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The Past in the Present: contemporary representations of the Japanese-American internment during World War II.
Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Humaniora.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3020-7814
2014 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper focuses on literary representations of the incarceration of about 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent after the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941. After the attack Japanese Americans on the West coast of the U.S. were rounded up and “evacuated” (as the contemporary, euphemistic term was), or sent to prison camps. How does the memory of the internment help articulate a national identity in the early 21st century? In seeking to answer this question, the paper considers the work of third generation Japanese-Americans, like Julie Otsuka and Kimi Cunningham Grant, who are uncovering their own family past in their narratives, in relation to the work of Sandra Dallas, as a representative of the current interest in internment fiction by non-Japanese authors.  What might be at stake when the internment is depicted by authors like Dallas who do not have the same kind of personal relationship to it that the Japanese American authors do?  The question of guilt and the potential of fiction to generate “imagined” or “prosthetic memories” are key issues examined in this analysis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-19913OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hkr-19913DiVA, id: diva2:1347223
Conference
The Eighth Biennial Swedish Association of American Studies (SAAS) Conference, Örebro University, September 26 – 27, 2014.
Available from: 2019-08-30 Created: 2019-08-30 Last updated: 2019-09-02Bibliographically approved

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