Enemy Alien: Uncovering Family History

Sherise Kimura reflects on an artifact as part of 10 x 10: Ten Objects, Ten Stories presented in conjunction with the Thacher Gallery exhibition Something from Nothing: Art and Handcrafted Objects from America’s Concentration Camps, August 21 – November 15, 2017.

Artist unknown. Cane. Circa 1942-1943
Artist unknown. Cane. Circa 1942-1943, National Japanese American Historical Society, San Francisco, California.

On this beautiful wooden cane, the inscription reads in English, “In enemy alien camp, North America, New Mexico, Lordsburg.” The cane is a work of art, but it also served a useful purpose. I heard that many canes were made by older Issei, first generation Japanese immigrant men, to help with walking on the uneven terrain in the camps.

The “enemy alien” camp at Lordsburg has a special meaning to my family and me because my paternal grandfather, whom I never met, was among the Issei held at Lordsburg. Lordsburg was the U.S. Army camp that held the largest number of Issei, who at the time were not allowed to become naturalized U.S. citizens. Later my grandfather was transferred to the Department of Justice (DOJ) Santa Fe Camp and finally returned home to Hawai‘i in November 1945 after nearly three and a half years.

I only learned about this story of my grandfather about two years ago from a book my cousin, Colleen Kimura, wrote about her father. Because my father could offer very little information, I started doing my own research. I was surprised to find records for my grandfather in the National Archives WWII Alien Enemy Detention and Internment case files, which document the detainment and internment of suspected alien enemies under the Enemy Alien Control Program. In his files were his Alien Registration Form, a warrant for his arrest, camp behavior reports, and various administrative and procedural documents including correspondence about his possible parole to the War Relocation Authority (WRA) camp in Jerome, Arkansas, given that his two sons were U.S. soldiers in combat. Most revealing was the transcript of his hearing shortly after his arrest. I learned that his home had been searched as part of the raids after the attack on Pearl Harbor when martial law was imposed in Hawai‘i. Based on some spurious charges, he was declared an alien enemy and recommended for internment for the duration of the war. His family was not told when or where he was being sent.

My grandfather was 54 at the time and had lived in Hawai‘i for 35 years. He was a blacksmith for a living, worked on a pineapple plantation camp with his family, and was active in the local community.

Growing up in Hawai‘i, I heard few personal stories of internment or incarceration, most likely because Hawai‘i did not experience the same mass incarceration of Japanese Americans that had transpired on the mainland. Fewer than 2,000 people, or 1% of the Japanese population in Hawai‘i at that time, were incarcerated. This was largely due to the fact that the Japanese comprised over one third of the population of the Territory of Hawai‘i and their labor was essential to the economy. Interestingly, the memory of internment in Hawai‘i is finding greater public awareness in recent years, with the uncovering of the Hono‘uli‘uli internment camp, the largest of 17 camps in Hawai‘i.

Late in his life, my uncle reflected on his father’s internment and acknowledged the sorrow my grandfather must have felt when he returned to Hawai‘i at the end of the war while the nation celebrated. In 1956 my grandfather eventually left Hawai‘i and his family and returned to Japan, where he passed away two years later. According to my uncle, although he never spoke it, my grandfather felt he had no place in this country anymore–where he had lived most of life, where he had raised his family, where all five of his sons had served in the military⎯but where he had been treated like a criminal.

Encountering the City and the Self in Khary Lazarre-White’s Passage

On October 18, 2017, CRASE hosted writer, social justice advocate, attorney, and activist Khary Lazarre-White. Lazarre-White discussed his work as co-founder of the Brotherhood/Sister Sol (Bro/Sis) and his debut novel Passage (Seven Stories Press). Brotherhood/Sister Sol is a nationally renowned, Harlem based, comprehensive youth development and educational organization that provides rites of passage programming, arts and enrichment based after school care, counseling, summer camps, job training, college preparation and scholarship, and month long international studies programs to Africa and Latin American. In this post, assistant professor of English Samira Abdur-Rahman, moderator of the event, reflects on the themes of Passage.

In “New York State of Mind,” a track on his debut album Illmatic, twenty-year-old Nas raps “I never sleep cause sleep is the cousin of death.” In Passage, we are told that the protagonist Warrior does not shut his eyes when he sleeps, that this is a trait passed down through the generations: “Even when he really slept, and when he was most relaxed, in his deepest dreams, Warrior’s eyes were open.”  In the magical, Afro-surrealist world of Passage, we are encouraged to understand these open eyes both figuratively and literally. Open eyes are a metaphor for Warrior’s consciousness, for his acuity as a reader of both the surfaces and deeper implications of his experiences and self.

At the same time, Nas and Warrior are describing the reality of their vulnerability in the tones of a guarded masculinity. Sleeping is dangerous and not being on guard could possibly risk your life and/or the lives of your loved ones. The lyrics to “New York State of Mind” are gritty, yet they also operate at a level of myth making and imagination defying the simplistic designation of gangsta rap or pure street documentary. Nas’s Illmatic was released in 1994 and narrated his life growing up in the Queensbridge Projects. Passage is set in 1993, in the boroughs of Harlem and Brooklyn, but its prose embodies the deep and complex knowledges emblematic of what we now identify as the golden era of hip hop, an era that put New York City’s boroughs on the map.  Nas speaks of project living, yet the figurative and literal interiors of his life defy stereotype. So, too, do the interiors of Warrior’s life.

