Friday, October 30, 3:00-5:00PM in CEAS 319 (1155 E 60th St)
Carly Buxton, “Performing Japaneseness: American Nisei Moving and Thinking as Imperial Subjects in Wartime Japan”
On Friday, October 30, please join us in welcoming Carly Buxton, who will present a work-in-progress version of her dissertation chapter. As Carly explains, “In this chapter, I examine the ways in which the physical environment and social discourse surrounding American Nisei (second generation Japanese) in wartime Japan stimulated Nisei to stifle their American traits and perform the roles expected of Japanese citizens. Nisei were fused into the imperial populace via the same channels of the physical body through which they were severed from the American populace; their speech, thought, physical appearance, and bodily movement were not only directed away from the concept of America, but were redirected toward the Japanese imperial cause. To demonstrate this process in the lives of Nisei in wartime Japan, I begin with a broad historical sketch of assimilation policies adopted by the imperialist Japanese administration, and I consider the place of Nisei as subjects of Japan’s imperial dominion. I then examine elements of the physical environment in wartime Japan designed to unite the populace through public mediation of individual emotions such as anxiety, fear, and grief. I conclude by considering the body in motion—Nisei performing work for the imperial cause as soldiers, students, volunteers, and government employees.”
A draft of Carly’s paper is available at this link. If you have not received the password for the post, or if you have concerns about accessibility, please feel free to contact David Krolikoski at davidkroli at uchicago.edu or Brian White at bmwhite at uchicago.edu.