Memory Madness: Japanese Americans, WWII Incarceration, and National Mythologies


Nightingale-Brown House

This presentation explores at least three related but separate levels of memory-making with regard to the incarceration of 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry during WWII. First, the official US Government positions. Second, mainstream media and historical treatments. Third, the complex turns within the JA community, first as between the populations in Hawaii vs the Continent; and second between those who saw the experience as a necessary turning point for acceptance and inclusion within American society and those who interpreted the experience as profoundly contradictory to essential visions of American democracy and universal codes of morality.

Franklin Odo is founding director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific Center and currently John J McCloy Visiting Professor at Amherst College.

Lunch served at 11:50am.