Passage is a novel of the hip hop generation but speaks to the late geographer’s Clyde Wood sense of the symbiotic relationship between blues and hip hop geography. As Lazarre-White stated during his talk, New York City is not simply a geography; it is a character in the novel. Blues tropes are our entry into the world of Passage—they construct a language for Warrior’s encounters with the city, with his ancestors and with his self. In his eloquent study of hip hop aesthetics, Jelani Cobb describes the blue’s bad man figure. Characteristically braggadocious, fearless and mythically strong, the bad man figure was an attempt to resist the very real vulnerabilities that black men faced in the oppressive, racial caste system of Jim Crow.

In the place of myths of badness and heroic strength, the opening scene of Passage describes Warrior’s anger: “It had been the same for years now. Warrior woke angry. Just plain old surly mean. Angry at existence…He knew he was tired…and angry.” The book highlights spaces that produce but also potentially untangle the knot of anger, which allows us to see beyond the misunderstood postures of Warrior’s teen masculinity and takes us deeper into the circles of Warrior’s thoughts, fears and his loves.

Warrior loves his two best friends, one a teenage girl who lives in a house of three generations of Caribbean women. He receives letters from his other best friend, the incarcerated brotherman, a victim of police brutality and the criminal justice system. Warrior’s teacher mother and musician father are loving parents. They respect and understand their son enough to impart on him diasporic lessons, instructions in black history and aesthetics. They respect him enough to listen to him, to let him argue with them, to understand that Warrior is dealing with new terrains of both violence and identity. They love Warrior, yet they cannot offer him complete protection as he navigates the realities of the outside, of the brutal winter, of the blue soldiers who torture and disfigure young black bodies. Still they are committed to helping him through his passage.

At the event, Lazarre-White commented on the significance of the word “passage”—its allusion to the brutality of the transatlantic slave trade and noted it as indicative of the rites of passage needed by Warrior to transition into a new phase. In articulating the hauntings of the past and the possibilities of Warrior’s passage, the novel’s characters speak in folkloric syntax, through riddles, aphorisms and paradoxes, through the language of the everyday, the magical and the sublime. The novel speaks this way because it acknowledges the complex ways that young people feel, experience and narrate their worlds.

Samira Abdur-Rahman’s current book project is Sites of Instruction: The Geography of Black Childhood.

Return to Topaz

Ken Yoshioka reflects on a trip to Topaz, Utah in response to the Thacher Gallery exhibition Something from Nothing: Art and Handcrafted Objects from America’s Concentration Camps, August 21 – November 15, 2017.

In my parent’s house sat two wooden root stands that we used for potted plants.  I had never given them much thought until I saw a wood stand carved from the trunk of a small tree in the exhibit Something from Nothing: Art and Handcrafted Objects from America’s Concentration Camps at the University of San Francisco Thacher Gallery.  To see something so beautifully created out of ordinary tree parts reminded me of a time when I took my family on a national park road trip through Utah.  When we were planning the trip back across Highway 50, my wife related that we would be passing through Delta, where the Topaz relocation camp was located.  On an impulse, I decided we should go and see the site.

Driving out to what seemed to be nowhere and seeing the desolate landscape brought me to tears as I thought of the years spent in such a place by my mom’s family.  I actually called my mom from Topaz and found out which block her family resided in during their time there.  As I remember standing in the hot sun in the place my mom was incarcerated, I am reminded of the objects of beauty in the form of arts and crafts that were created, essentially, something from nothing.  I had read that many took up a craft to deal with the “nothingness” of the camps.  My parents never really talked about the camps and it was only after researching accounts of what life was like did I realize the enormity of those years. When I spoke to my mom from Topaz, she spoke of the difficulties but also about making the best of the situation.  I actually interviewed my dad regarding his remembrances in the camp his family was incarcerated in Tule Lake.  I related that the information would be invaluable for a paper I was writing but he was insistent that those interviews were to stay private.  Two voices, one of resignation and one of bitterness, sadness and shame.

Now I look at those beautiful wood stands and I am reminded of the resilience of those who endured the camps, who endured with Gaman, meaning: “enduring the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity.”

 

 

Is Development on San Francisco’s Treasure Island Viable?

Professor Tanu Sankalia discusses the history of Treasure Island and how earthquake risk, toxic contamination, and sea-level rise still imperil plans for large-scale, capital intensive, development on the island.

The man-made, low-lying, Treasure Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay. Photo copyright Barrie Rokeach 2017.

Few Bay Area residents are entirely aware of Treasure Island’s presence, and fewer still know its history: when it was built, how it has been used over the past decades, and what are plans for its future. Despite its very central location in the San Francisco Bay, this flat, low-lying, man-made island has remained at the periphery of most people’s local and geographical consciousness.

As an architect and urban planner, Treasure Island first caught my attention when plans for its redevelopment were unveiled in 2005. The project was promoted as a cutting-edge sustainable development, especially at a time in the early 2000s when sustainability had caught on rapidly among architecture and planning firms. Yet I was intrigued as to how a multi-billion dollar development that consumed great resources, required massive new infrastructure, and was proposed on what appeared to be a risky site (more about this later), could actually be sustainable.

Over the last eight years, my research on the planning and design history of the redevelopment project, together with contributions from a group of excellent scholars on a range of historic and contemporary issues concerning the island, has recently culminated in a co-edited book, Lynne Horiuchi and Tanu Sankalia, Eds., Urban Reinventions: San Francisco’s Treasure Island published by the University of Hawaii Press. While our work focuses on a single site and underscores its local significance, it also reaches out to topics of global importance such as the Pacific Rim, New Deal, world’s fairs, World War II, Cold War military industrial complex, nuclear contamination, sustainability, and eco-cities, among others. This research has also informed my teaching as I have been able to use Treasure Island as a case study in the urban planning and design course I teach in the Masters of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM) program at USF.

