Karin Higa F'09

Curator
Independent Scholar

Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art 2009
Doctoral Student
Department of Art History
University of Southern California
Little Tokyo, Los Angeles: Japanese American Art and Visual Culture, 1919-1941

This study considers Japanese American artists in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles between World War I and II and the art they created. It also surveys representations of the Japanese body by the dominant culture. By placing representations by and of Japanese Americans into dialogue, this study illuminates the complexity of the interwar period, when Japanese American artists were subject to heightened racism while at the same time creating powerful, influential works of art that have been under-recognized due to the World War II incarceration. Through close object analysis and attention to historical context, this study aims to reanimate the connections between Japanese American artists and their European and American counterparts to present a nuanced picture of pre-World War II American culture.