Whose stories? What voices?

When you think of World War II, what do you think of first? If you’re a product of the American school system, you might think of Pearl Harbor, D Day, Rosie the Riveter, and the liberation of the Nazi death camps.  There are certain stories that ground our cultural narrative of WWII, that reflect our cultural anxieties and values and reinforce our collective American identity. Those stories need to be told, but they are not the only stories. World War II was a vast and complicated enterprise; like any historical event, its story is made of many stories.  I’m always curious: whose stories become “the story”? Whose stories are marginalized? Whose voices have power and whose are silenced?

In my teaching and research, I look at lesser-known stories of World War II — Japanese-American incarceration, Aleutian internment, and Pacific internment.  As someone who studies the cultures of childhood, I’m particularly interested in children’s stories. This is a place to share resources for a part of World War II that tends to get short shrift in the American narrative: children’s experiences of occupation, internment, and incarceration.  It is fascinating work and I am glad that you are here to share it.