The Army Corps of Engineers built Treasure Island between 1936-1937 with New Deal money. It was constructed concurrently with the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge, to serve as San Francisco’s airport, at a time of major transportation infrastructure expansion. Between 1939-1940 the island hosted the Golden Gate International Exposition (GGIE), which shifted the focus of world’s fairs as venues of science and industry to representations of international unity exemplified in the idea of a Pacific Rim interconnected through commerce and trade. World War II scuttled this utopian imagination, and in early 1942 Treasure Island was converted into an active naval base that cycled 4.5 million US soldiers on their way to and back from the Pacific theater of war. After World War II, Naval Station Treasure Island focused on training and distribution activities until it was officially closed in 1997. In 2011, the City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a redevelopment project for a new sustainable city of 19,000 residents, which critics and commentators see as an example of twenty-first century, “ecotopian” urbanism.

Underlying Treasure Island’s historical narrative, our research found that since its conception, the island has remained a contested site with federal and local agencies vying for its control. These agencies have recurrently shaped the physical character of the island (what we call urban reinventions) through ambitious projects like the airport, world’s fair, military base and now, eco-city. But despite these important historical lessons, which are crucial in understanding how cities and communities conceive projects, the material risks—earthquakes, toxic soil and rising seas—surrounding its latest grand vision are rather pressing.

Treasure Island was built on the shoals of the natural Yerba Buena Island from dredged bay mud filled into a trough enclosed by a sea wall made of large boulders. The shoals, which function as bedrock into which tall buildings must pierce their foundations, are deeper away from the island. Although most buildings in the proposed plan are clustered where the shoals are shallower, there is considerable infrastructure on parts of the island that geotechnical reports (produced in the first reuse plan of 1996) indicate to be unstable. Given the island’s proximity to some of the Bay Area’s largest earthquake faults, a significant tremor can cause the landfill to function like jelly.

Toxic soil remains a major concern on Treasure Island. The US Navy established a Damage Control School in 1947 during its tenure on the island to train naval personnel in decontamination procedures in the event of an atomic, chemical or biological attack. For training purposes they built a mock training ship—the USS Pandemonium—from scrap metal, which was periodically contaminated with cesium-137 and a diluted solution of radioactive bromine-82. In 1971, they dragged this mock ship from the northwest to the southeast of the island further spreading radioactive substances across the island. According to the Department of Toxic Substances Control, the state agency charged with monitoring toxic cleanup at Treasure Island, the island’s soils contain a long list of toxic chemical substances harmful to humans including plutonium and radium. Furthermore, the current Historical Radiological Assessment report that the Navy must produce to guide management and remediation of toxic soils states that the island’s soils simply cannot return to their pre-military state.

Almost twenty years after the redevelopment process for the island was initiated, we have greater awareness about climate change, global warming, and one of its major effects—sea level rise. Maps produced by the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) and the San Francisco Public Press show Treasure Island and the edges of San Francisco Bay under threat from rising seas and storm surges. There are plans to raise the entire island and build a higher, stronger seawall to protect against this danger. Still there is little evidence—especially considering the example of Miami Beach, which is constantly inundated despite its massive seawalls and giant pumps—that such measures will actually succeed.

The Bay Area indeed needs more housing, which Treasure Island’s development could well deliver. There are also many good ideas such as manmade wetlands, urban agriculture and energy efficient buildings, in the redevelopment plans. But they well may be great ideas in the wrong place. Why jeopardize billions of dollars in development and risk the lives of almost twenty thousand residents on an unstable, contaminated, low-lying island site?

Looking back to the very construction of Treasure Island and its recurrent urban reinventions, I am reminded of the German writer W.G. Sebald’s prescient observation that “it is often our mightiest projects that most obviously betray the degree of our insecurity.” It is in moments of vulnerability that governments, cities, and communities take on ambitious and, often, risky projects. In recognizing this risk, it still may not be too late to rethink the viability of development on Treasure Island.

Activism through Art and Design

The Implications of the Trump Presidential Administration: CRASE-sponsored symposium and workshop

Activism Through Art & Design Panel discussion with (L to R) Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Alicia Escott, and Katina Papson-Rigby of 100 Days Action with Malaquais Montoya.

The day after President Trump’s inauguration, millions gathered all over the nation to protest in organized Women’s Marches. During these marches, many participants donned knitted pink hats with cat-like ears — dubbed the “pussyhat”— as a home-made, crafted statement of protest against Trump’s “Make America Great Again” cap and his platform more broadly. Others carried signs and wore messages on their shirts as a visual display of voice.

As professors in Design and Teacher Education, we see these protest objects drawing from a long tradition of art, craft, and design made for activist purposes. Now, more than ever, the urgent issue we face as citizens is: how can we make our voices seen and heard?

As designers, we think about how visual and artistic tools can amplify our voices and to take action. At a time in which the Trump administration is actively threatening the core values of our USF community, what is the potential significance and power of art, craft, design, and visual symbolism in resistance? How can design be social protest?

Inspired by other groups that encourage both dialogue and political action, we held a symposium discussion and workshop event on activism through art and design. This event took place on April 4, 2017, and included an hour-long panel discussion with artist Malaquais Montoya and three members of the art activist group 100 Days Action – Ingrid Rojas ContrerasAlicia Escott, and Katina Papson-Rigby.

Directly following the panel, faculty, speakers and students alike took part in an hour-long workshop in which students identified issues of concern and created their own visual activist messages in the form of buttons, post cards and other visual works. Students had an opportunity to explore the ways they too could make their own voices seen and heard with a mentor activist artist. Throughout the hour, our community grew stronger through conversation, which was as important to the works created. The journey as individuals and as a community continues, the work is not done.

