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Beyond the Bounds of Manzanar: Connecting to Japanese American Experiences through American History & Literature

May 06, 2023 - 8:30am to 12:30pm
University Library - Jack & Florence Ferman Presentation Room
Incarceration Camp
Manzanar Incarceration Camp

Beyond the Bounds of Manzanar: Connecting to Japanese American Experiences through American History & Literature is a 4-hour professional development event especially for LAUSD teachers and CSUN students in the College of Education. The objectives will be

  • for participants to build their understanding and awareness of Japanese American experiences then and now;
  • to support use of primary sources and research to implement DEI principles into curriculum in meaningful ways;
  • to introduce resources available through the CSUN University Library Special Collections & Archives for lesson development.

We will have four presenters:

  • Naomi Hirahara, author
  • Noriko Nakada, author and 8th grade teacher
  • Mallory Furnier, CSUN Special Collections & Archives Librarian
  • Steve Kutay, CSUN Digital Services Librarian

Naomi Hirahara will talk about how her research, particular around Japanese American experiences and history, inform her novels. Mallory Furnier and Steve Kutay will share how to navigate CSUN Special Collections, focusing on artifacts related to Japanese American history. Noriko Nakada will discuss how she uses primary sources to connect the history of Japanese Internment to present day experiences.

Participants will have time to engage with the resources presented and discuss applications in their classrooms. Participants will be invited submit lessons created from this workshop and from using CSUN resources.

LAUSD approved for 4-hours credit towards salary points. Breakfast will be provided.

About the Presenters

Naomi Hirahara is an Edgar Award-winning author of multiple traditional mystery series and noir short stories. Her Mas Arai mysteries, which have been published in Japanese, Korean and French, feature a Los Angeles gardener and Hiroshima survivor who solves crimes. The seventh and final Mas Arai mystery is Hiroshima Boy, which was nominated for an Edgar Award for best paperback original. Her first historical mystery is Clark and Division, which follows a Japanese American family’s move to Chicago in 1944 after being released from a California wartime detention center. Her second Leilani Santiago Hawai‘i mystery, An Eternal Lei, is scheduled to be released in 2022. A former journalist with The Rafu Shimpo newspaper, Naomi has also written numerous non-fiction history books and curated exhibitions. She has also written a middle-grade novel, 1001 Cranes.

Noriko Nakada is an artist whose work captures "hidden stories she has been told not to talk about." Her publications include Through Eyes Like Mine, Overdue Apologies, and I Tried. More information is available on Noriko Nakada's website.

Steve Kutay has 20 years of experience in both libraries and archives at UCLA, CALArts, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. He is a Digital Services Librarian at California State University, Northridge where he oversees digital preservation and the production of digital collections. Steve has played key roles on multiple grant-funded projects from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Park Service regarding the preservation and online publication of Japanese American archives. Steve holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree with a specialization in Archival Studies from UCLA.

Mallory Furnier is Special Collections & Archives Librarian at California State University, Northridge. She previously worked as the Archivist for the Urban Archives and Old China Hands Archives. Prior to joining the team at CSUN, Mallory spent seven years working with archival collections at the Library and Archives of the Autry Museum. There she worked on everything from small collections related to arts and cultures of the American West, to large collections documenting productions that created the imaginary West. She also has experience with large photographic collections, conducting oral histories, and collection moves. She has an MLIS, an MA in History with a focus in American History and Archival Administration, and is a Certified Archivist.


Hour Description of Leader and Participant Actions and Activities

8:00 - 8:30 am

Registration/ Check-in & Breakfast & Inclusion Survey

8:30 - 8:40 am

Welcome & Introduction

Lisa Cheby, TCC & Education Librarian

8:40-9:40 am

Guest speaker Naomi Hirahara, author

Naomi Hirahara's Clark and Divisionand 1001 Cranes: Writing and Researching the Mysteries of Place, Exclusion, and Identity

Hirahara will discuss doing research about wartime Chicago and a pre-war orphanage in Silverlake for her novel and the effects of the Japanese American incarceration on young people and families. Her research will be used to suggest

9:45-10:15 am

Guest Speaker: Stephen Kutay, CSUN Digital Services Librarian

Finding & Accessing Online Primary Documents about the Japanese American Experience

Featured resources: CSU Japanese American Digitization project, Densho organization, and the Online Archive of California.

10:15-11:00 am

Guest Speaker: Mallory Furnier, CSUN Special Collections & Archives Librarian

How to Time Travel with Your Students: Reading and Understanding Archival Materials

Working with archival materials can be an overwhelming experience for students new to the concept of primary sources. Furnier will present ideas on how to break down complex primary source concepts and introduce them in straightforward ways. The session will also include a guided, hands-on opportunity for teachers to interact with original archival materials.

11:15 am -12:00 noon

Guest Speaker: Noriko Nakada, LAUSD teacher

Examining Constitutional Documents and the Japanese American Experience & Activity

12:00 noon -12:30 pm

Debrief, discussion, other resources

Lisa Cheby, TCC & Education Librarian

12:30– 12:45 pm

TCC/Special Collections & Archives Tour (OPTIONAL)

Lisa Cheby, TCC & Education Librarian

RSVPs are closed

Assistive Services

Requests for accommodation services (e.g., sign language interpreters or transcribers) must be made at least five (5) business days in advance. Please e-mail in advance of the event.