Two Working Papers Published by Comparative American Cultures

PULLMAN, Wash. — Deportation of illegal aliens and the Irish as early anti-colonial
revolutionaries are the topics of monographs recently published by the Washington State
University Department of Comparative American Cultures. The publications are the second and
third in the Working Papers Series in Cultural Studies, Ethnicity and Race Relations.
The first paper, “James Joyce and the Tradition of Anti-Colonial Revolution,” was written by
American Indian scholar Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz of California State University at Hayward.
Dunbar-Ortiz is an activist in United Nations programs on behalf of indigenous peoples and
author of “Red Dirt; Growing Up Okie.” The second paper, “The Apprehension and Deportation
of Illegal Aliens in the United States: A Time Series Analysis,” was written by Paul Wong, dean
of social sciences at Hong Kong Baptist University and former WSU CAC department chair.
In her paper, Dunbar-Ortiz discovers some affinities involving the themes of anti-colonial
resistance and assertion of national identity between Ireland and postcolonial “third world”
countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America in the writings of the Irish writer James Joyce.
Coming from an American Indian background, she sees in Joyce’s novels an expression of
indigenous revolt against all forms of colonial and racialized subjugation and finds Joyce’s work
as contemporary as those of Edward Said, Nadine Gordimer or Salman Rushdie.
As an introduction to her topic, Dunbar-Ortiz states, “At a future moment, perhaps a century
hence, historians may look back on the twentieth century as the era of revolution and
decolonization, the end-time of a half-millennium of European states”invasions and colonialism,
the swallowing up of small peoples … And, perhaps, they will date the beginning of the end of
colonialism during the late nineteenth/early twentieth century period of Irish resistance — an
historical circle complete. And for that era of revolution, perhaps the historian will recognize
James Joyce as a pioneer anti-colonial voice.”
Wong explores the relationship between the rate of deportation of aliens in the U.S. and the
factors affecting it. Using the time series regression statistical method, he calculates the
influence of such factors as macroeconomic conditions, presence of foreigners in the country,
and bureaucratic momentum. Wong concludes that economic conditions and the number of
aliens are not as causally significant as the states’ decisions in deporting aliens.
According to Epifanio San Juan, editor of the series and chair of the WSU Department of
Comparative American Cultures, it is hoped the series will become a “forum for the exchange of
ideas among intellectuals, scholars, public officials and ordinary citizens around the world. We
urge our authors and readers to explore creative approaches and analyses of the process of
globalization and its attendant problems including such things as ethnic conflict, new forms of
racism and sexism, transnational migrant labor, sovereignty struggles of indigenous peoples and
the political economy of the contemporary world system.”
The series was initiated last fall and has an international Advisory Board of Editors which
includes University of California at Santa Clara professor Angela Davis, world-renowned poet
Amiri Baraka (formerly known as Leroi Jones), Hawaiian activist Haunani Kay Trask, early
feminist Dunbar-Ortiz, German philosophers Frigga Haug and W.F. Haug, black activist Manning
Marable of Columbia University and Australian writer Michael Wilding. The first paper of the
series was “Open Secrets: African American Testimony and the Paradigm of the Camp” by
American scholar William Boelhower, who teaches at the University of Padua and Venice.
Subscriptions to the series are available. Inquiries and requests for copies should be
addressed to Editors, Working Papers Series, Department of Comparative American Cultures,
Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-4010. A tax-deductible donation of $5 per
copy may be made to the Department of Comparative American Cultures.