"Deemed Inadvisable": The University's Wartime Japanese American Ban and th...

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Joseph Regenstein Library

Room 122

1100 E. 57th St.

Chicago, IL 60637

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"Deemed Inadvisable": The University's Wartime Japanese American Ban and the South Side Nikkei Community

"Doubtless we shall come to waves of widespread war hysteria, but I do not think it is the function of the University to pioneer and lead the way in these triumphs of emotion over reason and decency." ~Professor Robert McKeon, Chair of the Department of Humanities, 1942.

In June 1942, University of Chicago President Robert M. Hutchins found that it was “deemed inadvisable” to admit Japanese Americans as it might threaten the university’s war contracts. Over the protests of faculty and community members such as Professor McKeon, the university denied admission to dozens of Japanese Americans throughout the war, just as thousands of Japanese American refugees moved to Chicago, many to Hyde Park and the South Side. These refugees, neither white or black, confounded Chicago’s institutionalized segregation creating semi-integrated communities.

Presenting this forgotten history of exclusion alongside a panel of South Side Japanese Americans sharing their lived experiences, this event explores the legacy of the university’s exclusion utilizing the Library’s archival collections and cultivates the Chicago Japanese American story.

Presenter: Eric Langowski, Japanese American Citizens League, CAPP ‘20

Panelists: Hannah Hogan, Mariko Ventura, Ross Harano

This event is sponsored by the University of Chicago Library and the Committee on Japanese Studies at the Center for East Asian Studies; and is partially funded by a community engagement grant from the Office of the Provost, the Office of Civic Engagement, the Mansueto Institute, and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture.

Date and Time

Location

Joseph Regenstein Library

Room 122

1100 E. 57th St.

Chicago, IL 60637

View Map

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