Erin Aoyama

Hometown: Darien, Connecticut

Undergraduate Degree: Harvard University, BA in History & Literature

Grad Institution & Projected Degree: Brown University, PhD in American Studies (entering Fall 2017)

Research Interests:  The Japanese American experience within the broader context of American racial history, beginning in the early 19th century and continuing throughout the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War era.

“There is a lot that I’m hoping to get out of the mobile workshop, much that I don’t think I can quite articulate yet, but I’m mainly looking forward to getting to know the community of scholars and other folks connected to, in one way or another, the internment experience. Additionally, internment is a part of my family’s history, though my grandparents passed before they had the chance to tell their stories, so I’m especially excited to become more a part of this community as a way of connecting to their experiences.”

Megean Bourgeois

Hometown: Rumford, Maine

Undergraduate Degree: University of Southern Maine, BA in Political Science

Grad Institution and Projected Degree: Brown University, PhD in Political Science

Research Interests: Affective politics, memory, representation 

“For my own research I hope to use the workshop to examine the tension between resistance and the archive. Using readings and insight from my contemporary political theory seminar with Professor Honig, entitled The Politics of Refusal, I aim to explore whether the archive itself subverts political resistance, past and present. By participating in an interdisciplinary, multimedia workshop I hope to challenge the limits of theoretical work in political science—to expand its subjects and its products beyond the written word.”


Kaoru Ishibashi (Kishi Bashi)

Hometown: Seattle, WA/ Norfolk, Virginia

Undergraduate Degree: Berklee College of Music, BM

Kishi Bashi is the pseudonym of singer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter Kaoru Ishibashi. Ishibashi has recorded and toured internationally as a violinist with diverse artists such as Regina Spektor, Sondre Lerche, and most recently, the Athens, Georgia-based indie rock band, of Montreal. Shortly after Ishibashi debuted his full-length solo album “151a” on Indianapolis label Joyful Noise Recordings, NPR All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen listed Kishi Bashi as his favorite new artist of 2012 noting that he created “a radiant, uplifting soundscape” with songs such as “Bright Whites.” Kishi Bashi has since been invited to play in major festivals such as SXSW and Austin City Limits and gone on an extensive US tour with supporting acts such as The Last Bison (from his native Hampton Roads, Virginia). In early 2013, Kishi Bashi held a North American tour across the United States and Canada, continuing in EU and UK in spring 2013.

He is currently working on a musical piece on JA Incarceration and Executive Order 9066.

Diego Luis

Hometown: Nashville, TN

Undergraduate Degree: Emory University, BA in English and Creative Writing; History

Grad Institution and Projected Degree: Brown University, PhD in History

Research Interests:  The Iberian Pacific World, Asian migration to the Americas in the early-modern period


“Aside from generating archival material through interviews and photography, I am interested in understanding the long history of Asians in the Americas. A major component of that research is the theme of survival in adverse conditions. The history of sexuality is, perhaps, one of the more under-studied strains of the survival paradigm. It then becomes essential to ask: how did the Japanese internees continue/develop/struggle with love and lust within the camps?”

Takuya Maeda

Hometown: Briarcliff Manor, New York

Undergraduate Degree: Emory University, BA in History

Grad Institution and Projected Degree: Brown University, PhD in History (entering Fall 2017)

Research Interests:  Japanese American Redress Movement, U.S.-Japan Relations, “Shin Issei” and recent Japanese immigrants


“As I prepare to begin my graduate studies at Brown, I hope the mobile workshop will push me to think in new ways about archives, the study and production of Japanese American history, and how the community’s activism and identity has been shaped by these forces. Specifically, I am interested in considering the successes and shortcomings of public education/awareness efforts about internment, incarceration, and redress, and the salience of these issues for today’s political and social climate.”


Mallory Matsumoto

Hometown: Charlottesville, Virginia

Undergraduate Degree: Cornell University: BA in German Studies / Archaeology

Grad Institution and Projected Degree: Brown University, PhD in Anthropology

Research Interests:  language and material culture, language ideology and identity, anthropology of writing


My goals with the mobile workshop are two-fold. I hope to acquire more on-the-ground experience in interdisciplinary collaboration, particularly in alternative research and teaching formats. I would also like to form a better understanding of this shared history within my own family and to stretch myself intellectually by critically examining something outside of my usual field of study.”

Julian Saporiti


Hometown: Nashville, TN

Undergraduate Degree: Berklee College of Music, BM in Music

Grad Institutions and Projected Degree:  University of Wyoming, MA in American Studies

Brown University, MA in Ethnomusicology

Brown University, PhD in American Studies  (in process)

Research Interests:  Musical Culture in Japanese Incarceration Camps, Asian-American Musical Culture, transnational cultural exchange


“I hope to be able to explore more sites of incarceration and collaborate with people who can share their stories. My particular area of inquiry is daily life in the camps, focusing on music and dance. I plan to share my current album, No-No Boy, with audiences along the way.”

Yoon Kyung Shim

Hometown: Seoul, Korea

Undergraduate Degree: Cornell University, BA in Archaeology & Computer Science

Grad Institution and Projected Degree: Brown University, PhD in Anthropology

Research Interests:  Japanese American incarceration and “resettlement”, space/place, overlapping histories, Poston, Chicago, Asian American foodways and restaurants, Asian American communities from a transnational perspective

“I hope to gain a wider perspective on how scholars from different disciplines approach topics relating to Japanese American incarceration, and explore ways in which the various perspectives, theories, and methodologies can be brought together productively. I also hope to demonstrate what this kind of research format—collaborative, on-the-ground, mobile, and thematic—can accomplish. My particular area of inquiry is in the spatialities, past and present, of the places we will visit and how they have been understood and memorialized; eventually, I hope this will help me form a more comprehensive picture of the widespread landscape of the Japanese American incarceration and its aftermath.”


Nicole G.  Sintetos

Hometown: Salinas, CA

Undergraduate Degree: Colby College, BA in American Studies and Science, Technology, and Society Studies

Grad Institution and Projected Degree: Brown University, PhD  in American Studies

Research Interests:  postwar political history, critical race theory, settler-colonial critiques, Asian-American history


“ This workshop is a chance to stretch my understanding of interdisciplinary scholarship with a team of diverse collaborators. By visiting these sites, I hope to consider ways of reading “absences as artifact” and to workshop some of my own creative and publicly-facing academic writing. Further, following the election of Donald Trump, I believe that it is more important than ever to consider the multi-valence of JA incarceration in the present. How do we destabilize state investments to erase racialized violence? Where are the signs of violence still limned in the archives, on the land, and within memory?”