Lecture: 'Concentration Camps, American Style: Japanese Americans and WWII'
November 1, 2016
UMass Amherst Campus
February 2017 marks the 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the forced removal and incarceration of 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent.
For decades, the community was traumatized into silence. In the 1970s, protests included calls for official apologies and reparations, culminating in a 1988 federal apology and token redress. Today, there are dozens of plaques, memorials, and interpretive centers, museums and historical societies addressing this history, which is explored by scholars and students across the world. Japanese Internment continues to be referenced -- however uneasily -- in contemporary battles between the need for national security and the imperative of individual and group rights.
Franklin Odo is the John J. McCloy Visiting Professor of American Institutions and International Diplomacy at Amherst College. He was founding director of the Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Program; Interim Chief of the Asian Division at the Library of Congress; and one of the founders of the field of Asian American Studies. Most recently, he is author of “Voices from the Canefields: Folksongs from Japanese Immigrant Workers in Hawai`i” (2013) and director of a Theme Study on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for the National Park Service (2016).
Presented by the University of Massachusetts Amherst History Department's Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series.