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From Citizens to Enemy Aliens: Japanese Americans and the History of Anti-Asian Xenophobia

Date(s) - Tuesday, March 15th
7:00 pm CDT - 8:00 pm CDT

Jewish Museum Milwaukee


Soon after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the U.S. Department of War justified its “military necessity” for forced removal of the entire Japanese American community from the U.S. West Coast. Join Michael Jin, Assistant Professor of History and Global Asian Studies at the University of Illinois Chicago, as he places the wartime mass incarceration of Japanese Americans in the longer history of pervasive anti-Asian xenophobia in the United States since the turn of the twentieth century. Explore how Japanese Americans negotiated, reclaimed, and redefined ideas about home, citizenship, belonging, and what it means to be American throughout the twentieth century.

This program has both in-person and virtual options. 
PRE-REGISTER to choose your viewing option.* 
Museum Members $5 | Nonmembers $10

*Jewish Museum Milwaukee Policy Regarding In-Person Program Attendance*
– Limited to 40 patrons with socially distanced seating.  

– Require proof of full vaccination for all patrons over the age of 12.  In the absence of vaccination proof, we require a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours or less prior to the start of the program. Bring your vaccination card or proof of your negative COVID-19 test to the program. 
– All program patrons, regardless of age, are required to wear a mask covering their mouth and nose at all times while in the building. 

About the Presenter
Michael R. Jin is a historian who teaches migration and diaspora studies, Asian American history, and the history of the American West at the University of Illinois Chicago. He is author of Citizens, Immigrants, and the Stateless: A Japanese American Diaspora in the Pacific, which uncovers the history of more than 50,000 U.S.-born Japanese Americans who moved to the Japanese Empire before World War II to escape racism in the United States. He has served as an academic advisor to the National Japanese American Historical Society’s teacher education program focusing on the U.S. Department of Justice internment of civilians during World War II.

Image: Dorothea Lange, San Francisco, California, April 11, 1942. National Archives. In connection with Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans During WWII and the Demise of Civil Liberties, an exhibit on display at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, February 18 – May 29, 2022.

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