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 C. Fujino is professor of Asian American Studies at UC Santa Barbara.  Her research examines Japanese and Asian American activist history within an Asian American Radical Tradition and shaped by Black Power and Third World decolonization. 

Her recent publications include  Nisei Radicals: The Feminist Poetics and Transformative Ministry of Mitsuye Yamada and Michael Yasutake, which works against the trope of Nisei assimilationism to reveal a legacy of Nisei radicalism.  She is co-editor of a special issue of Amerasia Journal on Asian American activism studies and of the forthcoming anthology, Contemporary Asian American Activism: Building Movements for Liberation, both with Robyn Rodriguez.

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, and includes her writings on Emory Douglas, Akinsanya Kambon, and Hank Jones and interviews with Ericka Huggins and Mary Hooks. 

Her earlier writings include: Heartbeat of Struggle: The Revolutionary Life of Yuri KochiyamaSamurai Among Panthers: Richard Aoki on Race, Resistance and a Paradoxical Life; and Wicked Theory, Naked Practice: A Fred Ho Reader.  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 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 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 co-Editor-in-Chief (with Lisa Park) 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. She serves as Faculty Equity Advisory and Associate Dean in the Division of Social Sciences.

As Director of the Center for Black Studies Research (2013-18), Fujino initiated an engaged scholarship program working within the Black Radical Tradition.  See CBSR annual reports at https://cbsr.ucsb.edu/about/annual-reports

Fujino teaches courses on Race and Resistance, the Asian American Movement, US Third World social movements, Japanese American history, and Community and Social Justice Studies, .  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 is featured in “AOKI: A Documentary Film” and speaks on the history of Asian American, Afro-Asian, and Third World liberation struggles, including on NPR, Democracy Now!, KPFK, KPFA, WBAI, KCSB, KZAA, CBSN, NBC Asian America, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco ChronicleOakland Tribute, Al Jazeera Plus, Hypen magazine, Rafu Shimpo, and Discover Nikkei. 

She 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 (Kalfou, 2019).  Fujino serves on the boards of the UCSB MultiCultural Center, the Intersectional Justice Facilitator Program, and the Food Security and Basic Needs Task Force.  She is a Board member of the Fund for Santa Barbara and formerly with La Casa de la Raza.  She is a founding member of Cooperation Santa Barbara, serves on the Blum Center’s Cooperative Economics advisory committee, and is on the steering committee of the Regional Equity Study.



Contemporary Asian American Activism: Building Movements for Liberation (University of Washington Press, 2022), as co-editor

Nisei Radicals: The Feminist Poetics and Transformative Ministry of Mitsuye Yamada and Michael Yasutake (University of Washington Press, 2020).

Black Power Afterlives: The Enduring Significance of the Black Panther Party (Chicago: Haymarket Press, 2020), as co-editor.

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, “Black-Asian Solidarity Requires Us to Think and Act Relationally,” Society & Space, April 26, 2021

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.