On March 18, I published this statement as Director of Asian American Studies. I’m reposting it here.

Dear members of the Ohio State community:

The Asian American Studies Program at Ohio State (AAS) strongly condemns the murders of six Asian/Asian American women — along with two other victims — by an Atlanta shooter on the night of March 16. We mourn the loss of life and keep the victims’ families in our thoughts at a time of unimaginable grief.

This tragedy is a terrible reminder of the violent and combined impact of white supremacy, misogyny, and patriarchy on Asian women…

Today is a good day to share a talk I gave this past summer called: “‘The Bombs in Vietnam Explode at Home’: How MLK Linked Racism, Poverty, and Militarism.” I point to King’s overall approach and go specifically into his speech “Beyond Vietnam.”

The talk was part of the “Burn a Bridge, Build a Bridge” Teach In organized by activists in Tucson, Arizona. Thanks to all the wonderful comrades there for inviting, for recording, and for making the whole event accessible.

We need to #ReclaimMLK.

Not just from the conservatives who claim to side with him — like Trump…

For some reason, we in the US have decided that when faced with a name we can’t pronounce, it’s ok — even polite — to begin with the preface: “I don’t want to butcher your name.”

And what happens to those of us on the other end, going through this for the millionth time?

We take a breath, sit there, and wait to see how this particular episode of the life-long series Why is Your Name So Unpronounceable? will end.

Depending on the person, this phrase is preceded by

  • A period in which the person stumbles a few times and…

Intersectionality 101

Reposting from a Facebook post I made the day after the Atlanta killings. There are many other brilliant Asian and women-of-color activists and scholars making the same points, and have taught me so much in these days. Like here, here, here, and here. You can see the impact of such thinking in our statement by Asian American Studies at Ohio State.

The current news from Atlanta is showing exactly why we need an intersectional approach to understanding racism.

The killer — with the stamp of approval from the cops — says his issue was sex addition, that he was not…

On January 30, 1948, Mohandas K Gandhi, widely known as Mahatma Gandhi, was shot point blank and killed by Nathuram Godse after a prayer meeting in Delhi.

Godse was closely affiliated with the RSS, the core Hindutva organization that has underpinned the long and steady rise of Hindu nationalism. While the RSS was temporarily banned after the assassination, its reach can be illustrated by the fact that India’s current Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has been an RSS member since the 1970s.

MK Gandhi and his assassin, Nathuram Godse

The RSS today is confusing in how it talks about this political murder. …

Democrats need to be pushed from below

As Trump flees the White House with his tail between his legs, I pause to reflect on what this period has meant for me politically.

I remember all of the activists and comrades who fought Trump’s agenda tooth and nail, at every step.

I remember those who have passed on in this period, leaving gaping holes in Columbus activist communities. And in our hearts.

I reflect on the sudden demise of the national organization to which I dedicated almost 25 years, and its local branch that I was instrumental to building for 15…

On the Eve of the March 2008 Ohio Primaries (republished)

First published on the “Democracy and Culture” blog connected to the Moritz College of Law at Ohio Stat on March 3, 2008, right before the Ohio Democratic primary featuring the candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Republishing here, with minor edits, less than a month before Obama’s VP, Joe Biden, takes office. While the place of the U.S. …

I’m writing a book on the 1857 Rebellion in Colonial India — on its legacies in the Indian imagination before and after independence from Britain. In the process I will take up questions about nationalism and anti-colonial struggle in both Marxism and postcolonial studies.

Delhi in 1857 (Felic Beato)

In the meantime, I’ve been writing and speaking about 1857 for a while now. Here are some of the top hits, including more widely accessible introductions for a broad audience and some scholarly articles available through university libraries. I’ve added links when possible.

I’ll just note that while there’s some repetition here, I’ve also shifted some…

A brief, anti-imperialist history of the rebellion and its significance

First published at Rebel News (Ireland) on November 12, 2020.

The 1857 Rebellion against British rule in Colonial India hasn’t always received the attention it deserves, despite being one of the most important uprisings of the 19th century. Pranav Jani argues it’s high time we changed that.

The 1857 Rebellion, sparked by mutinous Indian soldiers of the British East India Company army and fuelled by peasant and elite uprisings in the countryside, was one of the most widespread, sustained, and dramatic uprisings in the history of the British Empire. Until its final sparks were extinguished in early 1859 by the brutal counter-insurgency armies of European and Indian loyalists, the ghadar (“uprising”) showed that the mighty British were not invincible.

100 years after the British East India Company’s…

Pranav Jani

Associate Professor of English (Postcolonial & Critical Ethnic Studies), The Ohio State University. He/him. Opinions are my own. @redguju

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