The JA Incarceration Mobile Workshop is a place-based and collaborative academic inquiry of interdisciplinary design. Comprised of Brown University graduate students working across four different departments, and the musician Kishi Bashi, the workshop will consider how our collective academic frameworks can push the limits of traditional archives to encompass space, absence, and first-person memory. Topics will be as far-ranging as the group’s interests—from Japantowns in Portland, Oregon, to racialized labor practices in Salinas, CA—and will wrestle with the past, present, and future of JA Incarceration scholarship.

Upon completion, the workshop will create a series of presentations at Brown in the fall of 2017 (and beyond), and work towards publishing its findings through a variety of media, both academic and in the wider public sphere.



Day 1: Phoenix, Arizona (Morning Session Update)

Workshop Leader: Mallory Matsumoto (Anthropology)

We began our first morning with a meditation led by Julian Saporiti (American Studies) to ground ourselves before launching into our first workshop discussion.  Next, we discussed how to meaningfully collaborate over the next two weeks, developed expectations for our group discussions, and set ground rules for communal space.


Yoon Shim (Anthropology) then discussed her efforts to gain a permit entry to Gila River Reservation, where the Gila River Japanese Concentration Camp was situated in World War II. Julian work-shopped his song on Gila River.


Mallory Matsumoto then launched us into the discussion of two articles: Eiichiro Azuma’s, “Race, Citizenship, and The Science of “Chick Sexing” and Takeyuki Tsuda’s, “I’m American, not Japanese!’: the Struggle for racial citizenship among later-generation Japanese American.”  We discussed understandings of identity within our respective disciplines, then talked about our personal relationships to Asian American identity/identities.