Category: world war ii


Chester Himes “Democracy is for the Unafraid”

Chester Himes wrote his 1945 novel, If He Hollers Let Him Go, while living in the home of Mary Oyama Mittwer, a Japanese American author who, along with her family, was incarcerated at Heart Mountain in Wyoming then relocated to Denver in 1943. In 1944, Himes wrote “Democracy is for the Unafraid,” which appeared in Common Ground. Himes saw Japanese incarceration firsthand, and he … Read More Chester Himes “Democracy is for the Unafraid”


Education and Confronting the Past

A little over a year ago, I started thinking about the connections between the Holocaust and Jim Crow. I did this, partly, because I planned to do a study travel trip to Poland where students and I would explore these connections, notably meeting and working with Polish students who were studying Southern literature. However, that trip did not materialize, due to a myriad of factors. I … Read More Education and Confronting the Past


The Quotidian in Art Spiegelman’s “Maus”: Part II

In the previous post, I started looking at Art Spiegelman’s Maus and the ways that he focuses on individuals, not on the high ranking officials, who both perpetrated and survived the Holocaust. Along with this, Spiegelman highlights the ways that memory, especially as it relates to a traumatic event such as the Holocaust, is slippery in so many ways. I always think about George … Read More The Quotidian in Art Spiegelman’s “Maus”: Part II

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