Faculty Portrait

Contact Information

Name: Wendi Yamashita

Title: Assistant Professor

Office Location: Amador Hall 554B

Email: w.yamashita@csus.edu

Office Hours: Fall 2022: Tues 10-11 AM, Wed 1-3 PM

Courses That I Teach

ETHN 14: Introduction to Asian American Studies
ETHN 110: Asian American Experience
ETHN 118: Asian American Women


Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: A Historical Community Overview, Eds Gregory Mark Yee, Wendi Yamashita, and Marietess Masulit. Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 2022.

“The Colonial and the Carceral: Building Relationships Between Japanese Americans and Indigenous Groups in the Owens Valley.” Amerasia Journal 42 (2016): 121-138.

Review of Contemporary Asian American Activism: Building Movements for Liberation, by Diane C. Fujino and Robyn Magalit Rodriguez. “Documenting Activism as a ‘Form of Radical Care and Love’” Nichi Bei. 22 July 2022.

Review of Voices from the Canefields: Folk Songs from Japanese Immigrant Workers in Hawaii, by Franklin Odo. Amerasia Journal 41(2015): 126-128.

“Monica Sone,” “Nora Okja Keller,” “Lawson Fusao Inada,” and “Naomi Hirahara.” Asian Americans: An Encyclopedia of Social, Cultural, Economic, and Political History. California: ABC-Clio.

Research Projects/Interests

Carceral Entanglements: Gendered Public Memories of Japanese American World War II Incarceration

Utilizing a comparative racial methodology, my manuscript interrogates how Japanese American community memory is invested in Asian American decriminalization and the forgetting of settler colonial landscapes so as to reveal how state power operates. I argue that Japanese Americans legitimize their history and gain visibility by strategically constructing narratives of themselves as ideal citizen-subjects that revolve around their performances of proper gendered and heteronormative behavior through racial resolution. This logic inherently relies upon a racial devaluing of other people of color who are then seen as deserving of their containment. In addition, this works to erase and pathologize non-normative elements within Japanese American communities “Carceral Entanglements” examines how death, generationality, and normativity operate to intimately legitimize Japanese American histories via their public memorializations. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, archival research, and cultural analysis, my manuscript examines the variety of ways that Japanese Americans remember their incarcerated pasts in public spaces. These public spaces range from museums to grassroots organizing and digital archives to college student-run and performed plays where memories of World War II are acknowledged, negotiated, circulated, and consumed.

Community Work

Manzanar Committee, Member

  •  Co-Director of Manzanar at Dusk
  • Co-Director of Katari: Keeping Japanese American Stories Alive
  • Mentors Southern California Nikkei Student Unions: CSULB, CPP, CSUF, UCLA, UCSD, and UCR
  •  Website: https://manzanarcommittee.org/katari 

Japanese Americans Citizens League, Florin Chapter, Member

  •  Northern California Time of Remembrance Planning Committee