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Unexpected Sites of WWII Incarceration
Many of us are familiar with the ten major concentration camps where Japanese Americans were incarcerated during WWII, and maybe even some of the dozens of other Department of Justice-run camps that cropped up across the country. But little is known about the everyday buildings that were repurposed to serve as sites of incarceration. Join us as we travel back to a private mansion in Chicago, a tuberculosis sanitarium, upscale hotels in North Carolina, and other sites where Japanese American confinement was hidden in plain sight. Scholars Takako Day, Courtney Sato, and Heidi Kim will present original research and join Densho content director Brian Niiya in conversation.

Apr 21, 2021 12:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Takako Day
Takako Day, a Shin-Issei, was born in Kobe, Japan and came to the US in 1986. Since then, with nearly a half-century of writing experience as a writer and journalist, she has been exploring multicultural America and published her first English book on the defiant Kibei No No Boys, Show Me the Way to Go Home, in 2014. She is now writing about the little-known history of the Japanese in pre-war Chicago in her search for a new understanding of Japanese immigrants that could enrich our understanding of diversity in Japanese American history.
Heidi Kim
Heidi Kim is an associate professor of English and the inaugural director of the Asian American Center at UNC Chapel Hill. Her work ranges through nineteenth and twentieth-century American literature and Asian American studies. Her monograph Invisible Subjects: Asian Americans in Postwar Literature (Oxford UP, 2016) resituates the work of Ralph Ellison, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and the Melville Revival critics through recent advances in Asian American studies and historiography. Illegal Immigrants/Model Minorities: The Cold War of Chinese American Narrative (Temple UP, 2020) extends this focus on the Cold War to the writing of and about Chinese Americans, who were dogged by the stigma of illegal immigration and paranoia about Communist infiltration. She also researches and speaks extensively on the literature and history of the Japanese American incarceration, including Taken from the Paradise Isle (UP Colorado, 2015), which won a Ka Palapala Po’okela Award from the Hawaii Boo
Courtney Sato
Courtney Sato is an interdisciplinary scholar of US intellectual and cultural history, Asian American Studies, and critical race and gender studies. She received her Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University with a concentration in Public Humanities. Courtney is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Charles Warren Center for American History at Harvard University and in Fall 2021, she will join Tufts University as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora. Courtney serves as the Co-PI and Project Director for the Japanese American wartime incarceration digital project, Out of the Desert (https://outofthedesert.yale.edu/), and is currently researching the understudied histories of tuberculosis in WRA camps and segregated Japanese American sanitaria throughout the war.