasia Journal, Kalfou, Journal of Civil and Human Rights, Social JusticeJournal of Men’s Studies and in anthologies such as AFRO/ASIA, Yellow Power, Yellow Soul, Teaching Asian America, Dragon Ladies, and Legacy to Liberation, among others. Fujino is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Asian American Studies, and sits on the editorial boards of Kalfou: A Journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies and the Journal of Civil and Human Rights.

As Director of the Center for Black Studies Research (2013-18), Fujino developed an engaged scholarship initiative working within the Black Radical Tradition, see http://www.research.ucsb.edu/cbs/.  She is co-author of an article, “A Transformative Pedagogy for a Decolonial World,” based on their work with the Transformative Pedagogy Project.

Fujino teaches courses on the Asian American Movement, US Third World social movements, Japanese American history, Community and Social Justice Studies, Race and Resistance, Asian American gender and sexuality, and Asian Americans and the Black radical imagination.  As Chair of Asian American Studies (2008-13), she initiated the department’s Community Studies and Peer Advising programs.  She also taught an experimental high school outreach course on Puerto Rican history and resistance, in conjunction with the international art exhibit, “Not Enough Space,” exhibited at La Casa de la Raza in Santa Barbara in February 2008.  She was featured in “AOKI: A Documentary Film” and speaks on the history of Asian American, Afro-Asian, and Third World liberation struggles, including on Democracy Now!, KPFK, KPFA, WBAI, NPR, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco ChronicleOakland Tribute, Hypen magazine, Rafu Shimpo, and community and scholarly venues. 

Fujino is a core organizer of the Ethnic Studies Now! Santa Barbara Coalition, which won ethnic studies as a high school graduation requirement in the SBUSD in November 2018, and is a co-author of an article examining the organizing model of ESNSB (forthcoming).  She serves on the boards of the MultiCultural Center and La Casa de la Raza, and formerly on the UCSB Black Resource Committee and the Scholars Committee of the Japanese American National Museum. 



Co-editor, Black Power Afterlives: The Enduring Significance of the Black Panther Party (forthcoming)

Samurai among Panthers: Richard Aoki on Race, Resistance, and a Paradoxical Life (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012).

Editor, Wicked Theory, Naked Practice: A Fred Ho Reader, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009).

Heartbeat of Struggle: The Revolutionary Practice of Yuri Kochiyama (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota Press, 2005).

Editorial Board, Legacy to Liberation: Politics and Culture of Revolutionary Asian Pacific America, edited by Fred Ho, with Carolyn Antonio, Diane Fujino and Steve Yip (San Francisco: AK Press, 2000).



Amerasia Journal: Special Issue

“Asian American and Pacific Islander Activism: Commemorating 50 Years of Asian American Studies,Amerasia Journal, 45 (2019). Guest Editors Diane C. Fujino and Robyn Rodriguez

This special issue focuses new attention on research studies of Asian American activism. With this issue, Diane Fujino and Robyn Rodriquez help to make legible Asian American activism studies. In Part I on immigration studies, Monisha Das Gupta examines the political pedagogy of Khmer Girls in Action, Elizabeth Rubio asks “What does immigration justice work look like when legalization is not its central goal?”, and Wendy Cheng studies the transnational activism of Taiwanese student immigrants. In Part II on gender and sexuality studies, Karen Hanna examines how radical motherwork intersects with the transnational activism of Filipina women in Chicago, and Kong Phen Pha examines the complicated activism of queer Hmong Americans in Minnesota.  In Part III on Black-Asian politics, Jeanelle Hope and May Fu et al explore Asian American solidarities with Black Lives Matter, while Yuanyuan Feng and Mark Tseng-Putterman examine the uses of social media to mobilize the Chinese right, relying on “colorblind” race rhetoric, while claiming a struggle for racial equality.  Altogether, this special issue presents cutting edge research on Asian American activism. 


Select Academic Articles and Chapters

Diane C. Fujino et al., “Circles of Organizing: Collective Leadership, Social Relations, and Intergenerational Activism in Ethnic Studies Now! Santa Barbara,” Kalfou: A Journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies, forthcoming.

“The Indivisibility of Freedom:  The Nisei Progressives, Deep Solidarities, and Cold War Alternatives,Journal of Asian American Studies, 21 (2018): 171-208.

“Cold War Activism and Japanese American Exceptionalism: Contested Solidarities and Decolonial Alternatives to Freedom,” Pacific Historical Review, 87 (2018): 264-304.

“A Transformative Pedagogy for a Decolonial World,” The Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies 40 (2018): 69-95, by Diane C. Fujino, Jonathan D. Gomez, Esther Lezra, George Lipsitz, Jordan Mitchell, and James Fonseca.

“Writing against the Grain: Biography, History, and the Long Freedom Movements,” American Quarterly 69 (Dec 2017): 935-945.

“The Creation of Something New in the Shadow of the Sixties,” Journal of Civil and Human Rights 2:1 (2016 Spring/Summer): 100-105.

“Taking Risks, or the Question of Palestine Solidarity and Asian American Studies,” American Quarterly 67 (2015): 1027-1037, with Junaid Rana.

“Grassroots Leadership and Afro-Asian Solidarities: Yuri Kochiyama’s Humanizing Radicalism,” in Want to Start a Revolution: Radical Women in the Black Freedom Struggle, ed. Dayo F. Gore, Jeanne Theoharis, and Komozi Woodard (New York: New York University Press, 2009).

“Who Studies the Asian American Movement?: A Historiographical Analysis,” Journal of Asian American Studies 11 (2008): 127-169.