Students, professors and presenters dialogue together about issues of concern and create visual messages of protest.

Symposium Panelists

Malaquais Montoya

Art is Malaquias Montoya’s strongest voice. He has used silkscreening, poster making, and mural painting, for decades to communicate the silent and often ignored experiences of Chicano, Mexican and Central American working class, and other disenfranchised people of the world. Art also allows him to awaken his own consciousness, to reveal a diverse reality and to actively work to transform it. What better function for art at this time? A voice for the voiceless. Montoya is credited by historians as one of the founders of the social serigraphy movement in the San Francisco Bay Area in the mid-1960’s. Montoya’s unique visual expression is an art of protest, depicting the resistance and strength of humanity in the face of injustice and the necessity to unite behind that struggle.

Montoya has lectured and taught at numerous colleges and universities in the San Francisco Bay Area including Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley. Since 1989 Montoya has held a professorship at the University of California, Davis, teaching both in the department of Art and the department of Chicana/o Studies.

100 Days Action

100 Days Action is a counter-narrative to the Trump administration’s one hundred day plan. 100 Days Action is a San-Francisco-based calendar of activist and artistic strategy, and a call to thinkers, artists, and writers to propose gestures that can be carried out either at home or in the world. It’s partnering with many important arts organizations, such as Southern Exposure Gallery, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and KQED Arts. 100 Days Action will be represented by three of its organizing artists:

Ingrid Rojas Contreras was born in Bogotá, Colombia. Her essays and short stories have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of BooksElectric Literature, and Guernica, and anthologized in Guernica Annual (Haymarket Books), Wise Latinas (Nebraska U. Press) and American Odysseys: Writings by New Americans (Dalkey Archive Press). She is the 2014 recipient of the San Francisco Foundation’s Mary Tanenbaum award for non-fiction. She has received scholarships and support from Hedgebrook, Bread Loaf Writer’s ConferenceThe Camargo FoundationDjerassi Artist Residency Program, and the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture. She writes the Book Spine column for KQED. Her debut novel, The Fruit of the Drunken Tree, is forthcoming from Doubleday in 2018.

Alicia Escott is an artist based in San Francisco whose work has dealt with issues of environmental degradation for over 15 years. Her work addresses issues of species-loss, the processes of commercial mediation in late-capitalist society, as well as the individual and collective experience of loss, heartbreak and longing. Her thinking focuses on grappling with what it is to live a human life amid a moment that is profoundly rare in the geologic history of the planet. She is interested in how we each are negotiating our immediate day-to-day realities and responsibilities amid an awareness of the overarching specter of climate change, mass-extinction and other Anthropocenic events. She approaches these issues with an interstitial practice that encompasses writing, drawing, painting, photography, video, sculpture, social-practice and activism with a focus on tailoring the medium to the issue. Escott holds an MFA from CCA, where she received the Richard K. Price Scholarship and a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. Escott has been a fellow at Djerassi, Anderson Ranch Arts Center and the JB Blunk Artist Residency. Her work has been shown in over 75 art institutions, galleries and alternative spaces, and included in exhibitions at the Headlands Center for the Arts, the Hayward Gallery in London, the Berkeley Arts Center, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and in the San Francisco Maritime Museum.

Katina Papson-Rigby is an interdisciplinary artist and educator based in San Francisco, CA. She employs the tools of progressive education, time-based media, and poetry in her performances and videos. Inquiry, dialogue and storytelling are a through line in much of her work. Katina holds two Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, one in Computer Design & Photography and the other in K-12 Art Education. She received her Masters of Fine Arts in Media Arts from the California College of the Arts in 2007. Her work has been featured in exhibitions in San Francisco, CA at SOMArts, Southern Exposure, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the Whitney Museum in New York. She has devoted much of her professional life to advocating for equity and inclusion, has published with multicultural education scholar Sonia Nieto through Teachers College Press, and sits on the board of People of Color In Independent Schools of Northern California (POCIS). The pronouns Katina uses are she/her/hers, she identifies as mixed, and is a proud Bronx, New York native.

Traveling Green

School of Management Associate Professor Michelle Millar discusses sustainability in the hospitality industry and what it means to be a responsible traveler.

Image credit: sloth by henryalien, via flickr. This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 2.0.

In 2005, my life changed when I took a trip to Costa Rica, a country well known for its natural beauty, wildlife, and commitment to sustainability and ecotourism. During my adventure, I found my way into the jungle and ended up in a small ecolodge (but that’s a story for another time!).

It was at this lodge, that my eyes were opened to the minimal impact that one business can have on the environment. For example, lunch and dinner orders were taken in the morning so that the only food ingredients purchased that day were for our meals that day, which eliminated waste from unused ingredients.

Prior to that trip, my concept of ecotourism was traveling to Oklahoma every year in a ‘67 Country Squire Station wagon– with no air conditioning, staying on a farm with my family, and taking a bath in a washtub with my sister because there was no running water.

I have learned quite a bit since then.

In 2015, just over one billion people traveled the world. That number is expected to increase to 1.7 billion by 2025. That is a lot of people moving around the world, which will no doubt have a major impact on our planet. While some of those travelers might consider themselves environmentally conscious travelers, their behavior while traveling often says otherwise.

How about you?

Are you a responsible traveler? Do you practice the same behavior when traveling as you do at home? Do you turn that water off when brushing your teeth in a hotel? Re-use your bath towels in your hotel? Or, do you “conveniently” forget all of that behavior because it’s easier when on vacation? These are the kinds of questions I like to answer with my research in the hospitality and tourism industry.

