Category: japanese american internment

Conversation with Kiku Hughes

In my Multicultural American Literature course this semester, I am teaching Kiku Hughes’ Displacement alongside John Okada’s No-No Boy and George Takei’s They Called Us Enemy. Each of these texts focuses on the incarceration of thousands of Japanese and Japanese Americans during World War II, and each of these focuses on the intergenerational trauma of incarceration. The generational effects of trauma run through multiple … Read More Conversation with Kiku Hughes


Multicultural American Literature Syllabus 2022

Over the past few years, I have taught numerous multicultural American literature courses, at various levels from sophomore to graduate. This semester, the texts center around the question, “Who is American?” Unlike previous semesters, I have read or taught these texts before, so none are really new to me. However, the overarching theme and the focus of the texts has provided me with ways … Read More Multicultural American Literature Syllabus 2022


The Unproportional Distribution of Shame: Part I

Guilt and the acknowledgment of wrongdoing constitute one’s feeling of shame. It arises when someone recognizes their culpability in an event or events and feel regret and sadness at their part in the action. On a recent episode of This American Life, Mohamadou Slahi, a man incarcerated at Guantanamo for years before his release, speaks with some of the individuals who interrogated and tortured … Read More The Unproportional Distribution of Shame: Part I


Home in George Takei’s “They Called Us Enemy” & John Okada’s “No-No Boy”

Over the course of George Takei’s They Called Us Enemy, home plays an important thematic role. For Takei and his family, what does home actually mean? They live in an incarceration camp for years, and Takei, the oldest of three children, is only about five or six when they enter they camp. His siblings are younger. So, when the order comes from the camps … Read More Home in George Takei’s “They Called Us Enemy” & John Okada’s “No-No Boy”


Emotions in the Gutter: Part II

Last post, I started discussing the separation of illustrations into multiple panels in works such as March and They Called Us Enemy. Today, I want to continue that discussion by looking at some more examples in Takei’s graphic memoir and the ways that Harmony Becker separates larger images into multiple panels to highlight multiple thematic aspects of the narrative, notably the generational trauma that … Read More Emotions in the Gutter: Part II