Moving encounters with spatial racism: Walking in San Jose Japantown

In this article, I address how walking as a curatorial practice of storying a neighborhood facilitates an irreducible politics of place occurring as affective intensities at various registers, where everyday movements entangle with spatial enactments of racism. Working with theories of assemblage and immanent movement, I examine walking narratives in San Jose Japantown, California (U.S.), a historic, ethnic neighborhood historically subjected to U.S. government and banking practices of “redlining” and Japanese American incarceration and dislocation to prison camps. As an analytical method, assemblage requires attention to movement: material elements of arrangement, the relations they require, new arranging and arrangements they might enable, and how these arrangements are legitimated. I examine spatial racism as an assemblage, analyzing its affective qualities wherein attentiveness to immanent movement might breach the assemblage and, in doing so, reach toward radical reformation through memorialization, community activism and development.



Work Title Moving encounters with spatial racism: Walking in San Jose Japantown
Open Access
  1. Kimberly A Powell
  1. Spatial racism
  2. Redlining
  3. Japanese American internment
  4. Assemblage theory
  5. Walking
  6. Place
  7. Narrative
  8. Asian American studies
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. Qualitative Inquiry
Publication Date September 21, 2021
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
Deposited July 21, 2022




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Version 1

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  • Added Powell__K.__2022_._Moving_encounters_with_spatial_racism-Walking_in_San_Jose_Japantown._Qualitative_Inquiry__28_2___257_266.pdf
  • Added Creator Kimberly A Powell
  • Published
  • Updated Keyword, Publisher Identifier (DOI), Publication Date Show Changes
    • Spatial racism, Redlining, Japanese American internment, Assemblage theory, Walking, Place, Narrative, Asian American studies
    Publisher Identifier (DOI)
    Publication Date
    • 2021-12-01
    • 2021-09-21