When I started researching this topic about 10 years ago, existing work focused on sustainable tourism, but no one was studying it operationally for hotels. This was at a time when the term “greening” was creating quite a buzz for hoteliers who scrambled to make their hotels environmentally friendly, but no one was talking to the guests.

Did guests even care about a green hotel? Did they even know what that meant? The hospitality industry revolves around providing quality service and exceptional experiences for its guests, but no one was even talking with them to see if staying at a green hotel was something they wanted.

Well, it turns out that guests are interested in staying in a green hotel, but they have their limits.

  • They do not mind recycling, linen-reuse programs, or efficient lighting.
  • Low-flow fixtures are okay, as long as the shower pressure is good.
  • Soap and shampoo dispensers save hugely on waste, yet guests do not want them because they are reminded too much of going to a gym.
  • They also do not want to be inconvenienced in any way to participate in a hotel’s environmentally friendly programs.
  • Recycling bins in the room are good, but bins only in the hallways or hotel lobby are an inconvenience.

It turns out travelers are picky– and despite the fact that they may say they are environmentally conscious travelers, their behaviors often do not support their attitudes. It seems that many travelers become different people when they travel.

Fortunately, hoteliers are moving forward and forging change in the industry, and as a result, traveler behavior. It saves hoteliers money and saves the environment, and at the same time, it gives them the opportunity to educate guests about environmental impact. As my research has shown, this education and change is carrying over into other sectors of hospitality. They are “training” us to be better travelers, even if it may not be top-of-mind initially. Education, education, education is what it’s all about; but then, of course I would say that!

So—the next time you travel, I challenge you to think about the type of traveler you are. Is the environment “top-of-mind” just as it might be at home? Do you elect to stay in green hotels? If so, what would you expect when staying in one?

Announcing the Fall 2017 Interdisciplinary Action Group Grant Award Recipients

CRASE will fund three proposals for the Fall 2017 Interdisciplinary Action Groups: Preservation in the Midst of Change.

Flint’s Legacy: Trusting Science and Pursuing Justice
Rachel Brahinsky, Urban and Public Affairs, College of Arts and Sciences
David Donahue, McCarthy Center for Public Service and The Common Good
Alice Kaswan, School of Law
Jack Lendvay, Environmental Science, College of Arts and Sciences
Thomas MacDonald, Environmental Science, College of Arts and Sciences
Teresa Moore, Media Studies, College of Arts and Sciences
Peter Novak, Performing Arts, College of Arts and Sciences, Lead
Jeffrey Paris, Environmental Studies, College of Arts and Sciences
J Michael Robertson, Media Studies, College of Arts and Sciences
David Silver, Environmental Studies, College of Arts and Sciences
Rebecca Seeman, Performing Arts, College of Arts and Sciences
Carol Spector, Gleeson Library | Geschke Center

We propose a series of events centered around the themes of environmental justice, water safety as a human right, and belief in science. Through a theatrical production, an educational symposium, and exhibits, we will educate the USF community about the realities of the water our community drinks, the water issues in greater California, and the water issues in towns like Flint, MI across the country.

Forum for Transnational Collaboration in the Arts
John Zarobell, International Studies, College of Arts and Sciences
Pedro Lange-Churion, Modern and Classical Languages, College of Arts and Sciences
Tanu Sankalia, Art and Architecture, College of Arts and Sciences
Sumer Seiki, Teacher Education, School of Education

The goal of the “Forum for Transnational Collaboration” is to bring together emerging voices from previously marginalized countries that are poised to become an essential part of the global conversation in contemporary art today. The relationship between art and globalization is seen by many experts as a one-way street in which powerful countries, their art institutions, and their artists, dominate a broadening sphere of cultural production. There is more than a grain of truth in that analysis, but this Forum aims to provide a platform for the development of a countervailing narrative.

The Preservation of the Human Dignity and Rights of the Trans Community
Daniela Domínguez, Counseling Psychology, School of Education
Jane Bleasdale, Leadership Studies, School of Education
Amie Dowling, Performing Arts, College of Arts and Sciences

Through the use of advocacy, activism, and a social justice framework, we will create an experiential, and creative space that will promote the idea that our society functions best when celebratory spaces and initiatives are inclusive of Trans individuals. Our exhibit will be grounded in intersectional practice, an appreciation for the preservation of Trans rights, and it will reflect a spirit of resistance to the reversal of progress. Our project, consisting of a photo exhibit and dramatic performance, aims to demonstrate that students, educators, administrators, and members of the San Francisco community, will not sit quietly when discrimination takes place against the Trans community. Through photography and staged readings, we will demonstrate the unique advantages of committing to the notion that all Trans individuals deserve equal rights, protection, and a satisfactory academic/professional/military career.

Faculty Spotlight: Mary Donnelly

School of Nursing and Health Professions Mary Donnelly lived all of the world before she started working at the University of San Francisco. During our conversation, we discussed how working and living abroad informed her nursing and practice and how she approaches collaboration in research.

Mary Donnelly

How did you first start in the field of nursing?

When I was in high school and beginning to think about college and talked about my goals with my parents who were both public school educators, and they gave me a choice—this was back in the ‘60s—I could be a nurse or I could be a teacher. Trying as a teenager to find my own unique way, I chose to study nursing, in Villanova, Philadelphia, where I completed my undergraduate degree in nursing. While an undergraduate student, I became aware of the social factors, which created barriers to access to care. From that moment, I became aware of health disparities I wanted to be part of the solutions to increase access to healthcare.  I worked with the Panthers and the Medical Committee for Human Rights. We provided sickle cell testing at health fairs in Philadelphia, PA and provided acute care and health promotion interventions to antiwar and anti-segregation demonstrators along the East Coast.   I wanted to learn how health care could be utilized and provided beyond the walls of hospitals and clinics and I wanted to respond to the health concerns and needs of social activists working in urban areas.

