Once Upon a Time in the West: The “Why Grad School?” Question and I-80 (and I-70, and I-15, and US-2, and US-6, and US-191, and US-313)

I’ve been on the road for five weeks. I’ve seen sunsets in 360 degrees, Iowa so flat and its buildings so low that the sky feels bigger and more capacious than it is back home; I’ve seen Nebraska bursting with sunflowers and roads so empty you can lie down in the middle of them toContinue reading “Once Upon a Time in the West: The “Why Grad School?” Question and I-80 (and I-70, and I-15, and US-2, and US-6, and US-191, and US-313)”

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Statement Urging JACL to Support #noDAPL and Native Sovereignty at the 2017 National Convention

I begin by acknowledging that we stand and proceed today on Piscataway land. On behalf of the Detroit Chapter, I affirm our support of Resolution 3. In Michigan, resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline has joined hands with resisting the precarious management of Line 5, a pipeline that transects the Mackinac Strait. Current management of LineContinue reading “Statement Urging JACL to Support #noDAPL and Native Sovereignty at the 2017 National Convention”

Why I’m Attending the JACL National Convention in DC This Week

I joined the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) in November 2014, after the police shooting of Aura Rosser in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her death sparked the Ann Arbor to Ferguson (AA2F) movement, joining hands with the fight for restorative justice in the wake of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson and the larger BlackContinue reading “Why I’m Attending the JACL National Convention in DC This Week”

Tokyo Drift: Motor City and Japanese American (In)visibility from WWII to Today

This past Saturday, I presented a paper at the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment Biennial Conference, held at Wayne State University in Detroit. I was part of a panel titled “Re-imagining Human Interactions With(in) Material Worlds,” along with my fellow environmental humanities scholars Adam Syvertsen (Northwestern University), Gabby Benavente (University ofContinue reading “Tokyo Drift: Motor City and Japanese American (In)visibility from WWII to Today”

“BE LIKE WATER, MY FRIEND”: REFLECTIONS FROM THE 2016 ASLE GRADUATE SYMPOSIUM

After putting together the ASLE Graduate Student Symposium last October, ASLE asked us if we might reflect on the symposium, and our experience of getting it in the air. As are so many stories of the environment (and those who study it), this one is about tributaries, and the rivers they build. In 2015, myContinue reading ““BE LIKE WATER, MY FRIEND”: REFLECTIONS FROM THE 2016 ASLE GRADUATE SYMPOSIUM”

So… What’s an Academic Conference, Anyway?

If you’ve ever been an English major, you’ve probably had family members who haven’t the slightest clue what that means. And if you’re an English PhD student, this confusion increases exponentially. If you’re an English PhD, you’ve also probably had complete strangers snidely remark about your being “one of those eternal students” who “doesn’t goContinue reading “So… What’s an Academic Conference, Anyway?”

Amache, Colorado: Where I Drove, and What I Wrote For

When my mother and I visited Amache at the end of June 2016, I didn’t expect to learn anything I didn’t already know–not from the meager National Park Service signage, attempting to tell a ‘niche’ ethnic history most people wouldn’t know from Adam (Japanese Americans included).

Why I Walked to Moscow, Idaho & Why it has Nothing to Do with My Carbon Footprint

The Pullman airport is six miles from the city of Moscow, Idaho, and it takes me just under two hours to walk it.  A taxicab running trips between the airport and town passes me five times, back and forth, and I use the time between our encounters to gauge how far from town I mustContinue reading “Why I Walked to Moscow, Idaho & Why it has Nothing to Do with My Carbon Footprint”