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Teaching Resources

Course Specific Curricular Activities/Assignments:

These models can be adapted and used as resource for faculty integrating the one book into the classroom. Curricular activities and assignments connect the One Book’s themes, issues, and ideas to specific disciplinary content, processes, and course learning outcomes.

Image of man and woman being relocated with soldier and dog standing by truck - Image from University Archives and Special Collections
  1. Illustrating When the Emperor Was Divine with the Japanese American Archival Collection ImageBase
    Use the outstanding resources from Sacramento State's Japanese American Archival Collection to help students visualize the images and situations described verbally in When the Emperor Was Divine. >> More details

  2. Creating your own Archive: Thinking beyond the One Book
    Encourage students to consider the issue of Civil Rights or Diversity or another recent historical event beyond the specific situations in When the Emperor Was Divine and to create their own visual archive from various media. >> More details

  3. Making History Personal: An Oral History Project
    The purpose of this activity is to help our students see that for individuals who lived through particular historical events or experiences, history is not an impersonal series of facts. Instructors can begin by sharing one or more of the Oral Histories of Japanese Internment housed in the University's Special Collections; these oral histories reflect the real experiences of Japanese Americans from Florin/Elk Grove. >> More details

  4. Mock-Interviews with Julie Otsuka
    This activity encourages students to read When the Emperor Was Divine closely so that they can generate and respond to questions for the author. This activity can be done in pairs or individually. >> More details

University Library Resources

Sacramento State's University Library has created a web page of One Book resources for faculty including links to Presentations, Digital Archives, Bibliographies and a Historical Events Timeline.

Other teaching resources and ideas

Kitaji family from Salinas, CA, on the steps of barracks at Poston II Relocation Center, AZ. -University Special Collections.

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Extra- and Co-Curricular Programming/Activities:

The following faculty-developed models can be adapted and used as a resource for bringing multiple groups together for shared One Book activities. These resources focus on bringing cross-discipline groups together outside the classroom to connect the One Book’s themes, issues, and ideas to shared interests and concerns.

Captive Audiences Film Series: Films about Internments and Relocations

The goal of Captive Audiences Film Series and discussion is to bring a larger awareness of the various ways that people in the United States and elsewhere have been marked as unassimilable, essentially foreign and inferior, or deviant. Especially in California, we tend to focus on the liberal tendencies of an individualistic society and often forget how certain liberties are often dependent upon the containment, imprisonment, or relocation of other members of society. The Captive Audiences Film Series aims to remind us that these processes of exclusion are part of a much larger global phenomenon—past and present—that has always and continues to haunt us. By focusing on internment, relocation, or segregation in different national contexts, the Series will provide an opportunity to examine and discuss internment in the U.S. Thus, the Japanese-American experience as depicted in the novel will not be seen as an anomaly, but one that corresponds with larger patterns of global European conquest.

There are three primary goals of the Captive Audiences Film Series:

  • To bring an awareness of the history of officially-sanctioned relocations and containment in the U.S. In keeping with the themes in the One Book, all the films in the series focus on internments and relocations in the U.S. and around the world.
  • To personalize the global and historical phenomena of interment and relocation.
  • To provide a continuing forum to discuss issues presented in the One Book. Discussions that follow each screening will be designed to compare and contrast the experiences represented in Otsuko’s novel to those of each director’s film.

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last updated: 9/1/2009