I moved back to upstate New York soon after graduating from Villanova to work at a Community Health Center in Lackawanna. I worked with community health workers and made home visits to a unique population of Bethlehem Steel workers from around the world. Our Health Center treated people from Yemen, Puerto Rico, Mexico as well as Southern African Americans who had all come for the hope of better wages. I went back to school, attending State University of New York at Rochester while working. I graduated as an adult nurse practitioner, and became the first adult nurse practitioner in Erie County. I was still on a quest to learn how best to provide community health so I entered the School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University to get my Masters of Public Health. My life has provided opportunities that were often unexpected.  After marrying a Navy officer, I had the opportunity to learn about health care in Europe and Asia. I worked in Japan and Italy, and with the National Health Service in London. When my husband retired, we came back to the United States in 2005, and I continued my nurse practitioner practice and teaching at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.

How did working and living abroad inform your nursing and your practice?

Japan was so different, and I had to learn the language and culture to be successful. I was providing occupational health services through the Department of Defense, and many of my patients were Japanese. One of my patients did not pass the hearing test, so I could no longer qualify him to drive a forklift in the shipyard. A hearing deficit could be potentially harmful when driving. Soon after, all of his co-workers came to my office and said, “He’s got to work; what can we do?” I said that he needed a hearing aid, and while wearing the hearing aid, if he passed the hearing test, he could work. His work team bought him a hearing aid and brought him back to take the hearing test. It was a group effort. They cared for each other, worked together, and supported each other. This incident was crucial to my understanding of Japanese culture. Keeping the team together was important to achieve work goals.  Each individual of that group was supported by the group’s efforts.

How do you approach interdisciplinary research?

Healthcare is so complex that we cannot live and work in silos, and we really need to reach out to all stakeholders involved in the provision of high- performing systems. Microsystem analysis utilizes a failure mode effect and analysis (FMEA) for potential risk analysis. I see FMEA as a reasonable and evidence-based approach to teach our students and to identify areas of research. We owe a debt a gratitude to W. Edwards Deming, an American statistician who is credited with the rise of Japan as a manufacturing nation, and with the invention of Total Quality Management (TQM). Deming went to Japan just after the War to help set up a census of the Japanese population. While he was there, he taught ‘statistical process control’ to Japanese engineers – a set of techniques, which allowed them to manufacture high-quality goods without expensive machinery. Deming insisted that we create a work culture, which would create a constancy of purpose towards improvement. This means we do not wait for failure or an error but analyze where potential benefits or efficiencies could occur.  I believe this campus is unique because it fosters partnerships across disciplines. Here, I have the opportunity to work with someone in the School of Education, and we are able to collaborate on research.

What brought you to USF?

The USF is a perfect place for collaboration. For example, I needed help looking at reliability, so I approached a colleague and asked, “Will you help me with those statistics?” I also like to work in groups. Writing group members may motivate each other while providing various skills and qualities. Personally, I am not terribly interested in writing alone. I might have a good statistician or I might know a person who is a good editor and we can learn from one another, at least that is what I am trying to establish here. We can continually help each other to produce research.

When I came to interview, there was a discussion on the similarities between Malcolm X philosophy and Jesuit philosophy, so I knew this was the place for me. I was also concerned about diversity, and my daughter-in-law’s aunt went to school here. She’s from Afghanistan, and they left because of the Taliban. I asked, “How were you treated? How did you feel when you were accepted?” She gave me good answers and she highly recommended coming to USF.

What are your different research interests?

I look at primary care topics, which are of interest to primary care providers, and provide up to date standards and case studies for application. I published a few articles last year on hyperparathyroidism—and one on the use of certain antibiotics and the relationship to Achilles tendon ruptures. Fluoroquinolone is a very common class of antibiotics and with certain populations there’s an increased risk of Achilles tendon ruptures.

I’ve been commissioned by the American Journal of Nursing to write about hypertension and to discuss the best approaches to treatment of hypertension. One of the newer items we need to consider is motivational interviewing because hypertension can be addressed by motivating people to change their lifestyles, which are associated with risk factors. I talk about treatment standards, which are pretty well established, and how are we approach the patient and how we can help patients toward better outcomes. Motivational interviewing is evidence-based and there’s a lot of research indicating that this is an effective communication technique has the potential to effect changes in patients’ behaviors.

How do you bring your research into your teaching?

Teaching, writing, and working with our nursing clinical groups keeps us on our toes, and healthcare as a profession continues to change. Our population changes, and in primary care, we’re at the front line treating anything that our patients come in with. I try to teach my students that we need to look at our practices and at the evidence to support them. Motivational interviewing is supported by research. It takes a lot of time to learn it, and it’s hard in a busy primary care practice to develop those skills when you might only be given fifteen minutes to interview a patient and provide some intervention.

What are you thinking about with your research interests now?

I did my doctoral work on decision-making. One of my interests is looking at how we communicate whether it’s with a student, patient, peer, or other professionals. I’m looking at better ways to engage students in learning. I recently had an article published about the use of VoiceThread in graduate education, which uses audio or video to engage students with each other’s work. This method can help our profession because as a provider of care, you need to discuss cases in front of people. You need to be able to analyze and be clear and succinct. Our graduate students come from a variety of backgrounds—they can be in management, they might have been in the Arts and Sciences—so they bring a range of gifts. We’ve seen that these videotaped discussions increases engagement and the desire to learn, and also, it brings more confidence.

Faculty Spotlight: Ben Levy

Ben Levy’s research focuses on how people remember and why they forget. During our conversation, we talked about studying habits and his own experience learning basketball skills.

