Imaging Japanese America: The Visual Construction of Citizenship, Nation, and the Body

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NYU Press, 2004 - Social Science - 245 pages

As we have been reminded by the renewed acceptance of racial profiling, and the detention and deportation of hundreds of immigrants of Arab and Muslim descent on unknown charges following September 11, in times of national crisis we take refuge in the visual construction of citizenship in order to imagine ourselves as part of a larger, cohesive national American community.

Beginning with another moment of national historical trauma—December 7, 1941 and the subsequent internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans—Imaging Japanese America unearths stunning and seldom seen photographs of Japanese Americans by the likes of Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, and Toyo Mitatake. In turn, Elena Tajima Creef examines the perspective from inside, as visualized by Mine Okubo's Maus-like dramatic cartoon and by films made by Asian Americans about the internment experience. She then traces the ways in which contemporary representations of Japanese Americans in popular culture are inflected by the politics of historical memory from World War II. Creef closes with a look at the representation of the multiracial Japanese American body at the turn of the millennium.

 

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In Imaging Japanese America: The Visual Construction of Citizenship, Nation, and the Body, Elena Tajima Creef argues, “The visual history of the Japanese American representation in the United States ... Read full review

Imaging Japanese America: the visual construction of citizenship, nation, and the body

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Creef (women's studies, Wellesley Coll.) investigates how the popular images of Americans of Japanese ancestry were formed by their World War II incarceration and relocation into camps and how the ... Read full review

Contents

Beyond the Camera and between the Words
71
The Gendering of Historical Trauma in Wartime Films
93
Museums Memory and Manzanar
119
Another Lesson
145
Epilogue
171
notes
195
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About the author (2004)

Elena Tajima Creef is Associate Professor of Women's Studies at Wellesley College.

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