Ben Levy

How did you first get interested in research?

As an undergrad I knew that I was interested in psychology, but at first I wasn’t sure what I actually wanted to do. At the end of my sophomore year I took a class on learning and memory just because it filled a requirement. I didn’t have any expectations for the class, but I really connected with the professor and the ideas. I approached him at the end of the semester about research opportunities, and I was fortunate that he gave me a position in his lab. His research was focused on the distinction between two different forms of memory that we call familiarity and recollection. When you recollect an experience you can provide details about when and where something happened, but a memory can also be familiar where you are confident you know the thing but you cannot recall those specific details. For example, imagine recognizing the face of a person walking past you on campus. You might recollect that you know the person from your Biological Psychology class and even where they sit in the room and who they normally talk to before class. Or you might simply find the face familiar where you are positive you know them, but you’re not sure how. I found this distinction fascinating and I spent my first few years in research exploring how these types of memory are different.

How has your research evolved over time?

In graduate school, I worked with a professor who also studies memory, but he was interested in why we forget. One big idea from that research is that while we generally think of forgetting as a bad thing, sometimes it can actually be adaptive or useful. In fact, in many instances forgetting is our goal and would be hard to function effectively if you couldn’t forget. As I progressed in research I also became interested in neuroscience, so I developed expertise in methods like functional magnetic resonance imaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation. These methods allow us to identify how these behavioral processes occur in the brain, which helps us better understand those behaviors.

How has your research translated in your own personal life?

I’d honestly never thought about memory much before I took that class as an undergrad, but once I did I quickly realized that memory is critical to virtually all aspects of our behavior. Even others areas of psychology that seem very different, like personality psychology, depend on memory. A big part of how you know about your own personality is based on your ability to remember things that you’ve done in the past. I started to realize how fundamentally integrated memory is into everything we do.

Is there a personal interest that you have with forgetting?

Once you start to specialize in something, you see that in everything you do. It obviously had big implications for my life as a student, but I also saw connections to things I liked to do outside the classroom, like playing basketball. So I try think about these principles of learning and memory now in all aspects of my life. For example, how do they affect my ability to acquire a new skill like becoming a better basketball player? Sadly, being aware of these things doesn’t always instantly solve your problems, though. I give my students advice on how to do study more efficiently but then I don’t always apply these same rules to myself when I’m learning a new skill.

How does your research impact your teaching?

In my Learning and Memory class, I talk a lot about study strategies and how students often use strategies that we know are pretty inefficient. Students are fairly resistant to these ideas early in college, because they feel comfortable with the way they’ve been studying and they’ve usually experienced success with their approach. That means it can be a little bit of a challenge to convince them that there are other more effective strategies they could use. When I teach students as juniors or seniors in my Learning and Memory class, the first comment that I get from my students is “I wish I knew this when I was a freshmen.”

Based on those kinds of comments we are now conducting a research project to see if exposure to these ideas about how to study effectively could help younger students perform better in their classes. We’re doing it through USF 101, a course for freshmen students to get acclimated to USF. Each week, they talk about different topics like study skills, ethical behavior, and many other aspects of life at USF. As one small part of that, we’re incorporating information about how to study more efficiently.

As one example, a popular strategy for getting ready for a test is to look over the class notes again or re-read a textbook chapter. Essentially, every psychological study that has been done on this approach says that this is a total waste of time. It is important to read the textbook in the first place, to show up in class and listen, and to see those slides, but doing those things a second time adds no benefit over the first exposure. It doesn’t hurt your performance, but it is basically a waste of your time, despite the fact that most students believe that this is a very effective strategy. We’re trying to make them realize that their beliefs about study strategies can be mistaken and then we try to suggest more efficient ways of studying.

What are more efficient ways to study?

They’re not that surprising or different—things like using flash cards or quizzing yourself. I think the critical distinction is between being an active versus a passive learner. Rather than looking at your notes or re-reading the textbook, which is a passive way of trying to receive the material again, what you should do is actively try to make yourself remember the material. Trying to reconstruct something from memory can feel frustrating in that moment when you are studying, but if you adopt that approach you’ll find that in much less time you can get just as good as results.

What do you see as your role as a researcher and a mentor?

I think the main job of any good researcher is just to be curious. I want to understand how people behave and how they remember. I want to know if there are better ways to approach studying for school or to become a better basketball player. In science one of the best ways to make you understand how something works is to try to change it. So I try to follow my curiosity to figure out how memory works and then I want to use that understanding to help people learn more successfully.

As a mentor my job is to help my students develop their own ideas and interests. Being a mentor is one of my favorite parts of my life at USF and I really enjoy the fact that I am privileged to watch my undergraduate research assistants grow over the time that they’re in the lab. I get to see them progress through different stages as a researcher and come to a deeper understanding of psychology and of their own interests and passions.

I think part of the reason I value mentoring students so much is that I personally really enjoyed this period of my life. You start undergrad sampling from lots of different ideas and broadening your horizons, but you also start to triangulate in on the things you really care about. And those interests often develop into careers and lifelong passions. For me the moment I joined that lab and starting getting research experience, I found something to anchor my interests and something that felt bigger and more rewarding than just taking a series of courses. I found the experience very fulfilling, and I want to provide the same kind of experience to my students.

What are some of the questions and hypotheses that you are thinking about for your research?

Some things are these intervention questions—can we use the kind of things we have learned from cognitive psychology to help students study more effectively? I want to see if I teach students about the importance of doing retrieval practice rather than extra exposures, could that end up having a positive outcome for students?

Students have a set of skills they’ve developed and they feel very attached to those skills. Part of the challenge of being the teacher is learning how they think about things. What is their model and how do you get them to let go of some things that are not as effective? How do you help them to revise their habits? It’s a real challenge to the teacher.

What lessons do you want to impart to your students?

One of the ones my students always laugh about in lab meetings is my personal crusade to have them pay attention to graphs and data. In psychology, a lot of students prefer the format where you are told a fact—the amygdala is responsible for emotion, this high level statement. When they go to read papers they want to read the abstract or the introduction where it’s all laid out. I think the heart of science is about understanding data and understanding how data support or challenge a theory. I try to train them to go right to the method and results section to understand what the researchers actually did and what they found. More broadly, though, I want my students to become deeper and more careful thinkers. I want to challenge them and get them to think really critically about an idea. If I can do that, I feel like I’ve helped them.

Defending Free Speech in Academic Publishing through Copyright and Fair Use

In this blog, scholarly communication librarian Charlotte Roh addresses copyright in publishing contracts for a better understanding of how fair use operates to extend free speech to criticize, comment, and report as one normally would in the course of academic writing.

Photo by LeAnn Meyer of The University of Kansas Libraries

For academics who are new to negotiating book contracts, one of the boilerplate items that you’ll find in the contract, and quite frequently the author guidelines, is a request from the publisher to make sure that you have the right to use other people’s (copyrighted) material in your work when you submit your manuscript. This often includes asking for permission from other authors and sometimes paying the copyright holder.

However, in many instances, asking for permission isn’t necessary. You already have the right to use copyrighted work in your scholarship – it’s built into copyright law itself, which exists, “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and  discoveries.”[1]

This is from the preamble, and note which clause came first in the mind of our founding fathers – to promote the progress of science and useful arts in our new country. Kyle Courtney, the Copyright Advisor for Harvard University, notes that copyright law, and the fair use doctrine in particular, works together with the first amendment that “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or freedom or press” as a supplement to the Constitution, “to prevent our new government from becoming a tyranny…connected with the fundamental belief that open and informed discussion of current events promotes stability and the general security of the nation.”

I think we can all agree that the ability to report, comment, analyze, and teach is important, and depends on free speech. But it also depends on copyright law, because otherwise we would not be able to use the work of others while doing those very things. For example, Teen Vogue can screen capture and use tweets in order to report on the racism in the movie Ghost In the Shell, and I can screen capture that article from Teen Vogue in order to use it to make that educational point right here.[3]

Where is this ability to use other people’s works written in the law? Why don’t the reporters have to ask permission, or pay someone, as publishers sometimes ask authors to do? Well, it’s written into copyright law itself, and it’s called the fair use doctrine. Title 17, Section 107 of this law states:

“Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.”

This is the very same law that allows you to use works in the classroom. But hold up! Why are publishers then insistent on getting permissions for work, and why are you told not to make copies of textbooks for classes?

One reason is to mitigate legal risk – nobody wants to get sued, and many publishers operate out of an abundance of caution. But several publishers, such as UC Press, MIT Press, and Duke University Press, actually support fair use. It does behoove you to meet the standards, however, in which case you should go through the four factors of fair use. I often refer people to this handy checklist put out by Columbia University: https://copyright.columbia.edu/basics/fair-use/fair-use-checklist.html

To many people, this seems like too much work. It seems easier to ask permission than to have to rationalize what is fair use or not. But proponents of fair use will point to the music industry’s sampling market as an example of “use it or lose it.” Sampling from other musicians, musical quotation if you will, used to be free. But as profit and litigation grew, the market for sampling increased, triggering the fourth factor of fair use, that the use would not cause market harm.

What does this have to do with academics? What proponents of fair use do not want to see happen is something similar in the academic market, where you would have to license and pay for every quotation and excerpt.[4] In fact, scholars, lawyers, and librarians now celebrate Fair Use Week in order to raise awareness so that we don’t lose the right to challenge, criticize, correct, parody, and speak out. I think this is particularly important in this era of alternative facts and fake news, when so much of the research that we depend on seems to be in jeopardy.[5] So use your fair use rights! They’re important to academic freedom of speech.

About the Author:

Charlotte Roh is the Scholarly Communications Librarian at the University of San Francisco Gleeson Library and has over a decade of experience in academic publishing and libraries at the University of Massachusetts, Oxford University Press, and Taylor and Francis. Her most recent publication, “Agents of Diversity and Social Justice: Librarians and Scholarly Communication” won the 2017 LPC Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Library Publishing.

If you’d like to learn more or have any questions about copyright, fair use, or academic publishing, please contact Charlotte Roh at the Gleeson Library croh2(at)usfca.edu. See also the CRASE blog on Negotiating Book Contracts.

[1] Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. §§ Preamble (2012)

[2] Courtney, Kyle. “Fair Use Fights Fascism: Some Fair Use Week Thoughts on the 1st Amendment & Fair Use” (February 2017) https://vimeo.com/204835410

[3] Elizabeth, De. “Ghost in the Shell’s Early Review Point Out Whitewashing” (March 2017) Teen Vogue. http://www.teenvogue.com/story/ghost-in-the-shell-early-reviews-whitewashing?mbid=social_twitter

[4] Particularly if you don’t have to! Federal publications are free to the public, and some things might be out of copyright, but unscrupulous bodies will still charge for them. Here’s a recent example, from a photographer who donated her work to the public but found that the Getty was charging for her photos: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/07/photographer-sues-getty-images-for-selling-photos-she-donated-to-public/

[5] Schlanger, Zoë. “Rogue Scientists Race to Save Climate Data from Trump” WIRED (January 2017) https://www.wired.com/2017/01/rogue-scientists-race-save-climate-data-trump/